Fragments of Love


illuminmargins

Some famous and beautiful fragments (single verses) of Arabic Love poetry, often cited by Sufis.

 

yazdlookthroughpattern

 

Translation:

If not for You, we would not know Love,
If not for Love, we would not know You.

 

Original:

لو لاكم ما عرفنا الهوى         ولو لا الهوى ما عرفناكم

 

iranpattern

 

Translation:
The beauty of every handsome man, and that of each lovely woman
is but what they have on loan from Her Beauty

 

Original:
 فكلّ مليح حسنه من جمالها        معار له بل حسن كلّ مليحة

 

yellowbluetiles

Translation:

The sun of your beauty rises from all directions,
and everyone with a heart longs for you
O bestower of wondrous beauty on the deserving
In reality, everyone is in love with your beauty

 

Original:

كلّ الجهات لشمس حسنك مشرق          ولكلّ ذي قلب إليك يشوق
يا واهب الحسن البديع لأهله        كلّ لحسنك في الحقيقة يعسق

 

yazdpattern

 

Translation:
My love appeared to me from all directions
and so I witnessed him in every meaning and each form

 

Original:
تجلّى لي المحبوب من كلّ وجهة      فشاهدته في كلّ معنى و صورة

 

golddocumentholder
Translation:
The lover longs to see me
while I long for him more intensely
Souls throb with passion, but fate refuses
so I suffer the moans as they suffer and groan

 

Original:
يحنّ الحبيب إلى رؤيتي                    وإني إليه أشدّ حنينا
وتهفو النفوس و يأبى القضاء        وأشكو الانين ويشكو الانينا

 

falliilumin

Keats and the Sufis

moroccanfountains

these poems by John Keats pair nicely with the following poems by Ibn al-Farid and Hafez

John Keats

“Fill for me a brimming bowl”

 

What wondrous beauty! From this moment I efface from my mind all women.
Terrence, Eunuch, II.3.296
Fill for me a brimming bowl
And in it let me drown my soul:
But put therein some drug, designed
To Banish Women from my mind:
For I want not the stream inspiring
That fills the mind with–fond desiring,
But I want as deep a draught
As e’er from Lethe’s wave was quaff’d;
From my despairing heart to charm
The Image of the fairest form
That e’er my reveling eyes beheld,
That e’er my wandering fancy spell’d.
In vain! away I cannot chace
The melting softness of that face,
The beaminess of those bright eyes,
That breast–earth’s only Paradise.
My sight will never more be blest;
For all I see has lost its zest:
Nor with delight can I explore,
The Classic page, or Muse’s lore.
Had she but known how beat my heart,
And with one smile reliev’d its smart
I should have felt a sweet relief,
I should have felt “the joy of grief.”
Yet as the Tuscan mid the snow
Of Lapland dreams on sweet Arno,
Even so for ever shall she be
The Halo of my Memory.

 

Ibn al-Farid

Translation:

