Compasses

 

Abu Sa’īd Abu’l Khayr

(10th-11th C)

 Translation:
You and I, my love, are a pair of compasses
though divided in twain, in body we are one
We circle on a point, anon like compasses
at the end we bring our heads together as one.

 

Translation: Reza Ourdoubadian. The Poems of Abu Sa’id Abu’l Kheyr. Ibex, 2010

Original:
جانا من و تو نمونه پرگريم
سر گر چه دو كردهايم يك تن داريم
بر نقطه روانيم كنون خون پرگار
در آخر كار سر بهم باز آريم

 

 

Hafez

(14th-11th C)

Translation:

For years, we pawned our book for wine
The wealth of the tavern was our lesson and prayer

 

See my Master’s grace with us drunks
His eye saw goodness in whatever we did

 

The book of my knowledge, you washed it all away with wine
I saw the heavens  searching for a heart that was wise

 

Seek that beauty from the idols, O knowing heart
Said the one who knew the art of the wandering gaze

 

My heart, like a compass, spun round in all directions
I’m lost in that circle, with foot firmly on the ground

 

From the pain of love, the minstrel improvised sad songs
so sad that bloody tears fell from the eyes of the worldly-wise

 

My heart bloomed with joy, like a flower by the stream
under the shadow of the cypress tree of my beloved

 

My rosy Master, would hear no evil about his blue-robed disciples
otherwise, what stories there would have been!

 

Hafez’s counterfeit heart was not spent
because this trader sees all hidden flaws

 

Original:

            سال‌ها دفتر ما در گرو صهبا بود
رونق میکده از درس و دعای ما بود
             نیکی پیر مغان بین که چو ما بدمستان
هر چه کردیم به چشم کرمش زیبا بود
             دفتر دانش ما جمله بشویید به می
که فلک دیدم و در قصد دل دانا بود
             از بتان آن طلب ار حسن شناسی ای دل
کاین کسی گفت که در علم نظر بینا بود
              دل چو پرگار به هر سو دورانی می‌کرد
و اندر آن دایره سرگشته پابرجا بود
              مطرب از درد محبت عملی می‌پرداخت
که حکیمان جهان را مژه خون پالا بود
              می‌شکفتم ز طرب زان که چو گل بر لب جوی
بر سرم سایه آن سرو سهی بالا بود
              پیر گلرنگ من اندر حق ازرق پوشان
رخصت خبث نداد ار نه حکایت‌ها بود
              قلب اندوده حافظ بر او خرج نشد
کاین معامل به همه عیب نهان بینا بود

 

John Donne
(16th-17th C)
“A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”

 

AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
“Now his breath goes,” and some say, “No.”

So let us melt, and make no noise,                                       5
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;                              10
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, ’cause it doth remove                                     15
The thing which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.                           20

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so                                          25
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’ other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,                                30
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th’ other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,                                    35
And makes me end where I begun.


Source:
Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 51-52.

 

Camarón and Persian Poetry- “Nothing is Eternal” and “The Cicada”

 

Sarmad

The universe
is a kaleidoscope:
now hopelessness, now hope
now spring, now fall.
Forget its ups and downs:
do not vex yourself:
The remedy for pain
is the pain.

 

Translation by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Nasrollah Pourjavady

 

 

Translation:

Punishment replaces punishment
and one pain removes another
a nail takes out another nail
and one love replaces another

Nothing, Nothing,  is forever

It’s a castle of pain,
with towers of suffering
that you yourself built
when you said “I’m sorry…”

Nothing, Nothing, is forever

and gives it you no pain!
I only feel more the wounds
that I have in my heart

Nothing, Nothing,  is forever

O moon that shines on the seas, the dark seas
Aren’t you tired moon?
Turning to the same world?
O moon, stay with me and don’t go!
Because they say you sometimes delay the dawn, the dawn
The moon no longer wears his black silk veil
Looks down no longer in his blue mirror
The sun broke the moon’s heart
and he follows from afar, still gazing

I think of that afternoon,
when I wanted to kill,
Avenge myself for my cowardice!
Why not kill myself, if I were already dead in my life…?

Nothing, Nothing, is forever

Iron will never be for my body
ay moon when I see you,
it’s a silence in a thousand pieces
ay when I die of sighs
I would like to hold you in my hands
and wrap you in my cloak
until the new day has arrived,
ay and never stop loving you!

O moon that shines on the sea, the dark seas
Aren’t you tired moon?
Turning to the same world?
O moon, stay with me and don’t go!
Because they say you sometimes delay the dawn, the dawn
The moon no longer wears his black silk veil
No longer look down in his blue mirror
The sun broke the moon’s heart
and he follows from afar, still gazing

Original:

Quita una pena,otra pena
y un dolor,otro dolor
un clavo saca otro clavo
y un amor quita otro amor

NA,NA,NA ES ETERNO!

es un castillo de pena,
con torres de sufrimiento
tu misma los fabricaste
cuando dijiste lo siento

NA,NA,NA ES ETERNO!

y a ti no te da dolor!
no me apretes mas las llagas
que tengo en mi corazonç

NA,NA,NA ES ETERNO!

Luna q brillas los mares, los mares oscuros
ay luna tu no estas cansá
de girar al mismo mundo?
ay luna kedate conmigo y aun not e vayas!
pq dicen q aveces se tarda el alba,se tarda el alba
ya no viste la luna su velo de seda negro
ya no baja a mirarse en su azul espejo
el sol le dio a la luna un desengaño
se siguen de lejos,se siguen mirando

Yo pienso en aquella tarde,
cuando me quise matar,
me avergonze de mi cobardia!
pa q matarme?si yo staba muerto en mi via

NA,NA,NA ES ETERNO!

mi cuerpo hierro para nunca
ay luna cuando te miro
es un silencio en mil pedazos
ay cuando muerto de suspiro
me gustaria con mis manos abrazarte
y con mi manto cobijarte
q llegara el nuevo dia,
ay no dejar de amarte!

