The Maqámát of Badí‘ al-Zamán al-Hamadhání, tr. W.J. Prendergast  at sacred-texts.com
‘ÍSÁ IBN HISHÁM related to us and said: I was in Baghdad at the time of the azaz date harvest, so I went out to select and buy some of the different kinds of it. I proceeded a short distance to a man who had got a stock of various sorts of fruit which he had arranged in order. He had collected and placed in rows a variety of fresh dates and I took some of the best of everything and picked 1 some of the finest of every species. Now just as I had gathered up my skirts and placed my load in them, my eyes fell upon a man who had modestly covered his face with a veil 2 and was standing still with outstretched hand. He had his little ones by his side and bore his babes on his hip, while he recited in a voice so loud that it weakened his chest and produced feebleness in his spine:--
‘Ísá ibn Hishám said: I took from my purse a handful and gave it to him. Then he said:--
‘Ísá ibn Hishám said: So I said to him, 'There is something left in the purse, therefore disclose thy hidden condition and I will give thee all.' Then he removed his veil, 2 and to by Heavens! it was our Shaikh, Abú’l-Fatḥ al-Iskánderí! So I exclaimed: 'Mercy on thee, how astute thou art!' Then he recited:--
31:1 … I picked: Literally, I bit, or gnawed.
31:2 … a veil: a thing with which a woman veils her face, having in it two holes for the eyes, but here used as synonymous with lithám (…)
31:3 Alas! I have neither two handfuls: Sawíq is a kind of gruel made mostly of parched barley. Metre, rejez.
31:4 Khirdíq: a kind of broth in which bread is crumbled.
31:5 To soothe our palate: Literally, to check the onslaughts of saliva.
31:6 O the one who hath bestowed: Metre, rejez.
32:1 Then God my Lord will surely recompense: Literally, God my Lord is behind his reward.
32:2 Lithám (…) a veil: a kind of muffler for covering the lower part of the face. Cf. the term mulaththamun applied to the Berber tribes of the Ṣaḥará.
32:3 Spend thy life in deceiving: … in deceiving: Literally, gilding copper or silver to palm it off for gold. The Constantinople edition has these additional lines:--
From the saying attributed to al-Nabigah:--