Like a Candle…

from Figs and Thistles: First Fig

BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

My candle burns at both ends;
   It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
   It gives a lovely light!

 

Source: Poetry (June 1918).

 

 

Hafez

Translation:

In faithfulness to your love, I am famous like the candle
In the street of the rends, I burn all night like the candle
Day and night, sleep slips away, from my grief-stricken eyes
Sick from separation, my red eyes weep like the candle
The mountain of my patience melted like wax in your grief’s hand
Since I began to burn and melt in your love like the candle
My string of patience’s cut by the scissors of your hair
But still, in your love’s fire, I am smiling like the candle
If the horse of my rosy tear had not been so swift
How could my secret shine out everywhere just like the candle?
As ever, my poor desperate heart is occupied with you
Shedding tears of water and of flame just like the candle
Without your world-adorning beauty, my day is like the night
Within your love’s perfection, I am fading like the candle
Honor me with union for one night, o wild one
and with your visit, brighten up my house like the candle
Like the morning, your coming is just a breath away
Show your face, so I can give my soul up like the candle
In exile’s night, send me a promise of union, or else
With this fire, I’ll burn down the whole world like the candle
It’s amazing how your love lit Hafez all on fire
How can I quench my heart’s fire with tears, like the candle?

 

 

Original:

در وفای عشق تو مشهور خوبانم چو شمـع
شب نشین کوی سربازان و رندانم چو شمع
روز و شب خوابم نمیآید به چشم غم پرست
بـس که در بیماری هجر تو گریانم چو شمع
کوه صبرم نرم شد چون موم در دست غمـت
تا در آب و آتش عشقت گدازانم چو شـمـع
رشتـه صـبرم به مقراض غمت ببریده شد
همـچـنان در آتش مهر تو سوزانم چو شمع
گر کـمیت اشـک گلگونم نـبودی گرم رو
کی شدی روشن به گیتی راز پنهانم چو شمع
در میان آب و آتش همچنان سرگرم توسـت
این دل زار نزار اشـک بارانـم چو شـمـع
بی جمال عالم آرای تو روزم چون شب است
با کمال عشق تو در عین نقصانم چو شمـع
سرفرازم کن شبی از وصـل خود ای نازنین
تا مـنور گردد از دیدارت ایوانم چو شـمـع
همـچو صبحم یک نفس باقیست با دیدار تو
چـهره بنما دلبرا تا جان برافشانم چو شمع
در شـب هجران مرا پروانه وصلی فرسـت
ور نه از دردت جهانی را بسوزانم چو شمـع
آتـش مـهر تو را حافظ عجب در سر گرفت

siyavash

Ibn al-Fāriḍ

 

If not for my sighs, these tears would drown me
If not for these tears, my sighs would scorch me

 

ولولا زفيري ٔاغرقتني ٔادمعي
ولولا دموعي ٔاحرقتني زفرتي

Abraham_ready_to_sacrifice_his_son,_Ishmael_(top);_Abraham_cast_into_fire_by_Nimrod_(bottom)

John Donne

 

Hero and Leander

 

Both robb’d of air, we both lie in one ground ;
Both whom one fire had burnt, one water drown’d

 

Rumi

A candle is made to become entirely flame.
In that annihilating moment
it has no shadow.
It is nothing but a tongue of light
describing a refuge.
Look at this
just-finishing candle stub
as someone who is finally safe
from virtue and vice,
the pride and the shame
we claim from those.
(Coleman Barks’ “translation”)

 

There is a candle in the heart of man, waiting to be kindled.
In separation from the Friend, there is a cut waiting to be stitched.
O, you who are ignorant of endurance and the burning fire of love–
Love comes of its own free will, it can’t be learned in any school.

