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84

Hamilton

Laileh O Allah, your white dove is in my breast but to mix in the world is the ultimate test: how can I dare when I might meet the man who in truth could tell them that I lay with him?

O miracle! The wall is fading and wearing away and look, it is the early morning on the green hill that has cast off its cover and there’s Kaddour, smiling, drunk with love. His flock of sheep surrounds him bleating as one by one they rise into the cirrus heaven. And he, my earth-brown shepherd, holds his hands toward the Lord and stretches up. He stands for prayer at dawn, extending his whole body which lengthens into the branches of a tree. Divine Exalt the name of Allah! Praise his kindness! Scriptures He is the one who gives true happiness. For in this tragedy where man revolves, his is the only pardon which absolves.

At the Palace of Rosalcazar en Route to Mecca

Mustapha O Lalla Maghnia, accept my thanks for coming el Kéébir all this way to the domain of Ouarhan and especially for not remembering Mustapha el Kéébir’s past indiscretion. Laïïleh The long route leading to these ancient ramparts became for me the sky traversed by birds. Mustapha And here, at the Palace of Rosalcazar, el Kéébir more beautiful than all the praise I’ve heard, you are the loveliest rose amongst my roses. Laïïleh These gorgeous women are worthy of your joy.

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