Luna que brillas los mares,los mares oscuros
ay luna tu no estas cansá
de girar al mismo mundo?
ay luna kedate conmigo y aun not e vayas!
pq dicen q aveces se tarda el alba,se tarda el alba
ya no viste la luna su velo de seda negro
ya no baja a mirarse en su azul espejo
el sol le dio a la luna un desengaño
se siguen de lejos,se siguen mirando

Hafez

 

 

Translation:

WHAT is wrought in the forge of the living and life–
All things are nought! Ho! fill me the bowl,
For nought is the gear of the world and the strife!
One passion has quickened the heart and the soul,
The Beloved’s presence alone they have sought–
Love at least exists; yet if Love were not,
Heart and soul would sink to the common lot–
All things are nought!

Like an empty cup is the fate of each,
That each must fill from Life’s mighty flood;
Nought thy toil, though to Paradise gate thou reach,
If Another has filled up thy cup with blood;
Neither shade from the sweet-fruited trees could be bought
By thy praying-oh Cypress of Truth, dost not see
That Sidreh and Tuba were nought, and to thee
All then were nought!

The span of thy life is as five little days,
Brief hours and swift in this halting-place;
Rest softly, ah rest! while the Shadow delays,
For Time’s self is nought and the dial’s face.
On the lip of Oblivion we linger, and short
Is the way from the Lip to the Mouth where we pass
While the moment is thine, fill, oh Saki, the glass
Ere all is nought!

Consider the rose that breaks into flower,
Neither repines though she fade and die–
The powers of the world endure for an hour,
But nought shall remain of their majesty.
Be not too sure of your crown, you who thought
That virtue was easy and recompense yours;
From the monastery to the wine-tavern doors
The way is nought

What though I, too, have tasted the salt of my tears,
Though I, too, have burnt in the fires of grief,
Shall I cry aloud to unheeding ears?
Mourn and be silent! nought brings relief.
Thou, Hafiz, art praised for the songs thou hast wrought,
But bearing a stained or an honoured name,
The lovers of wine shall make light of thy fame–
All things are nought!

Translation: Gertrude Bell

 

Original:

حاصل کارگه کون و مکان این همه نیست
                         باده پیش آر که اسباب جهان این همه نیست
از دل و جان شرف صحبت جانان غرض است
                  غرض این است وگرنه دل و جان این همه نیست
منت سدره و طوبی ز پی سایه مکش
                که چو خوش بنگری ای سرو روان این همه نیست
دولت آن است که بی خون دل آید به کنار
                     ور نه با سعی و عمل باغ جنان این همه نیست
پنج روزی که در این مرحله مهلت داری
                      خوش بیاسای زمانی که زمان این همه نیست
بر لب بحر فنا منتظریم ای ساقی
                   فرصتی دان که ز لب تا به دهان این همه نیست
زاهد ایمن مشو از بازی غیرت زنهار
                     که ره از صومعه تا دیر مغان این همه نیست
دردمندی من سوخته زار و نزار
                         ظاهرا حاجت تقریر و بیان این همه نیست
نام حافظ رقم نیک پذیرفت ولی
                        پیش رندان رقم سود و زیان این همه نیست

 

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity.
We are pain and what cures pain both.
We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute so we can cry out with loving.
You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
 I am your mirror, and here are the stones.
 -Rumi

 

 

 

 

 

Translation:

What bad luck I have
to have met you
how happy I lived,
your love is my punishment.
I’m leaving this land
I have already renounced my soul
Singing the whole way,
Just to not hear your name,
I’m going to the Moors.

 

O moon that shines on the sea, the dark seas
Aren’t you tired moon?
Turning to the same world?
O moon, stay with me and don’t go!
Because they say you sometimes delay the dawn, the dawn

 

Pozo Blanco Road
had a tavern
with white wine.
Give me another sip,
come down,
I haven’t tasted anything.

 

Then I was born a carnation
pa the days rejoiced with me
and now that I have all three,
what a wonder is mine.
That the garden of my house
will never lack  joy.
Don’t sing cicada
silence your chirping,
For I carry a pain in my soul,
A dagger that strikes me
knowing that when I sing
my luck expires sighing
Under the shade of a tree
and the beat of my guitar
This happy song,
because the road has ended
and do not want to die dreaming,
oh, like the cicada died.

 

Life, life, life is,
is a setback,
life is life.
Oh life is, life is …

Original:

Que mala suerte la mía,
de haber tropezao contigo,
lo a gustito que yo vivía,
tu cariño es mi castigo.

Me voy de estos terrenos
que ya he renunciaíto primita mía
pa toíta la vía,
sólo por no escuchar tú nombre,
que yo me voy a la morería.

Ay, luna que brilla en los mares,
en los mares oscuros,
luna, tú no estás cansá
de girar el mismo mundo,
ay, luna quédate conmigo,

ya no te vayas,
porque dicen que a veces
se tarda el alba.

Camino de Pozo Blanco
había una tabernita
con vino blanco.
Échame otro buchito,
vengo najando,
no ha catao ná.

Después me nació un clavel
pa alegrarme a mí los días,
y ahora que tengo a los tres,
que maravilla la mía.
Que en el jardín de mi casa
nunca falte la alegría.

Ya no cantes cigarra,
apaga tu sonsonete,
que llevo una pena en el alma,
que como un puñal se me mete
sabiendo que cuando canto
suspirando va mi suerte.

Bajo la sombra de un árbol
y al compás de mi guitarra
canto alegre este huapango,
porque la vía se acaba
y no quiero morir soñando,
ay, como muere la cigarra.

Ábreme la puerta
que vengo najando,
y los gachés, primita de mi alma,
sí a mí me ven
me la van buscando.

La vida, la vida, la vida es,
es un contratiempo,
la vida, la vida es.

