The Alif

Listen: Hafez ghazal

 

I speak frankly and that makes me happy:
I am the slave of love, I am free of both worlds.
I am a bird from heaven’s garden. How do I describe that separation,
my fall into this snare of accidents?

 

I was an angel and highest paradise was my place.
Adam brought me to this monastery in the city of ruin.
The hours’ caress, the pool and shade trees of paradise
were forgotten in the breeze from your alleyway.

 

There is nothing on the tablet of my heart but my love’s tall alif.
What can I do? My master taught me no other letter.
No astrologer knew the constellations of my fate.
O lord, when I was born of mother earth which stars were rising?

 

Ever since I became a slave at the door of love’s tavern
sorrows come to me each moment with congratulations.
The pupil of my eye drains the blood from my heart.
I deserve it. Why did I give my heart to the darling of others?
Wipe the tears from Hafiz’s face with soft curls
or else this endless torrent will uproot me.

 

Translation: Elizabeth Gray, The Green Sea of Heaven, p. 130

Original:
             فاش می‌گویم و از گفته خود دلـشادم
بـنده عشقـم و از هر دو جهان آزادم
طایر گلشن قدسم چه دهـم شرح فراق
کـه در این دامگه حادثه چون افـتادم
مـن ملک بودم و فردوس برین جایم بود
آدم آورد در این دیر خراب آبادم
سایه طوبی و دلجویی حور و لـب حوض
بـه هوای سر کوی تو برفـت از یادم
نیسـت بر لوح دلم جز الف قامت دوست
چـه کـنـم حرف دگر یاد نداد استادم
کوکـب بخـت مرا هیچ منجم نشناخت
یا رب از مادر گیتی به چـه طالـع زادم
تا شدم حلقه به گوش در میخانه عشق
هر دم آید غمی از نو بـه مـبارک بادم
می خورد خون دلم مردمک دیده سزاست
کـه چرا دل به جگرگوشـه مردم دادم
پاک کن چهره حافظ به سر زلف ز اشـک
ور نـه این سیل دمادم بـبرد بـنیادم

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