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THE OLD KING’S LAMENT
When we first had met
Time had brought me into my later years.
I was a man of a “certain age.”
Now, older still, it matters not
How much longer my life extends.
The moments remaining are way too few.
Soon I die and with me go the memory of those days,
When you were with me in the sun,
And I could have you within my reach throughout the night.
You meant more to me than all the prize
Which once was mine and mine alone in the treasury.
Bitter my fate then that
I am not allowed to cry at greater length.
Never shall I have the hours enough
To write all the poems of my lament,
My having lost your love,
What woe my life has been without you.
This lease of breath,
Though well beyond the count of years
That any man, even a king, might expect,
Now I know too short, indeed!
*The lines above represent an original love poem. Shah Zafar was properly know as Bahadur Shah II. His pen name was Zafar. He was the last Mughal Emperor. For both his Urdu and his English verse translation from which I have adopted some sentiments and lines see,