Pass round the remembrance the one I love, even in reproach
for tales about the beloved are my wine
Let my hearing witness the one I love, though she be far
through specters of reproach, not those of dreams!
Her remembrance delights me in every form
even when my reproachers mingle it with strife
It is as if my reproacher brought me news of union
when I had not even hoped for a response to a greeting
My soul is hers, for whose Iove I destroyed my soul
death came to me before the day of my death
For her sake I relish my disgrace and wallow
in rejection and shame when once my rank was high
After my piety, because of her, dissolution
casting off restraint and committing sins are sweet to me
I pray, singing when I recite remembrance of her
and I am enraptured in the mihrab, for she is my Imam
On hajj, when I don the pilgrim’s robes I call her name
and when I break my fast, it is from her that I refrain
My tear ducts flow due to my state and gush
because of what has passed, and my laments convey my inner fire
At night my heart is driven mad with longing,
at dawn my eyes are pouring in their grief
my heart and eyes are stricken, one afflicted by the meaning
of her beauty, the other tempted by her tender poise
My sleep is lost, my morning too—may you be spared!—
ever present is my wakefulness and still my longing grows
My bond and my covenant have never been undone or changed
my love remains my love and passion is my passion
So wasted is my body that its secrets are made plain
and meaning is disclosed therein through my withered bones
Felled by love’s pain, with wounded heart
and wounded eyelids ever bleeding,
Yet true to love, I have become ethereal like air
with breaths of dawn breeze my only company
Sound I am, yet sick; seek me then from the morning breeze
for my withering has decreed that it is my home
So wasted I am that I have vanished from wasting itself
and from cure to my sickness and coolness for my burning thirst
Love has left nothing of me save grief
sorrow, torment and grave illness
No one I know knows my place save love
nor the concealment of my secrets nor my bond’s custody
And of passion, patience and solace
it has left nothing for me but the names
Whoever is free of my love, may he be saved with his soul
in one piece; O soul of mine, go in peace
“Forget her!” my blamer said to me, fanatically
blaming me. I said, “forget your blaming of me!”
If I sought consolation, who would be there to be my guide
when in love, every leader follows my lead?
In my every limb is every yearning for her
and every longing tugs at my reins
As she bends, I imagine every hip she moves
to be a branch in a sand dune topped by the full moon
Mine is every limb filled with every inner core
wherein, when she glances, is embedded every arrow
And if she dissolved my body she would find every atom
every heart inhabited by every human love
In union with her, a year to me is but an instant,
an hour’s separation like a year.
When we met at nightfall, as the twin straight paths
between her dwelling and my tents brought us together,
We moved away a little from the tribe,
avoiding spies and slanderers with their deceitful talk
I spread my cheek upon the ground for her to walk upon
and she said, “Good news, now you may kiss my veil.”
But this my soul did not permit me, jealously
shielding her from me, for higher is my purpose
We passed the night in hope as my wish decreed
and I saw the world my kingdom and time itself my slave.

 

Translation modified from Stefan Sperl’s in Stefan Sperl, C. Shackle, Qasida Poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa, Brill 1996, p. 106-111

 

John Keats

“The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!”

 

The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!
Sweet voice, sweet lips, soft hand, and softer breast,
Warm breath, light whisper, tender semi-tone,
Bright eyes, accomplish’d shape, and lang’rous waist!
Faded the flower and all its budded charms,
Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes,
Faded the shape of beauty from my arms,
Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise –
Vanish’d unseasonably at shut of eve,
When the dusk holiday – or holinight
Of fragrant-curtain’d love begins to weave
The woof of darkness thick, for hid delight,
But, as I’ve read love’s missal through to-day,
He’ll let me sleep, seeing I fast and pray.

 

Hafez

Translation:

The breath of the zephyr will become musk-diffusing
and the old world will grow young again
The Judas-tree will give a cornelian cup to the lily,
and the eye of the narcissus will me anxious for the anemone.
The nightingale after all that pain of separation,
will roaringly dash all the way to the pavilion of the rose
If I went from mosque to tavern, do not carp
the preaching was too long, and time was passing
O heart if you postpone today’s pleasure until tomorrow,
who will guarantee a lasting life for you?
In the month of Sha’ban do not neglect the cup of wine
this sun will be out of sight until the ‘Eid of Ramadan
The rose is precious, appreciate its company
It came into the garden this way, and will go out through that
O minstrel, this is the intimates’ assembly, sing a song
How long should you say: “Passed like this, and like that will pass?”
Hafez came into the realm of existence for your sake
take a step for his farewell, for he will soon pass.