Ay la vida es, la vida es…

 

Omar Khayyam / Edward Fitzgerald

XII.
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, — and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness —
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

 

XLIV.
And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and ’twas — the Grape!
XLV.
The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemest that in a Trice
Life’s leaden Metal into Gold transmute.

 

XLVIII.
For in and out, above, about, below,
‘Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

XVI.
The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes — or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two — is gone.

 

LVIII.
‘Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

 

LXXXIX.
Ah, Moon of my Delight who know’st no wane,
The Moon of Heav’n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me — in vain!

 

LXXXI.
Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.

 

“Translations” by E. Fitzgerald. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

 

 

Rumi and Hafez: Love’s Language

Rumi:

Translation:

When the tent-pavilion was pitched for Solomon, the birds came before him to pay their respects.  They found him speaking their language and familiar with them; one by one, they sped with eager souls into his presence. All the birds, having ceased from twittering, became more articulate with Solomon than your own brother:

Having the same tongue is kinship and affinity,
With those with whom no intimacy exists, a man is in prison.
There are many Hindus and Turks with the same tongue,
And oh, many a pair of Turks, strangers to each other.
Hence the tongue of intimacy is something else,
It is better to be of one heart than of one tongue.
Without speech, without oath, without register,
A hundred thousand interpreters from the heart arise.

 

from:

Seyyed Hossein Nasr
The Pilgrimage of Life and the Wisdom of Rumi
(Oakton, VA: The Foundation for Traditional Studies, 2007), pp. 96-97

 

Original:

چون سلیمان را سراپرده زدند
جمله مرغانش به خدمت آمدند
هم‌زبان و محرم خود یافتند
پیش او یک یک بجان بشتافتند
جمله مرغان ترک کرده چیک چیک
با سلیمان گشته افصح من اخیک
همزبانی خویشی و پیوندی است
مرد با نامحرمان چون بندی است

 

همزبانی خویشی و پیوندی است
مرد با نامحرمان چون بندی است
ای بسا هندو و ترک همزبان
ای بسا دو ترک چون بیگانگان
پس زبان محرمی خود دیگرست
همدلی از همزبانی بهترست
غیرنطق و غیر ایما و سجل
صد هزاران ترجمان خیزد ز دل
جمله مرغان هر یکی اسرار خود
از هنر وز دانش و از کار خود

 

 

Hafez:

 

Translation:

Morning breeze of joy, by that way that you know
Go to to that one’s street and tell her at that time you know

 

You are the messenger of the mysteries of khalwa, and I am watching your road
Ride humbly, not haughtily, in that way that you know

 

You could say that my dear soul fell from my hand
For God’s sake, give me, from that soul-nourishing ruby (your mouth), that which you know

 

I wrote these few words in such a way that no one understood
you too, read them kindly in that way that you know.

 

The image of your blade (smile) is like water to a thirsty man
you took your prisoner, so slay in that way that you know

 

How can I not fasten my hope to your embroidered belt?
My dear, there is a subtlety in that waist, as you well know

 

Hafez, Turkish and Arabic are one in this work
tell love’s tale in any language that you know

 

Original:

نسیم صبح سعادت بدان نشان که تو دانی                  گذر به کوی فلان کن در آن زمان که تو دانی

تو پیک خلوت رازی و دیده بر سر راهت                 به مردمی نه به فرمان چنان بران که تو دانی

بگو که جان عزیزم ز دست رفت  خدا را                         ز لعل روح‌فزایش ببخش آن که تو دانی

من این حروف نوشتم چنان‌که غیر ندانست               تو هم ز روی کرامت چنان بخوان که تو دانی

خیال تیغ تو با ما حدیث تشنه و آب است                    اسیر خویش گرفتی، بکش چنان که تو دانی

امید در کمر زرکشت چگونه ببندم                              دقیقه‌ ای‌ ست نگارا در آن میان که تو دانی

یکی‌ست ترکی و تازی در این معامله حافظ                  حدیث عشق بیان کن بدان زبان که تو دانی

 

Some more quotes/interpretations from Rumi and Hafez for which I haven’t found the original:

 

Hafez

Look at This Beauty

 

The beauty of this poem is beyond words.
Do you need a guide to experience the heat of the sun?

Blessed is the brush of the painter who paints
Such beautiful pictures for his virgin bride.

Look at this beauty. There is no reason for what you see.
Experience its grace. Even in nature there is nothing so fine.

Either this poem is a miracle, or some sort of magic trick.
Guided either by Gabriel or the Invisible Voice, inside.

No one, not even Hafiz, can describe with words the Great Mystery.
No one knows in which shell the priceless pearl does hide.

– Translation by Thomas Rain Crowe
 From: Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved 100 Poems of Hafiz   – Shambhala 2001

 

Rumi

 

“At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine. Breathe into me. Close the language-door and open the love-window. The moon won’t use the door, only the window.”

 

“Love is that that never sleeps, nor even rests, nor stays for long with those that do. Love is language that cannot be said, or heard.”

 

“Silence is the language of God,
all else is poor translation.”

 

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.”:

 

 

 

 

Hafez-Your beauty, like my love

بگرفت کار حسنت چون عشق من کمالی

 

Translation:

 

Your beauty, like my love, grew into perfection
Be happy, for these two will not decline

 

Neither imagination nor intellect can picture
a reality more beautiful than this image

 

I would have fulfilled my life’s fortune
if ever union with you was my lot

 

When I am with you, one year is a day
When I’m without you, one moment’s a year

 

How can I see the image of your face in sleep my dear,
If my eyes see nothing of sleep but an image?

