Nizar Qabbani

Jerusalem

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I wept until my tears were dry

I prayed until the candles flickered

I knelt until the floor creaked

I asked about Mohammed and Christ

Oh Jerusalem, the fragrance of prophets

The shortest path between earth and sky

Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws

A beautiful child with fingers charred

and downcast eyes

You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet

Your streets are melancholy

Your minarets are mourning

You, the young maiden dressed in black

Who rings the bells in the Nativity

On Saturday morning?

Who brings toys for the children

On Christmas eve?

Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow

A big tear wandering in the eye

Who will halt the aggression

On you, the pearl of religions?

Who will wash your bloody walls?

Who will safeguard the Bible?

Who will rescue the Quran?

Who will save Christ?

Who will save man?

Oh Jerusalem my town

Oh Jerusalem my love

Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom

And the olive trees will rejoice

Your eyes will dance

The migrant pigeons will return

To your sacred roofs

And your children will play again

And fathers and sons will meet

On your rosy hills

My town

The town of peace and olives

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Nizar Qabbani