Arabian Poetry, by W. A. Clouston, , at sacred-texts.com
Shiboob having been despatched by the sorrowing hero to obtain tidings of Abla, after many days he returns with a message of love from her to Antar; but also with the unpleasant intelligence that her father, now dwelling in the tribe of Shiban, had promised Abla in marriage to Bostam, the son of Prince Kais, on condition that he brought him Antar's head as her dowry.
Bostam accordingly sets out for the land of Abs, meets Antar, and is vanquished in combat with the hero. Shiboob comes to
report the capture of all the women of Shiban by the tribe of Temeen. Bostam offers his assistance in rescuing Abla; Antar releases him; and together they proceed to take vengeance on the despoilers. Again the hero rescues Abla from captivity; and as he gazed upon her, bathed in tears of joy, thus he addressed his darling:
Hail! I greet thee, branch of the tamarisk!—welcome to the new moon of the desert and the city!
O Abla! thy form during my absence was ever in the core of my heart and my eye.
Since thou hast been absent, all my joys have been absent—all my pleasures closed; and my blood-shot eyes have passed the nights in sleeplessness:
Never has slumber visited me since I quitted thy form.
O thou full moon of obscurity, in truth, thou face of the moon itself! were I to complain of what I have endured in sorrow, I should fail to describe—by the truth of the Shrine and the Stone 1—what I suffered in the horrors of my journey, and the jealousies I have been subject to from my relations.
How many horsemen, whom I have encountered in the barren waste, have been laid low on the earth, and in the tombs!
Keshaab, son of Ghayath, lies prostrate—on the day of horrors felled by my Indian blade!
These shall ever be my deeds with the foe as long as the sun shines, and as long as the morning star glitters at the dawn.
I am the son of Shedad, and the lion to whom every one that dwells in the desert or in towns bows in submission.
His uncle Malik also wept (crocodile's tears), and once more renewed to him his promise of Abla's hand. The crafty old fellow, however, persuades Antar to return home, on a vain errand, and as soon as he is gone, again flees with his daughter but Antar gets word of this, and pursues him. Malik places himself and his family under the protection of King Amru, of Kendeh, and espouses Abla to Mas-hil, the king's nephew.