 

Have mercy on my heart, for the sun of your lovely face
Made my body like the crescent moon

 

Hafez, if you want union with the friend, don’t complain
You have to bear the separation more than this

 

 

 Original:

بگرفت كار حسنت چون عشق من كمالي _____ خوش باش زانكه نبود اين هر دو را  زوالي‏

در وهم مي‏نگنجد كاندر تصور عقل _____ آيد به هيچ معني زين خوبتر مثالي‏

چون من خيال رويت جانا به خواب بينم؟ _____ كز خواب مي‏نبيند چشمم به جز خيالي‏

شد خط عمر حاصل گر زانكه با تو ما را _____ هرگز به عمر روزي روزي شود وصالي‏

آن دم كه با تو باشم يك سال هست روزي _____ وآن دم كه بي‏تو باشم يك لحظه هست سالي‏

رحم آر بر دل من كز مهر روي خوبت _____ شد شخص ناتوانم باريك چون هلالي‏

حافظ مكن شكايت گر وصل دوست خواهي _____ زين بيشتر ببايد بر هجرت احتمالي‏

Hafez and ‘Imru’l Qays

Hafez:

 

My tears are after you, do not despise them.
For how many deep seas form from shallow springs!

 

Original:

دموعي بعدكم لاتحقروها
فكم بحر عميق من سواقي

 

 

 

Hafez:

 

سلام الله ما کر اللیالی

 

Translation:

As long as the nights follow one another
And the two-stringed lutes answer the three

 

God save the Valley of Arak and whoever is there
And the house in Lawa, beyond Ramal

 

I pray for all those who are away from their homelands
repeatedly and constantly

 

I am dying of longing, O
would that I knew when the messenger would speak of union

 

O God, protect him with your eternal grace
at every place that he may be

 

O heart, weep not!  For in the chain of his curl,
distress is all tranquility

 

Your love is my comfort at every moment
Your name, my companion in every state

 

From your down, your beauty increased a hundredfold
May you live a hundred glorious years!

 

May the center of my heart, until the Day of Resurrection,
Empty of your love and longing, never be

 

Well done to that mighty painter
who draws a crescent line around the moon

 

How can I reach union with a King like you,
while I’m a careless and notorious gangster?

 

The one thing necessary is that thou art, If not,
Losing rank and wealth is easy

 

God knows what Hafez desires
And God’s knowledge of my desire is enough for me.

 

 

Original:
        سلام الله ما کر اللیالی
و جاوبت المثانی و المثالی
        علی وادی الاراک و من علیها
و دار باللوی فوق الرمال
           دعاگوی غریبان جهانم
و ادعو بالتواتر و التوالی
          به هر منزل که رو آرد خدا را
نگه دارش به لطف لایزالی
          منال ای دل که در زنجیر زلفش
همه جمعیت است آشفته حالی
          ز خطت صد جمال دیگر افزود
که عمرت باد صد سال جلالی
         تو می‌باید که باشی ور نه سهل است
زیان مایه جاهی و مالی
                أموت صبابة يا ليت شعرى
متى نطق البشير عن الوصال
             بر آن نقاش قدرت آفرین باد
که گرد مه کشد خط هلالی
              فحبک راحتی فی کل حین
و ذکرک مونسی فی کل حال
                سویدای دل من تا قیامت
مباد از شوق و سودای تو خالی
            کجا یابم وصال چون تو شاهی
من بدنام رند لاابالی
             خدا داند که حافظ را غرض چیست
و علم الله حسبی من سؤالی

 

 

‘Imru’l Qays

 

 

Translation:

Stop, oh my friends, let us pause to weep over the remembrance of my beloved.
Here was her abode in Lawa between Dakhool and Howmal.

The traces of her encampment are not wholly obliterated even now.
For when the South wind blows the sand over them, the North wind sweeps it away.

The courtyards and enclosures of the old home have become desolate;
The dung of the wild deer lies there thick as the seeds of pepper.

On the morning of our separation it was as if I stood in the gardens of our tribe,
Amid the acacia-shrubs where my eyes were blinded with tears by the smart from the bursting pods of colocynth.

As I lament thus in the place made desolate, my friends stop their camels;
They cry to me ‘Do not die of grief; bear this sorrow patiently.’

Nay, the cure of my sorrow must come from gushing tears.
Yet, is there any hope that this desolation can bring me solace?

So before ever I met Unaizah, did I mourn for two others;
My fate had been the same with Ummul-Huwairith and her neighbor Ummul-Rahab in Masal.

Fair were they also, diffusing the odor of musk as they moved,
Like the soft zephyr bringing with it the scent of the clove.

Thus the tears flowed down on my breast, remembering days of love;
The tears wetted even my sword-belt, so tender was my love.

Behold how many pleasant days have I spent with fair women;
Especially do I remember the day at the pool of Darat-i-Juljul.

On that day I killed my riding camel for food for the maidens:
How merry was their dividing my camel’s trappings to be carried on their camels.

It is a wonder, a riddle, that the camel being saddled was yet unsaddled!
A wonder also was the slaughterer, so heedless of self in his costly gift!

Then the maidens commenced throwing the camel’s flesh into the kettle;
The fat was woven with the lean like loose fringes of white twisted silk.

On that day I entered the howdah, the camel’s howdah of Unaizah!
And she protested, saying, ‘Woe to you, you will force me to travel on foot.’

She repulsed me, while the howdah was swaying with us;
She said, ‘You are galling my camel, Oh Imru-ul-Quais, so dismount.’

Then I said, ‘Drive him on! Let his reins go loose, while you turn to me.
Think not of the camel and our weight on him. Let us be happy.

‘Many a beautiful woman like you, Oh Unaizah, have I visited at night;
I have won her thought to me, even from her children have I won her.’

There was another day when I walked with her behind the sandhills,
But she put aside my entreaties and swore an oath of virginity.

Oh, Unaizah, gently, put aside some of this coquetry.
If you have, indeed, made up your mind to cut off friendship with me, then do it kindly or gently.

Has anything deceived you about me, that your love is killing me,
And that verily as often as you order my heart, it will do what you order?

And if any one of my habits has caused you annoyance,
Then put away my heart from your heart, and it will be put away.

