Response to a stranger's request

Response to a stranger's request  (1767) 
by Al Hariri of Basrah, translated by Leonard Chappelow

As translated by Leonard Chappelow in the 1767 preface to the English translation of the Maqamat of al-Hariri.

Thou'rt not the first night-wand'rer,
Deceive'd by treach'rous moon-light:
Nor the first starv'd Purveyor,
Pleas'd with the spacious surface
Of dunghill's outward verdure,
The greedy eye attracting:
When all within is nauseous.
In choosing a companion,
Thy choice, I find, directs thee
To one of diff'rent aspect;
For I am like old Moaid,
Deform'd in ev'ry member.
Hear then what I shall dictate;
But let thine eye not see me;
For prejudice will frustrate
The wisest, best instructions.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.