Level 3: القوس قوسك (Al-Gōs Gōsik)

 Gulf Arabic: Level 3

القوس قوسك

“The Bow is Yours”

  • القوس قوسك والسهام سهامك

Il-gōs gōsik w-is-sihām(i) shāmik

The bow is yours, and so are the arrows.

– note that in Gulf dialects the second person pronouns are -ik (masculine) and -ič (feminine)


  • مالي على رمشٍ تسله قوّة

Māli ‘ala rimšin tisillah guwwah

The way you open your eyes (lit.: eyelash) is too much for me.

– مالي على… قوّة  = “I can’t handle…”, “… is too much for me”

– رمشٍ  = note that the tanwīn in Gulf dialects is an indefinite marker and has nothing to do with case (it’s always “-in”)

– سلّ، يسلّ = to pull out, withdraw


  • انا اســــــيرك واقفٍ قــــدامك

Ana asīrik wagifin giddāmik

I’m your prisoner, standing in front of you.

–  واقفٍ  = note that the tanwīn here has nothing to do with case but is an indefinite marker in the Gulf dialects


  • واللي تبا تسويه فيه ســـــــوّه

W-illi taba tsawwīh fiiya sawwah

And what you want to do with me, do it.

– اللي  = Fuṣḥā الذي

– تبا  = Fuṣḥā تريد  from بغى، يبغي  (= to want)

–  ســـــــوّه  = note that the imperative of final weak verbs in some Gulf dialects is (or used to be) فعْ  like: خل  (= stay!) or here ســـــــوّ  (= do!)


  • وثقت في قلبك وطيب انسامك

Wathagt(i) fi galbik wi ṭīb insāmik

I had faith in your heart and your gentle breezes.


  • ماظن تظلم وانـــت فيك امروّة

Ma aẓinn taẓlim w-anta fīk (i)mruwwa

I don’t think you can be cruel for in you there is chivalry.


  • قلبي رهيف ولا يروم هيامــــك

Galbi rahīf wala yirūm hiyāmik.

My heart is delicate, it doesn’t want your infatuation.


  • توه تعلم كيف يعــــــــشق توّه

Tawwa t‘allim kēf ya‘šig tawwa

It only learned now how to love, just now.


  • قلبٍ قبضته لا تــــــرص احكامك

Galbin gabaḍtah, la tiraṣṣ iḥkāmik

You have taken over a heart, don’t set aside your principles.

– احكامك = I’m not sure whether “احكام” as in “perfection, preciseness” is meant here or “حكم ج احكام” meaning “rule, control, authority; judgement”


  • خفف على قلبٍ حكمت بجوّه

khaffif ‘ala galbin, ḥakamt bi-juwwah

Be gentle on a heart whose state you rule over.


  • يفــــــــــداك لكنه يشيل احلامك

Yifdāk lakinnah yišīl aḥlāmik

I sacrifice it to you, but (remember), it carries your dreams.


  • ملكك ولا لي منه غــــــــير امخوّه

Milkik wala li minnah ġēr imkhuwwa

It’s your reign, I don’t own anything in it but (its) emptiness.


  • بك زين من راسك يــــ لين ابهامك

bak zēn min rāsik yalēn ibhāmik

You’re beautiful from your head down to your toe.


  • والليل ياخذ من صباحك ضـــــــوّه

W-illēl yakhidh min ṣabāḥik ẓawwah

And the night takes its light from your forehead.

– ياخذ  = note that Gulf dialects retain interdentals like the “dh” here

– صباح  = both “morning” and “forehead”

– ضـــــــوّه  = Fuṣḥā ضوءه  (note that 1. the ض  (ḍ) is pronounced ظ  (ẓ)) 2. the Hamza is omitted and 3. the masculine pronoun is pronunced -ah)


  • ما يحجب الويه الصبوح لـــــثامك

Ma yaḥjib il-wiyya is-subūḥ ilthāmik

Your glowing face can’t be covered by the veil.

– ويه  = Fuṣḥā وجه


  • طلتك دايــــــــــم يالحلى محلوهـّــ

ṭallatk(a) dāyim bi-l-ḥala maḥlawa

Your appearance is forever most beautiful, o’ my beauty.


  • ماكنــــك اتدوس الثرى باقـــدامك

Ma ka-innak itdūs ath-thara bi-gdāmik

It’s as if you don’t step on the sand.


  • كـــــن الثرى تحتك يسير المــوه

Kinn ith-thara taḥtik yisīr il-mawwa

But the sand flows under you like water

– كـــــن  = Fuṣḥā كأنّ  (= as if)