And your two eyes do not flow with tears, except to strike me with arrows in my broken heart.
Many a fair one, whose tent can not be sought by others, have I enjoyed playing with.

I passed by the sentries on watch near her, and a people desirous of killing me;
If they could conceal my murder, being unable to assail me openly.

I passed by these people at a time, when the Pleiades appeared in the heavens,
As the appearance of the gems in the spaces in the ornamented girdle, set with pearls and gems.

Then she said to me, ‘I swear by God, you have no excuse for your wild life;
I can not expect that your erring habits will ever be removed from your nature.’

I went out with her; she walking, and drawing behind us, over our footmarks,
The skirts of an embroidered woolen garment, to erase the footprints.

Then when we had crossed the enclosure of the tribe,
The middle of the open plain, with its sandy undulations and sandhills, we sought.

I drew the tow side-locks of her head toward me; and she leant toward me;
She was slender of waist, and full in the ankle.

Thin-waisted, white-skinned, slender of body,
Her breast shining polished like a mirror.

In complexion she is like the first egg of the ostrich-white, mixed with yellow.
Pure water, unsullied by the descent of many people in it, has nourished her.

She turns away, and shows her smooth cheek, forbidding with a glancing eye,
Like that of a wild animal, with young, in the desert of Wajrah.

And she shows a neck like the neck of a white deer;
It is neither disproportionate when she raises it, nor unornamented.

And a perfect head of hair which, when loosened, adorns her back
Black, very dark-colored, thick like a date-cluster on a heavily-laden date-tree.

Her curls creep upward to the top of her head;
And the plaits are lost in the twisted hair, and the hair falling loose.

And she meets me with a slender waist, thin as the twisted leathern nose-rein of a camel.
Her form is like the stem of a palm-tree bending over from the weight of its fruit.

In the morning, when she wakes, the particles of musk are lying over her bed.
She sleeps much in the morning; she does not need to gird her waist with a working dress.

She gives with thin fingers, not thick, as if they were the worms of the desert of Zabi,
In the evening she brightens the darkness, as if she were the light-tower of a monk.

Toward one like her, the wise man gazes incessantly, lovingly
She is well proportioned in height between the wearer of a long dress and of a short frock.

The follies of men cease with youth, but my heart does not cease to love you.
Many bitter counselors have warned me of the disaster of your love, but I turned away from them.

Many a night has let down its curtains around me amid deep grief,
It has whelmed me as a wave of the sea to try me with sorrow.

Then I said to the night, as slowly her huge bulk passed over me,
As her breast, her loins, her buttocks weighed on me and then passed afar,

‘Oh long night, dawn will come, but will be no brighter without my love.
You are a wonder, with stars held up as by ropes of hemp to a solid rock.’

At other times, I have filled a leather water-bag of my people and entered the desert,
And trod its empty wastes while the wolf howled like a gambler whose family starves.

I said to the wolf, ‘You gather as little wealth, as little prosperity as I.
What either of us gains he gives away. So do we remain thin.’

Early in the morning, while the birds were still nesting, I mounted my steed.
Well-bred was he, long-bodied, outstripping the wild beasts in speed,

Swift to attack, to flee, to turn, yet firm as a rock swept down by the torrent,
Bay-colored, and so smooth the saddle slips from him, as the rain from a smooth stone,

Thin but full of life, fire boils within him like the snorting of a boiling kettle;
He continues at full gallop when other horses are dragging their feet in the dust for weariness.

A boy would be blown from his back, and even the strong rider loses his garments.
Fast is my steed as a top when a child has spun it well.

He has the flanks of a buck, the legs of an ostrich, and the gallop of a wolf.
From behind, his thick tail hides the space between his thighs, and almost sweeps the ground.

When he stands before the house, his back looks like the huge grinding-stone there.
The blood of many leaders of herds is in him, thick as the juice of henna in combed white hair.

As I rode him we saw a flock of wild sheep, the ewes like maidens in long-trailing robes;
They turned for flight, but already he had passed the leaders before they could scatter.

He outran a bull and a cow and killed them both, and they were made ready for cooking;
Yet he did not even sweat so as to need washing.

We returned at evening, and the eye could scarcely realize his beauty
For, when gazing at one part, the eye was drawn away by the perfection of another part.

He stood all night with his saddle and bridle on him,
He stood all night while I gazed at him admiring, and did not rest in his stable.

But come, my friends, as we stand here mourning, do you see the lightning?
See its glittering, like the flash of two moving hands, amid the thick gathering clouds.

Its glory shines like the lamps of a monk when he has dipped their wicks thick in oil.
I sat down with my companions and watched the lightning and the coming storm.

So wide-spread was the rain that its right end seemed over Quatan,
Yet we could see its left end pouring down on Satar, and beyond that over Yazbul.

So mighty was the storm that it hurled upon their faces the huge kanahbul trees,
The spray of it drove the wild goats down from the hills of Quanan.

In the gardens of Taimaa not a date-tree was left standing,
Nor a building, except those strengthened with heavy stones.

The mountain, at the first downpour of the rain, looked like a giant of our people draped in a striped cloak.
The peak of Mujaimir in the flood and rush of débris looked like a whirling spindle.

The clouds poured forth their gift on the desert of Ghabeet, till it blossomed
As though a Yemani merchant were spreading out all the rich clothes from his trunks,

As though the little birds of the valley of Jiwaa awakened in the morning
And burst forth in song after a morning draught of old, pure, spiced wine.

As though all the wild beasts had been covered with sand and mud, like the onion’s root-bulbs.
They were drowned and lost in the depths of the desert at evening.