 

THE SHIP SUNK IN LOVE

Should Love’s heart rejoice unless I burn?
For my heart is Love’s dwelling.
If You will burn Your house, burn it, Love!
Who will say, ‘It’s not allowed’?
Burn this house thoroughly!
The lover’s house improves with fire.
From now on I will make burning my aim,
From now on I will make burning my aim,
for I am like the candle: burning only makes me brighter.
Abandon sleep tonight; traverse for one night
the region of the sleepless.
Look upon these lovers who have become distraught
and like moths have died in union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God’s creatures
and see how it is sunk in Love.

Mathnawi VI, 617-623
The Rumi Collection, Edited by Kabir Helminski


O light, from seeing your beauty, my soul became candle-like
Turn my fortune so I can shed myself candle-like
The promise of the morning breeze, of joining Thee day and night
Burning, yellow, shaking, crying and humble, candle-like.
Thy flowing hair, like scissors sheer my soul at its height
In this fire of separation burn me no more, candle-like.
Pearls overflowing from the sea of my eye, fill my bosom in delight
My burning heart sent its flames blazing upward, candle-like.
Solar flares set in the celestial lantern, sooth the sight
Every morn dam my tears and shed no more, candle-like.
Thy face is spring-like, thy fire sorrows fight
How long burn in this solstice of separation, candle-like?
From the memory of thy light, every night flames take flight
If only my heart’s fire would burn my soul candle-like.
How long burn thyself Shams-e Tabrizi, thy love beaming bright?
We know of nothing other than this burning, candle-like.
(trans. by Shahriar Shahriari)

 

Original:

ای منور از جمالت دیده ی جانم چو شمع
از در بختم درآ تا جان بر افشانم چو شمع

از هوای خنده ی صبح وصالت روز و شب
زرد و لرزان و گدازان زار و گریانم چو شمع

زلف چون مقراض بر كش رشته جانم ببر
بیش از این در آتش هجران مسوزانم چو شمع

آستین و دامنم پر در شد از دریای عشق
تا علم زد آتش دل از گریبانم ، چو شمع

آتش خورشید را ، در مشعل سبز فلك
هر سحر از آبگیر دیده ، بنشانم چو شمع

ای رخت نوروز عالم زآتش ، جانسوز شمع
چند سوزی در شب یلدای هجرانم چو شمع

آفتاب از خاطرم ، شعله فروزد هر شبی
آتش دل گر بسوزد ، رشته ی جانم چو شمع

چند سوزی خویشتن را شمس تبریزی ز عشق
ماورای سوختن ، كاری نمیدانم چو شمع

Ana Moura

Translation:

My eyes are two candles
Casting a sad light on my face
Your eyes are two candles
Casting a sad light on my face

Marked by the pains
Of longing and grief

When I hear the ringing of the bells
And the afternoon is coming to an end

I pray, out of longing for you
An “Our Father” for me

But you do not know how to pray
Nor how to ache with longing

Why do you disturb me so
Why do I want you so much?

For my despair you are like
The clouds that fly high

Every day I wait for you
Every day you stand me up

Original:

Os meus olhos são dois círios
Dando luz triste ao meu rosto
Os teus olhos são dois círios
Dando luz triste ao meu rosto
Marcado pelos martírios
Da saudade e do desgosto.

Quando oiço bater trindades
E a tarde já vai no fim

Eu peço às tuas saudades
Um padre nosso por mim.Mas não sabes fazer preces
Não tens saudades nem pranto

Por que é que tu me aborreces
Por que é que eu te quero tanto?

És para meu desespero
Como as nuvens que andam altas

Todos os dias te espero
Todos os dias me faltas.

 From http://lyricstranslate.com/

Maranâus

I am not happiness, but only
The tragic substance that produces it.
In the great darkness, I am a burning flambeau
And I don’t see my own light.

 

Original:

Eu não sou a alegria, mas apenas
A trágica matéria que a produz.
Na grande escuridão, sou facho a arder
E não avisto minha própria luz!

 

(Pascoaes, 1920, p.216)

 

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