 

translation from Reza Saberi, The Divan of Hafez, p. 196

 

 

Original:

نفس باد صبا مشک فشان خواهد شد
عالم پیر دگرباره جوان خواهد شد
ارغوان جام عقیقی به سمن خواهد داد
چشم نرگس به شقایق نگران خواهد شد
این تطاول که کشید از غم هجران بلبل
تا سراپرده گل نعره زنان خواهد شد
گر ز مسجد به خرابات شدم خرده مگیر
مجلس وعظ دراز است و زمان خواهد شد
ای دل ار عشرت امروز به فردا فکنی
مایه نقد بقا را که ضمان خواهد شد
ماه شعبان منه از دست قدح کاین خورشید
از نظر تا شب عید رمضان خواهد شد
گل عزیز است غنیمت شمریدش صحبت
که به باغ آمد از این راه و از آن خواهد شد
مطربا مجلس انس است غزل خوان و سرود
چند گویی که چنین رفت و چنان خواهد شد
حافظ از بهر تو آمد سوی اقلیم وجود
قدمی نه به وداعش که روان خواهد شد

 

 

 

Translation:

I don’t see any companionship. What happened to the companions?
when did friendships end? What happened to the friends?
the water of life darkened. Where is the auspicious Khezr?
The rose lost colour. What happened to the spring wind?
None says that a friend has the right of friendship.
what happened to the grateful ones and the companions?
This was the city of friends and the site of kind people
when did kindness end? What happened to the city of friends?
Years past and no ruby came out of the mine of generosity
what happened to the work of rain, the sun, and the wind?
The polo-ball of success and liberality is cast into the field.
None enters the arena. What happened to the horsemen?
A hundred thousand roses blossomed, but no bird sang.
what happened to the nightingales and the starlings?
Venus plays no more happy tunes. Did its lute burn?
no one yearns for drunkenness. What happened to the drinkers?
Silence, Hafez! Divine mysteries are not known to anyone.
whom do you ask, “what happened to the cycle of days?”

 

translation modified from Reza Saberi’s in The Divan of Hafez p. 203

 

Original:

یاری اندر کس نمی‌بینیم یاران را چه شد
دوستی کی آخر آمد دوستداران را چه شد
آب حیوان تیره گون شد خضر فرخ پی کجاست
خون چکید از شاخ گل باد بهاران را چه شد
کس نمی‌گوید که یاری داشت حق دوستی
حق شناسان را چه حال افتاد یاران را چه شد
لعلی از کان مروت برنیامد سال‌هاست
تابش خورشید و سعی باد و باران را چه شد
شهر یاران بود و خاک مهربانان این دیار
مهربانی کی سر آمد شهریاران را چه شد
گوی توفیق و کرامت در میان افکنده‌اند
کس به میدان در نمی‌آید سواران را چه شد
صد هزاران گل شکفت و بانگ مرغی برنخاست
عندلیبان را چه پیش آمد هزاران را چه شد
زهره سازی خوش نمی‌سازد مگر عودش بسوخت
کس ندارد ذوق مستی میگساران را چه شد
حافظ اسرار الهی کس نمی‌داند خموش
از که می‌پرسی که دور روزگاران را چه شد

 

yariandarkesi

 

Pass round love’s remembrance

Inside-view-of-the-Dome-of-the-Rock

So good it deserves its own post…

 