 

 

 

Original:

قفا  نبك  من  ذكرى   حبيب   ومنزل   ***   بسقط  اللوى  بين  الدخول  وحومل            

 
  2
فتوضح  فالمقراة  لم  يعف   رسمها   ***   لما   نسجتها   من   جنوب   وشمأل
  3
ترى    بعر    الأرآم    في    عرصاتها   ***   وقيعانها       كأنه       حب       فلفل
  4
كأني   غداة    البين    يوم    تحملوا   ***   لدى  سمرات  الحي   ناقف   حنظل
  5
وقوفا   بها   صحبي   علي   مطيهم   ***   يقولون   لا   تهلك    أسى    وتجمل
  6
وإن   شفائي   عبرة   إن    سفحتها   ***   وهل  عند  رسم  دارس  من   معول
  7
كدينك    من    أم    الحويرث    قبلها   ***   وجارتها      أم      الرباب       بمأسل
  8
ففاضت  دموع  العين   مني   صبابة   ***   على النحر حتى بل دمعي  محملي
  9
ألا   رب    يوم    لك    منهن    صالح   ***   ولا    سيما     يوم     بدارة     جلجل
  10
ويوم    عقرت     للعذارى     مطيتي   ***   فيا   عجبا    من    رحلها    المتحمل
  11
يظل    العذارى     يرتمين     بلحمها   ***   وشحم   كهداب   الدمقس    المفتل
  12
ويوم   دخلت    الخدر    خدر    عنيزة   ***   فقالت   لك   الويلات   إنك    مرجلي
  13
تقول   وقد   مال   الغبيط    بنا    معا   ***   عقرت بعيري  يا  امرأ  القيس  فانزل
  14
فقلت  لها   سيري   وأرخي   زمامه   ***   ولا   تبعديني   من    جناك    المعلل
  15
فمثلك  حبلى  قد   طرقت   ومرضعا   ***   فألهيتها   عن    ذي    تمائم    مغيل
  16
إذا ما  بكى  من  خلفها  انحرفت  له   ***   بشق    وشق    عندنا    لم    يحول
  17
ويوما   على   ظهر   الكثيب   تعذرت   ***   علي    وآلت     حلفة     لم     تحلل
  18
أفاطم   مهلا    بعض    هذا    التدلل   ***   وإن كنت قد أزمعت صرمي فأجملي
  19
وإن  كنت  قد  ساءتك  مني   خليقة   ***   فسلي   ثيابي   من   ثيابك    تنسل
  20
أغرك    مني    أن     حبك     قاتلي   ***   وأنك   مهما   تأمري    القلب    يفعل
  21
وما   ذرفت    عيناك    إلا    لتقدحي   ***   بسهميك  في  أعشار   قلب   مقتل
  22
وبيضة    خدر     لا     يرام     خباؤها   ***   تمتعت   من   لهو   بها   غير   معجل
  23
تجاوزت   أحراسا    وأهوال    معشر   ***   علي   حراص   لو   يشرون   مقتلي
  24
إذا  ما  الثريا  في  السماء   تعرضت   ***   تعرض    أثناء     الوشاح     المفصل
  25
فجئت    وقد    نضت    لنوم     ثيابها   ***   لدى   الستر   إلا   لبسة    المتفضل
  26
فقالت   يمين   الله   ما   لك    حيلة   ***   وما  إن  أرى  عنك   العماية   تنجلي
  27
خرجت   بها    تمشي    تجر    وراءنا   ***   على    أثرينا    ذيل    مرط     مرحل
  28
فلما  أجزنا  ساحة   الحي   وانتحى   ***   بنا  بطن  حقف   ذي   ركام   عقنقل
  29
إذا   التفتت   نحوي    تضوع    ريحها   ***    نسيم   الصبا   جاءت   بريا   القرنفل
  30
إذا   قلت   هاتي    نوليني    تمايلت   ***   علي  هضيم  الكشح  ريا   المخلخل
  31
مهفهفة     بيضاء      غير      مفاضة   ***   ترائبها       مصقولة        كالسجنجل
  32
كبكر     مقاناة      البياض      بصفرة   ***   غذاها   نمير    الماء    غير    المحلل
  33
تصد   وتبدي   عن    أسيل    وتتقي   ***   بناظرة   من   وحش   وجرة   مطفل
  34
وجيد   كجيد   الرئم   ليس   بفاحش   ***   إذا     هي     نصته     ولا     بمعطل
  35
وفرع  يغشي  المتن   أسود   فاحم   ***   أثيث     كقنو     النخلة      المتعثكل
  36
غدائره    مستشزرات    إلى     العلا   ***   تضل  المدارى  في  مثنى  ومرسل
  37
وكشح    لطيف    كالجديل    مخصر   ***   وساق   كأنبوب    السقي    المذلل
  38
وتعطو   برخص   غير    شثن    كأنه   ***   أساريع  ظبي  أو  مساويك   إسحل
  39
تضيء     الظلام     بالعشاء     كأنها   ***   منارة     ممسى     راهب      متبتل
  40
وتضحي فتيت المسك فوق فراشها   ***   نؤوم الضحى لم تنتطق  عن  تفضل
  41
إلى   مثلها    يرنو    الحليم    صبابة   ***   إذا  ما  اسبكرت  بين  درع   ومجول
  42
تسلت  عمايات  الرجال   عن   الصبا   ***   وليس  صباي  عن   هواها   بمنسل
  43
ألا   رب   خصم   فيك   ألوى   رددته   ***   نصيح   على    تعذاله    غير    مؤتل
  44
وليل  كموج   البحر   أرخى   سدوله   ***   علي     بأنواع      الهموم      ليبتلي
  45
فقلت    له    لما     تمطى     بجوزه   ***   وأردف      أعجازا      وناء       بكلكل
  46
ألا  أيها   الليل   الطويل   ألا   انجلي   ***   بصبح   وما   الإصباح    فيك    بأمثل
  47
فيا   لك    من    ليل    كأن    نجومه   ***    بكل    مغار    الفتل    شدت    بيذبل
  48
كأن   الثريا   علقت    في    مصامها   ***   بأمراس   كتان    إلى    صم    جندل
  49
وقد   أغتدي   والطير   في    وكناتها   ***   بمنجرد      قيد      الأوابد       هيكل
  50
مكر     مفر     مقبل     مدبر      معا   ***   كجلمود صخر حطه السيل  من  عل
  51
كميت  يزل   اللبد   عن   حال   متنه   ***   كما      زلت      الصفواء      بالمتنزل
  52
مسح إذا ما السابحات  على  الونى   ***   أثرن      غبارا      بالكديد       المركل
  53
على  العقب  جياش   كأن   اهتزامه   ***   إذا  جاش  فيه  حميه  غلي   مرجل
  54
يطير   الغلام   الخف   عن    صهواته   ***   ويلوي    بأثواب     العنيف     المثقل
  55
درير      كخذروف      الوليد       أمره   ***   تقلب      كفيه       بخيط       موصل
  56
له    أيطلا    ظبي    وساقا    نعامة   ***   وإرخاء     سرحان     وتقريب     تتفل
  57
كأن  على  الكتفين  منه  إذا  انتحى   ***   مداك   عروس   أو    صرية    حنظل
  58
وبات      عليه      سرجه      ولجامه   ***   وبات   بعيني   قائما    غير    مرسل
  59
فعن     لنا     سرب     كأن     نعاجه   ***   عذارى   دوار   في   الملاء    المذيل
  60
فأدبرن    كالجزع     المفصل     بينه   ***   بجيد   معم   في   العشيرة    مخول
  61
فألحقنا          بالهاديات          ودونه   ***   جواحرها    في    صرة    لم     تزيل
  62
فعادى    عداء    بين    ثور     ونعجة   ***   دراكا   ولم    ينضح    بماء    فيغسل
  63
فظل  طهاة  اللحم  من  بين  منضج   ***   صفيف    شواء    أو    قدير    معجل
  64
ورحنا  وراح   الطرف   ينفض   رأسه   ***   متى  ما   ترق   العين   فيه   تسهل
  65
كأن      دماء       الهاديات       بنحره   ***   عصارة      حناء      بشيب      مرجل
  66
وأنت   إذا   استدبرته    سد    فرجه   ***   بضاف  فويق   الأرض   ليس   بأعزل
  67
أحار    ترى     برقا     كأن     وميضه   ***   كلمع   اليدين    في    حبي    مكلل
  68
يضيء   سناه   أو   مصابيح    راهب   ***   أهان  السليط  في   الذبال   المفتل
  69
قعدت   له    وصحبتي    بين    حامر    ***    وبين     إكام     بعد      ما      متأمل
  70
وأضحى يسح  الماء  عن  كل  فيقة   ***   يكب  على   الأذقان   دوح   الكنهبل
  71
وتيماء   لم   يترك   بها   جذع    نخلة   ***   ولا    أطما     إلا     مشيدا     بجندل
  72
كأن      طمية      المجيمر       غدوة   ***   من   السيل   والغثاء   فلكة    مغزل
  73
كأن    أبانا     في     أفانين     ودقه   ***   كبير    أناس    في     بجاد     مزمل
  74
وألقى    بصحراء     الغبيط     بعاعه   ***   نزول  اليماني  ذي  العياب   المخول
  75
كأن   سباعا    فيه    غرقى    غدية   ***   بأرجائه   القصوى   أنابيش    عنصل
  76
على   قطن   بالشيم   أيمن   صوبه   ***   وأيسره     على     الستار      فيذبل
  77
وألقى   ببسيان   مع    الليل    بركه   ***   فانزل  منه  العصم  من   كل   منزل

