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Burton: Al-Mutalammis and His Wife Umaymah

[Go back to The Loves of the Boy and Girl at School]

It is related Al-Mutalammis once fled from Al-Nu'uman bin Munzir and was absent so long that folk deemed him dead. Now he had a beautiful wife, Umaymah by name, and her family urged her to marry again; but she refused, for that she loved her husband Al-Mutalammis very dearly. However, they were urgent with her, because of the multitude of her suitors, and importuned with her till at last she consented, albe reluctantly; and they espoused her to a man of her own tribe. Now on the night of the wedding, Al-Mutalammis came back and, hearing in the camp a noise of pipes and tabrets and seeing signs of a wedding festival, asked some of the children what was the merry-making, to which they replied, "They have married Umaymah wife of Al-Mutalammis, to such an one, and he goes in to her this night." When he heard this, he planned to enter the house amongst the mob of women and saw the twain seated on the bridal couch. By and by, the bridegroom came up to her, whereupon she sighed heavily and weeping, recited this couplet,

"Would Heaven I knew (but many are the shifts of joy and woe) * In what far distant land thou art, my Mutalammis, oh!"

Now Al-Mutalammis was a renowned poet; so he answered her saying;

"Right near at hand, Umaymah mine! when'er the caravan * Halted, I never ceased for thee to pine, I would thou know."

When the bridegroom heard this, he guess how the case stood and went forth from them in hast improvising,

"I was in bestest luck, but now my luck goes contrary: * A hospitable house and room contain your loves, you two!"

And he returned not but left the twain to their privacy. So Al- Mutalammis and his wife abode together in all comfort and solace of life and in all its joys and jollities till death parted them. And glory be to Him at whose command the earth and the heavens shall arise! And among other tales is that of...

[Go to The Caliph Harun Al-Rashid and Queen Zubaydah in the Bath]


Burton, Richard (1821-1890). The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. London. 1885-1888. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. V. Gutenberg Vol. VII. Gutenberg Vol. VIII. Gutenberg Vol. IX. Gutenberg Vol. X. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version.


1001 Nights Hypertext. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The texts presented here are in the public domain. Thanks to Gene Perry for his excellent help in preparing the texts for the web. Page last updated: January 1, 2005 10:46 PM


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