Translation:
Pass round the remembrance the one I love, even in reproach
for tales about the beloved are my wine
Let my hearing witness the one I love, though she be far
through specters of reproach, not those of dreams!
Her remembrance delights me in every form
even when my reproachers mingle it with strife
It is as if my reproacher brought me news of union
when I had not even hoped for a response to a greeting
My soul is hers, for whose Iove I destroyed my soul
death came to me before the day of my death
For her sake I relish my disgrace and wallow
in rejection and shame when once my rank was high
After my piety, because of her, dissolution
casting off restraint and committing sins are sweet to me
I pray, singing when I recite remembrance of her
and I am enraptured in the mihrab, for she is my Imam
On hajj, when I don the pilgrim’s robes I call her name
and when I break my fast, it is from her that I refrain
My tear ducts flow due to my state and gush
because of what has passed, and my laments convey my inner fire
At night my heart is driven mad with longing,
at dawn my eyes are pouring in their grief
my heart and eyes are stricken, one afflicted by the meaning
of her beauty, the other tempted by her tender poise
My sleep is lost, my morning too—may you be spared!—
ever present is my wakefulness and still my longing grows
My bond and my covenant have never been undone or changed
my love remains my love and passion is my passion
So wasted is my body that its secrets are made plain
and meaning is disclosed therein through my withered bones
Felled by love’s pain, with wounded heart
and wounded eyelids ever bleeding,
Yet true to love, I have become ethereal like air
with breaths of dawn breeze my only company
Sound I am, yet sick; seek me then from the morning breeze
for my withering has decreed that it is my home
So wasted I am that I have vanished from wasting itself
and from cure to my sickness and coolness for my burning thirst
Love has left nothing of me save grief
sorrow, torment and grave illness
No one I know knows my place save love
nor the concealment of my secrets nor my bond’s custody
And of passion, patience and solace
it has left nothing for me but the names
Whoever is free of my love, may he be saved with his soul
in one piece; O soul of mine, go in peace
“Forget her!” my blamer said to me, fanatically
blaming me. I said, “forget your blaming of me!”
If I sought consolation, who would be there to be my guide
when in love, every leader follows my lead?
In my every limb is every yearning for her
and every longing tugs at my reins
As she bends, I imagine every hip she moves
to be a branch in a sand dune topped by the full moon
Mine is every limb filled with every inner core
wherein, when she glances, is embedded every arrow
And if she dissolved my body she would find every atom
every heart inhabited by every human love
In union with her, a year to me is but an instant,
an hour’s separation like a year.
When we met at nightfall, as the twin straight paths
between her dwelling and my tents brought us together,
We moved away a little from the tribe,
avoiding spies and slanderers with their deceitful talk
I spread my cheek upon the ground for her to walk upon
and she said, “Good news, now you may kiss my veil.”
But this my soul did not permit me, jealously
shielding her from me, for higher is my purpose
We passed the night in hope as my wish decreed
and I saw the world my kingdom and time itself my slave.

 

Translation modified from Stefan Sperl’s in Stefan Sperl, C. Shackle, Qasida Poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa, Brill 1996, p. 106-111

 

Original:

