Page:Palestine Exploration Fund - Quarterly Statement for 1894.djvu/324

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278
THE BIRTH OF ABU-ZAID.

the children of the Emir Risk and Khadra. Abu-Zaid is one of the great heroes in the exodus of the Beni-Helal from Naj'd to Tunis, passing by Palestine.

The legend is sung by the bards on their one-stringed fiddle (ربابه) Rababy, during whole nights after weddings or any other public rejoicing (see Quarterly Statement, April 1894, p. 137).

The Emir Risk had a daughter, named Shiha, شيحه, by his wife Khadra, خدره, who then remained seven years barren, to the great sorrow of Risk. One day when Khadra went to a fountain to wash, she saw a black bird pounce on other birds, killing some, and scattering the rest. She prayed to God, "Oh, my Lord, hear my petition, make me conceive and bear a son, who shall drive the knights before him as does this bird the other birds; and let him be as black as this bird." Her prayer was fulfilled, and she had a black son.

Now Ser'han, سرحان, the father of Sultan Hassan, visits Risk and says:—

Bring the new-born, let us give him gifts! هات المولود لمننا اننقته
And may we not decrease for a day of need. ولا نقتع العدد الى يوم هشل

When Risk brings in the child; Ghanem, the father of Thiab, says:—

Oh Risk, this child is not from our ranks, يارزق هل ولد ماهو صفتنا
But from the rank of the bought slaves. الا صفت العبيد الجلايب
Upon my conscience, oh Risk, this is not born. على دمتي يارزق انه مولد
He resembles greatly our negro Murjan. ولا يشبه الا لعبدنا مرجان

And Risk says:—

Ho, all ye present, witness his mother is divorced. على ماتشهدوا يا حدور امه امطلقه
And none shall bring her back, no judge, nor learned Sheikh. ولا يرودها لاقادي ولاشيخ عالم

Then, turning to Khadra, he continues:—

Oh Khadra, break down, and load, and tie fast, ياخدره هدي وشدي وحملي
And take thy servants and thy goods. خدي سرايركي وكل الغنام