Majnun, real name of the Arab poet Qays, turned mad at the loss of his beloved Leila. In the following poem Qays tells the poet that true love is a matter of extreme magnitude which ultimately consumes the life of the lover. He equates moderate love to a hypocritical attitude on the part of the lover. He argues love starts with L which is the end letter of the word full. Therefore, Love is either full or no love at all

As I wandered in the sandy hills
Met I with the Prince of lovers

I enquired to the Maddened Qais
About his love which turned to craze

‘Your madness has set hearts on fire
Every girl does for your love-like desire

You fell for her pretty looks
Ah! Torn between her hooks

You had your senses retarded
Leila when from you had parted

The folks of your times called you mad
Though later you became we lovers’ fad

You gave her your whole soul
And, she had you ‘madman’ called

What honour have you brought?
For Aamir’s children you became a blot

Tell me
O Leila -maddened Qays!
O Love-saddened Majnun!

Why this excess in love
Why be so reckless for love?

Why swallow this in one gulp
Even if poison, you drink per sip

Why become this desperate
Why not be a little moderate

‘O love-ignorant Jaihoon!’,
Replied Qays the Majnun

‘You either with joy live
Or love and be ready to die

Love is a matter extreme
Not as sweet as you dream

Love is like a pendulum-
At left or right is its asylum

Love is either the hot day or cold night
It makes your Reason with Passion fight

To call a lover to be moderate
Equals calling him a hypocrite

The middle path in love does not exist
Extreme joy and pain you cannot resist

Love begins with the end letter of full
Half love is only as good as null

Love is a burning fire
Step not in if you fear

You cannot have hearts two
Under the chest of a lover true

Therefore, be a lover like me if you dare
I wrote, loved and died in Leila’s desire

You either in joy live
Or you love and be ready to die

NOTES

Every girl does for your love-like desire: Every beloved craves to be adored by such a lover

Aamir’s children: Qais belonged to the tribe of Aamir in Arabia

It makes your Reason with Passion fight: this leads to madness

Love begins with the letters of full: The letter L

June 16 2010