The Judgement Of Ali
Translated by S. Folwer Wright
Note: One typed M.S. page remains. See 'literary notes' - written Dec 29 & 30th. 1941.
A Baluch Legend
Shot struggling downward from the skies above,
A hawk entangled with a harmless dove
Fell blindly to the judgement seat; and when
The grave eyes of Ali, the King of Men,
Looked down upon them in his lap that lay,
The hawk was swifter than the dove to say:
"Hail, Lord of Faith! Let not thy voice reject
The justice of my plea. Where dawns reflect
The crag that rises midst the Meeting Streams,
A tree rock-rooted takes the morning's beams,
And all the weight of tempest. There I built
My hazardous nest, and thence, with God to aid,
This morn to feed my starving brood I flew.
Long hours I searched before at last I knew
My prayer was heard. This dove's too-venturous flight
Betrayed it in the skies' unsheltered height.
No justice can withhold my taken prey;
For how, except by God's design I slay,
Can life be mine?"
- The trembling dove replied:
To find thy mercy? Where the woods are wide
Beneath Mount Bambor is my home, and there
My hungry children wait. Except I bear
The corn to feed them that my crop contains
They can but die. Such cause of right constrains
That my deliverance will thy lips declare;
For now beneath thy sight the truth is bare."
Then judgement gave the King of Men: "Not I,
My brother, can thy reasoned right deny.
Yet fear not, sister. . . . Bring a knife." And when