Slim Wali: a Bakhtiari poem

This poem hails ‘Slim’ Wali, who was so successful in his burglary that silk was ‘like cotton yarn’ to him. He was from the Mauri tribe of the Haftlang and lived at Chilau, Bazuft.

They call me ‘Slim Wali’: this year I am in gaol.
Between Kichuz and Pas Galla, I have broken into seven houses.
A moonlight night, (the ground) blue-grey shale, long-haired dogs:
There is the cry of a young woman, ‘A lion has carried off the saddle-bags’.
A moonlight night is better for me than a dark night.
The Charlang are moving away hastily, all because of the ‘Slim One’.
They call me ‘Slim Wali, son of an ugly mother’.
I load up (stolen) silk, like cotton yarn.
I heard that Mir Shaikh Ali has broken the fetters . . .
Before I could gather up my fetters, the gaoler arrived.

With kind permission, from: Lorimer, DLR 1963 “The Popular Verse of the Baḵẖtiāri of S. W. Persia –III: Further Specimens” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 67-68