To a Little Man with a Very Large Beard by Isaac ben Khalif

How can thy chin that burden bear?
Is it all gravity to shock?
Is it to make the people stare?
And be thyself a laughing stock?

When I behold thy little feet
After thy beard obsequious run,
I always fancy that I meet
Some father followed by his son.

A man like thee scarce e’er appear’d –
A beard like thine – where shall we find it?
Surely thou cherishest thy beard
In hopes to hide thyself behind it.

From: Carlyle, J.D., Specimens of Arabian Poetry, From the Earliest Times to the Extinction of the Khaliphat, with Some Accounts of the Authors, 1796, John Burges: Cambridge, p. 148.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=BXg_AQAAMAAJ)

Date: ?11th century (original in Persian); 1796 (translation in English)

By: Isaac ben Khalif (?11th century)

Translated by: Joseph Dacre Carlyle (1758-1804)

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