Ibn ‘Arabi-Her words bring me to life…

 

 

 

Translation (sung portion in bold):

On the day of parting they did not saddle the full-grown reddish-white camels until they had mounted the peacocks upon them,

Peacocks with murderous glances and sovereign power : thou wouldst fancy that each of them was a Bilqis on her throne of pearls.

When she walks on the glass pavement l thou seest a sun on a celestial sphere in the bosom of Idris.

When she kills with her glances, her speech restores to life, as tho’ she, in giving life thereby, were Jesus.
The smooth surface of her legs is (like) the Torah in brightness, and I follow it and tread in its footsteps as tho’ I were Moses.
She is a bishopess, one of the daughters of Rome, unadorned: thou seest in her a radiant Goodness.
Wild is she, none can tame her; she has gotten in her solitary chamber a mausoleum for remembrance.
She has baffled everyone who is learned in our religion, every student of the Psalms of David, every Jewish doctor, and every Christian priest.
If with a gesture she demands the Gospel, thou wouldst deem us to be priests and patriarchs and deacons.
The day when they departed on the road, I prepared for war the armies of my patience, host after host.

When my soul reached the throat (i.e. when I was at the point of death), I besought that Beauty and that Grace to grant me relief,

And she yielded, may God preserve us from her evil, and may the victorious king repel Iblis !

I exclaimed, when her she-camel set out to depart, “driver of the reddish-white camels, do not drive them away with her!”

translation from R.A. Nicholson’s edition of the Tarjuman al-ashwaq

Original:

ما رحلوا يوم بانوا البزل العيسا — الا وقد حملوا فيها الطواويسا
من كل فاتكة الالحاظ مالكــــــــة — تخالها فوق عرش الدر بلقيسا
اذا تمشت على صرح الزجاج ترى— شمسا على فلك في حجر ادريسا
تُحيي إذا قَتَـلت باللحـظِ , مَنــطِقَها
كأنها عندما تُحيي بهِ عِيسَــــــــى
تَوراتُها لَوحُ ســاقيها ســناً , وأنا

أتلو و أدرُسُها كأنّني مُوســــــــى

أُسْـقُفَة ٌ من بنــاتِ الرّومِ عاطِـلة ٌ
تَرى عليها من الأنوار ناموسَـــــــا
وحشـيّة ٌ ما بِها أُنْسٌ قد اتَّخَــذَتْ
في بيتِ خَلوتِها للذّكر نَاوُوســـــــــا
قـد أعـجَـزَتْ كـلّ عـلاّمٍ بِمـِلـّتـِنَا
وداوُديّاً , و حبراً ثمَّ قِســـّيســــــــا
إن أوْمأتْ تطلبُ الإنجيلَ تحسبُهَا
أقِسّة ً , أوْ بطاريقاً شمامِيســــــــــا