أدِرْ ذِكْرَ مَنْ أهْوَى ، ولوْ بمَلامِ
فإنَّ أحاديثَ الحبيبِ مُدامي

لِيَشْهَدَ سَمْعي مَنْ أحبُّ ، وإنْ نأى
بطَيفِ مَلامٍ ، لا بطَيفِ مَنامِ

فلي ذِكْرُها يَحلو على كلِّ صيغَةٍ
وإنْ مَزَجُوهُ عُذَّلي بخِصامِ

كأنَّ عَذولي ، بالوِصالِ ، مُبَشِّري
وإنْ كُنتُ لمْ أطْمَعْ بِرَدِّ سَلامِ

بِرُوحيَ مَنْ أتْلَفْتُ رُوحي بحُبِّها
فَحانَ حِمامي ، قَبْلَ يومِ حِمامي

ومنْ أجلها طابَ افتضاحي ، ولذَّ لي اطِّرا
حي ، وذلِّي ، بعدَ عزِّ مَقامي

وفيها حلا لي ، بَعدَ نُسْكي ، تهتُّكي
وخَلْعُ عِذاري ، وارْتِكابُ أثامي

أُصَلِّي ، فأشدو ، حينَ أتلو ، بذِكرِها
وأطْرَبُ في المِحرابِ ، وهيَ إمامي

وبالحَجِّ ، إنْ أحرَمتُ ، لَبّيتُ باسْمها
وعنها أرى الإمساكَ فِطْرَ صِيامي

وشأني ، بشأني ، مُعْرِبٌ ، وبما جرى
جَرَى ، وانتِحابي مُعْرِبٌ بهَيامي

أروحُ بقلبٍ ، بالصَّبابَةِ ، هائِمٍ
وأغْدُو بطَرْفٍ ، بالكآبَةِ ، هامِ

فقلبي وطرفي : ذا بمَعنى جَمالِها
مُعَنًّى ، وذا مُغْرًى بِلِينِ قَوَامِ

ونَوْميَ مَفقُودٌ ، وصُبحي ، لكَ البقا
وسُهديَ مَوجودٌ ، وشَوْقيَ نامِ

وعَقدي وعَهدي : لمْ يُحَلَّ ولمْ يَحُلْ
ووَجْديَ وجْدي ، والغَرامُ غَرامي

يشِفُّ عنِ الأسرارِ جِسْمي مِنَ الضَّنى
فيَغدوا بها ، معنًى ، نُحولُ عِظامي

طَريحُ جَوى حبٍّ ، جريحُ جَوانحٍ
قَريحُ جُفُونٍ ، بالدَّوامِ دَوَامي

صريحُ هوىً ، جارَيتُ منْ لُطفيَ الهوا
سُحَيْراً ، فأنْفاسُ النَّسيمِ لِمامي

صَحيحٌ ، عليلٌ ، فاطلُبوني مِنَ الصَّبا
ففيها ، كما شاءَ النُّحولُ ، مُقامي

خَفيتُ ضَنىً ، حتَّى خَفيتُ عَنِ الضَّنى
وعَنْ بُرْءِ أسقامي ، وبَرْدِ أُوامي

ولمْ يُبْقِ مِنِّي الحبُّ غَيْرَ كآبَةٍ
وحُزْنٍ ، وتَبريحٍ ، وفَرْطِ سَقامِ

ولمْ أدرِ منْ يدري مكاني ، سوى الهوَى
وكِتمانَ أسراري ورعىَ ذمامي

فأمَّا غَرامي واصطباري وسلوتي
فلمْ يَبْقَ لي منهنَّ غيرُ أسامي

لِيَنْجُ ، خَلِيٌّ مِنْ هَوايَ ، بِنَفْسِهِ
سَليماً ، ويا نَفس : اذْهبي بسَلامِ

وقالَ ، اسْلُ عنها ، لائمي ، وهوَ مُغرَمٌ
بِلَوْمِيَ فيها ، قلتُ : فاسْلُ مَلامي

بمنْ أهتَدي في الحبِّ لو رُمْتُ سَلوَةً
وبي يقتَدي ، في الحبِّ ، كلُّ إمامِ

وفي كلِّ عُضوٍ فيَّ كلُّ صبابَةٍ
إليها ، وشَوْقٍ جَاذِبٍ بِزِمَامي

تَثَنَّتْ ، فَخِلْنا كلَّ عِطْفٍ تهُزُّهُ
قَضيبَ نقاً ، يَعْلُوهُ بَدْرُ تَمامِ

ولي كلُّ عُضوٍ ، فيهِ كلُّ حشىً بها
إذا ما رَنَتْ ، وَقْعٌ لكلِّ سِهامِ

ولوْ بسطتْ جسْمي رأتْ كلَّ جوهرٍ
بهِ كلُّ قلبٍ ، فيهِ كلُّ غَرامِ

وفي وَصْلِها ، عامٌ لدَيَّ كَلَحْظَةٍ
وساعَةُ هِجْرَانٍ عَلَيَّ كَعَامِ

ولمَّا تَلاقَينا عِشاءً ، وضَمَّنا
سواءُ سبيلَيْ دَارِها وخِيامي

ومِلْنا كذا شيئاً عنِ الحيِّ ، حيثُ لا
رَقيبٌ ، ولا وَاشٍ بِزَوْرِ كَلامِ

فرَشْتُ لها خَدِّي ، وِطاءً ، على الثَّرَى
فقالتْ : لكَ البُشرَى بِلَثمِ لِثامي

فما سَمَحَتْ نَفسي بذلِكَ ، غَيْرَةً
على صَوْنِها مِنِّي لِعزِّ مرامي

وبِتْنا ، كما شاءَ اقتراحي ، على المُنى
أرَى المُلكَ مُلكي والزَّمانَ غُلامي

 

qarawiyyin-mosque-geometric-pattern-1-wood-hakon-soreide