|From The Diwan of Hafiz Shirazi
So many good things to be done,
Yet where do I stand?
How far from here to there,
How different are the ways.
Robes of priests smother my soul
In colors of monotony.
Where, then, is the temple of virtue,
Or the wine of the holy?
What do hollow rights and cermonies
Have to do with the Being of the Pure?
And where can the flowing melodies
Of the unseen rebab be found?
Enemies are there without and within - still I ask, "Who am I?"
Does the sight of my Friend
Also bring joy to them?
What is the kindling of funeral lamps, to the light of the sun?
The dust of your feet, my friend,
Once showered my life
With the radiance of your love.
For the sake of the mole on her cheek,
Would I trade all of Bokhara and Samarkand,
Should that Turkish girl
But hold my heart in her hand.
My love, pour me what is left of the wine,
And who cares for the delights of heaven?
For you have wrung out the patience from my heart,
Ruthlessly - as the Turks desolate the countryside.
And if my love be incomplete,
Place no blame on her -
She, whose beauty needs no artifice
Of pencil, or of color, or of fragrant paste.
And as the virtue of Joseph
Grew day by day,
I know why Zulaihka laid aside
Her robe of chastity.
Curse and swear at me as you will,
The words turn to sugar as they pass your lips.
Darling, listen to me, for lucky are the young ones
Who listen to the wise old man.
The puzzle of the cosmos, the nature of time,
The beginnings of the universe - Enough,
Enough of speculation -
Just tell me the story -
Of the music, the player, and the wine.
You compose these poems and compe up with pearls.
So sing with joy, Hafiz.
The North Star splashes its radiance
Across your compositions, Hafiz:
For the universe has graced you with its secrets -
Fair wind, be kind -
Tell that lovely gazelle who it was
That made me wander distraught
Across desert sands and mountain cliffs.
The seller of sweets,
May she have long life -
Why is she not generous
To this parrot longing for honey?
Is it your proud nature
That keeps you aloof
From the bird dancing around you?
It is the beauty of one's nature
That nets the seekers.
Ropes and cages never trap
The wary bird.
How is it that those tall beauties,
With black eyes shining
From faces of moonlike radiance -
Pass me by?
How can your face show such beauty,
While here in Earth
You are the image
Of inconstancy and faithlessness?
Your sayings draw melodies
From the stars
And set even the son of Mary to dance.
While you keep the company of the enlightened
And quaff the mystic wine,
Forget not those, who sail upon the heavens
As birds glide upon the wind.
I seem to slip through my own fingers.
Yet you, who are masters of your hearts,
Dwell in everchanging splendor.
It is time - tell me the secret.
Stranded and helpless are we
Like a ship on a windless sea.
Favor us, that we may once again
Gaze upon the face of the beloved.
The balm and comfort of both worlds
Is but this:
To enjoy the warmth of true friends,
And to be calm and courteous to our enemies.
Those of repute and high standing
Turn us away.
It displeases you?
Then change destiny.
When poor, reach for happiness,
Drink the secret wine.
This is the secret goal of philosophers,
And makes us rich.
Turn me not away -
For who will carry this prayer to the king?
I only beg that "He burn like a plunging meteor,
That demon who lurks in my rival's skin."
Since your black eyelashes seek to draw
A suitor's blood,
Think, then, of my lying rival.
Wound him, not me, with those glances.
You enflame the hearts of all,
But to what profit?
Having the means to cure,
Yet - you do not.
May the morning breeze
Carry to my friends
These soft messages
Mirroring the melodies of love in their hearts.
The Day of Judgment
Is the terrible gift
You give to your lovers.
For you have slain us with your beauty.
Come, Sufi, the chalice is a clear mirror.
Gaze at the reflection of sparkling ruby.
Look into the freshness it holds.
Ask the inner secret
From the drunken wise man.
For it is denied those
Who make much of show.
None seeks the truth
As God would have us know it.
So do away with your trap,
It will only be a plaything in the wind.
When at the feast, forsake greed.
Take but one or two cups, then go.
What is left of Adam's joys in paradise?
Happiness is like water seeping through mud.
Seek it now.
Oh Master, look to this, thy servant.
He deserves some reward.
Did he not labor honestly at the threshold?
Hafiz is a follower of the cup, the wine.