 

 

Rumi-I am the hoopoe…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Translation:

Show your face, for the orchard and rosegarden are my desire;
open your lips, for abundant sugar is my desire.
Sun of beauty, come forth one moment out of the cloud, for
that glittering, glowing countenance is my desire.
Out of your air I heard the sound of the falcon-drum; I
returned, for the sultan’s forearm is my desire.
You said capriciously, “Trouble me no more; be gone!” That
saying of yours, “Trouble me no more,” is my desire.
And your repulse, “Be gone, the king is not at home,” and
those mighty airs and brusqueness of the doorkeeper, are my desire.
In the hand of every one who exists there are filings of beauty;
that quarry of elegance and that mine are my desire.
This bread and water of heavens wheel are like a treacherous
torrent; I am a fish, a leviathan, Oman* is my desire.
Like Jacob I am crying alas, alas*; the fair visage of Joseph of
Canaan is my desire.
By God, without you the city is a prison for me; I wander
abroad, mountain and desert are my desire.
My heart is weary of these weak-spirited fellow-travellers; the
Lion of God* and Rustam-i Dastan are my desire.
My soul is sick of Pharaoh and his tyranny; that light of the
countenance of Moses son of Imran is my desire.
I am aweary of these tearful people so full of complaining;
that ranting and roaring of the drunkards is my desire.
I am more eloquent than the nightingale, but because of
vulgar envy a seal is on my tongue, and lamentation is my desire.
Last night the shaikh went all about the city, lamp in hand,
crying, “I am weary of beast and devil, a man is my desire.”
They said, “He is not to be found, we too have searched.” He
answered, “He who is not to be found is my desire.”
Though I am penniless, I will not accept a small carnelian, for
that rare, precious carnelian is my desire.
Hidden from every eye, and all things seen are from Him—
that hidden One manifest in works is my desire.
My state has gone beyond every desire and yearning; from
mine and place to the elements is my desire.
My ear heard the tale of faith and became drunk; where is the
portion of sight? The form of faith is my desire.
In one hand the winecup, in the other the Beloved’s curl—to
dance so in the midst of the arena is my desire.”
That guitar says, “I am dead of expectation; the hand and
bosom and pick of Uthman* are my desire.”
I am at once Love’s guitar, and Love is my guitar-player;
those favours of the strumming of the All-merciful are my desire.
Cunning minstrel, number the rest of this ode after this fashion,
for it is after this fashion I desire.
Show your face from the east, Sun of the Pride of Tabriz; I am
the hoopoe, the presence of Solomon is my desire.

 

 

* Oman, the southern part of the Persian Gulf, symbolizes the
Divine Ocean.
* “Like Jacob, etc.” — Koran 12:84
* The “Lion of God” was Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and fourth caliph.
Rustam was the famous Iranian champion.
* Uthman: Sharaf al-Din-i Qavval the minstrel, see Aflaki 222, etc.

 

modified from the translation by A.J. Arberry
Mystical Poems of Rumi, 1
University of Chicago Press, March 1974

Original:

بنمای رخ که باغ و گلستانم آرزوست
بگشای لب که قند فراوانم آرزوست
ای آفتاب حسن برون آ دمی ز ابر
کان چهره مشعشع تابانم آرزوست
بشنیدم از هوای تو آواز طبل باز
باز آمدم که ساعد سلطانم آرزوست
گفتی ز ناز بیش مرنجان مرا برو
آن گفتنت که بیش مرنجانم آرزوست
وان دفع گفتنت که برو شه به خانه نیست
وان ناز و باز و تندی دربانم آرزوست
در دست هر کی هست ز خوبی قراضههاست
آن معدن ملاحت و آن کانم آرزوست
این نان و آب چرخ چو سیلست بیوفا
من ماهیم نهنگم عمانم آرزوست
یعقوب وار وااسفاها همیزنم
دیدار خوب یوسف کنعانم آرزوست
والله که شهر بیتو مرا حبس میشود
آوارگی و کوه و بیابانم آرزوست
زین همرهان سست عناصر دلم گرفت
شیر خدا و رستم دستانم آرزوست
جانم ملول گشت ز فرعون و ظلم او
آن نور روی موسی عمرانم آرزوست
زین خلق پرشکایت گریان شدم ملول
آنهای هوی و نعره مستانم آرزوست
گویاترم ز بلبل اما ز رشک عام
مهرست بر دهانم و افغانم آرزوست
دی شیخ با چراغ همیگشت گرد شهر
کز دیو و دد ملولم و انسانم آرزوست
گفتند یافت مینشود جستهایم ما
گفت آنک یافت مینشود آنم آرزوست
هر چند مفلسم نپذیرم عقیق خرد
کان عقیق نادر ارزانم آرزوست
پنهان ز دیدهها و همه دیدهها از اوست
آن آشکار صنعت پنهانم آرزوست
خود کار من گذشت ز هر آرزو و آز
از کان و از مکان پی ارکانم آرزوست
گوشم شنید قصه ایمان و مست شد
کو قسم چشم صورت ایمانم آرزوست
یک دست جام باده و یک دست جعد یار
رقصی چنین میانه میدانم آرزوست
میگوید آن رباب که مردم ز انتظار
دست و کنار و زخمه عثمانم آرزوست
من هم رباب عشقم و عشقم ربابیست
وان لطفهای زخمه رحمانم آرزوست
باقی این غزل را ای مطرب ظریف
زین سان همیشمار که زین سانم آرزوست
بنمای شمس مفخر تبریز رو ز شرق
من هدهدم حضور سلیمانم آرزوست