How truthfully the well-notched arrow spoke
Unto the sword in heat of battletide:
“What magic lustre glitters in thy steel
like fairy dancers in the Caucasus ?
Thou, who canst boast in thy long ancestry
Of Ali’s trusty weapon, DhuL-Faqer; 23
Who hast beheld the might of Khalid’s arm, 24
Sprinkled red sunset on the head of night –
Thine is the fire of God’s omnipotence,
And neath thy shadow Paradise awaits.
Whether I wing in air, or lie encased
Within the quiver, wheresoe’er I be
I am all fire. When from the bow I speed
Towards a human breast, right well I see
Into its depth, and if it do not hold
A heart unflawed, unvisited by thoughts
Of terror or despair, swiftly my point
Plucks it asunder, and I spread it o’er
With surging gore for shift. But if that breast
Serenely throb with a believer’s heart