Oh holy wind, go,
Give this message to the master of the chalice,
That I wait upon him.
The sadness of the time -
Let those who mourn
Cover it with dust.
Guardian of the chalice, awake.
Do your duty - serve the wine.
I pull my tattered robe about me.
But when you place a carafe of wine in my palm,
I am wrapped in muted colors of dancing light.
Slander me as you will
In the circle of the learned.
To me, it matters not.
It is the time of pride.
Hand me the bowl of wine.
And so is there dust on my head
Leading to no good end.
The burning smoke from my sighs
Scorches those who are still sad and unripe.
I see none who are close
To the secrets sounding in my heart.
The wine awakens memories,
Robbing my heart of peace.
Who would gaze for long at scrubs,
Once he has seen the silver yew?
Endure, Hafiz, these days and nights.
One day you shall savor the fruits of your desire.
Wondrous is that time of youth
Spent in blossoming flower fields,
When the scent of the rose awakens
The music slumbering in lovers' hearts.
Oh holy wind, should you chance upon the young life
Hidden in the grassy meadows,
Bring to us the songs of the flowers
And the fresh herbs.
When the youthful face of the servant of God
Glows with such beauty,
I could sweep the floor of his master
With my eyelashes.
Fretting like an old woman I am lost -
With a wave of the polo stick,
He drives the moon across the heavens,
And the field fills with the scent of the sandalwood.
This man - who is he, but your real self?
[ ... ]
[ ... ]
We [devout ones] all turn toward Mecca,
But the elixir is poured forth
At the inn where the wise one goes.
Within the fire worshipper's tavern
We too shall lodge -
It is our destiny.
If the head knew how the heart felt
As it was trapped by those dark tresses
It would go mad with longing.
A glance from that radiant face,
And I know the meaning of God's grace.
Now I see nothing but beauty.
Is there a night when your heart can withstand
The fiery rain of my desire?
You know the state of those
Who sighs are like arrows.
Let the time, of the shedding
Of our soul's blood, pass.
The golden crescent of the moon scudding across the skies,
The great oceans of the world,
And what they reflect -
All, all shall one day, drown in bliss.
The light of the moon is shamed
By the beauty of your face.
And here I am, half in, half out of my body -
Lost, lost in the longing for union.
My luck drowses, and like the waters
Of a cold spring
The image of your face awakens me.
May the holy wind grace us
With powdered scents from your garden.
Like the revels of Jamsheed,
Let life be long, let it be fruitful.
And though today's chalice be empty,
Our time will come.
[ ... ]
How much longer? When will it happen?
The union - between the peace in my soul
And your hair streaming through the heavens.
Many are those who are empty of gratitude.
Their heads should be put to proper use.
May they frolic - rolling across the playing fields
Though distant from the abode of love,
Our wills slip the bonds of banishment,
And we becomes subjects of the Emperor of Light,
As we discover him, in our hearts.
From The Diwan
of Hafiz Shirazi
|Rendered into English by Richard LeGallienne (1903)
from the Wilberforce (1898) and Payne (1901)
translations, Revised by Michael R. Brown
I take no thought of anything
But faces like the moon.
Moon-shaped, moon-lit, moon-mysterious,
Moon-faces glimmering into my heart.
I counsel my heart that it wastes my life -
It does not listen.
Another moon-rise, another glint,
That is all it knows.
So chastise another, Sufi,
I've said it all to my misbehaving heart.
Nothing you can say
Has not already been fought out within me.
I hug the wine jar to my stomach,
Bent half-over; people think me holy,
That it is the weighty Koran I carry!
But no, this load is no weight, it lightens me.
Ah, a liar I am to the world. One day
My robe will go up in flames
And proclaim to the horizon
What a liar wore it.
Don't talk to me of abstinence.
I already have not enough.
I did not pick fruits when ripe they were and I.
I began listening to the nightingale when it was almost dawn.
Wine leaves the pure in heart pure,
For its ruby light leaves no impression.
The pure in heart quaff it
As they quaff the truth it brings.
Sufi, you still talk to me?
Your chastisings do not measure
One-one-hundredth of one cold look
From the eyes of the moon-like ones.
There is a greater fire-worship
Than that through the tavern-owner's doors:
The longing of my heart for one smile
From the one who tamed the wild hawks
Of my body and my soul.