Poems on Hafez’s tomb

Hafez’s tomb was first constructed in 1452, around sixty years after his death by the Timurid governor of Shiraz, and has been renovated and expanded many times since, often in response to divination performed with his Divan. The tomb is adorned with calligraphic renditions of these ghazals of his, which happen to be among my very favorite:

Translation:

Tell me of your arrival, from this life to you I’ll rise!
I am heaven’s bird and from this world’s snare I will rise
For your friendship, if you should want me as a slave
from the rulership of the whole cosmos I will rise
O Lord, may your cloud of guidance rain down upon me
before, as scattered dust, into the air, I rise
Beside my dust, with wine and song, come and take a seat
drawn by your scent, dancing from my tomb, I will arise
Rise up, o sweet idol, and show your stature’s grace
and from this soul and world, with clapping hands I will rise
though I am old, hold me close all night long in your embrace
then in the morning, young and fresh, from your side I will rise
The day I die, with my last breath, let me see your face
So that like Hafez, from this world and place, I will arise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original:
مژده وصل تو کو کز سر جان برخیزم
طایر قدسم و از دام جهان برخیزم
به ولای تو که گر بنده خویشم خوانی
از سر خواجگی کون و مکان برخیزم
یا رب از ابر هدایت برسان بارانی
پیشتر زان که چو گردی ز میان برخیزم
بر سر تربت من با می و مطرب بنشین
تا به بویت ز لحد رقص کنان برخیزم
خیز و بالا بنما ای بت شیرین حرکات
کز سر جان و جهان دست فشان برخیزم
گر چه پیرم تو شبی تنگ در آغوشم کش
تا سحرگه ز کنار تو جوان برخیزم
روز مرگم نفسی مهلت دیدار بده
تا چو حافظ ز سر جان و جهان برخیزم

 

 

This poem was most likely written as a tribute to Hafez by a later Shi’ite author, but it still adorns his tomb (thanks to N.A. for help with the translation):

Translation:

O heart be the servant of the King of the world and be a king yourself
and always remain under the protection of divine grace
From a foreigner, they won’t buy a thousand for a penny
Let from peak to peak be full of the army of hypocrisy
when Ahmad is my intercessor on the day of resurrection
Say to this blasted body of mine, “be sinful”
The one who is not a friend of ‘Ali is veiled
whether he is the ascetic of his time or a Master of the way
O Ali, I am alive today with your friendship/sanctity
tomorrow I will be a witness to the pure spirit of the Imams
The grave of the eighth Imam, the Sultan of religion, Riḍa,
Kiss it from your soul and be a companion of that court
If your hand cannot reach a flower from that branch
be a plant at the foot of their flower-stem
The man of God who seeks piety
it does’t matter whether his cloak is white or black
Hafez, take the path of servanthood to the king
and then be like the men of the way on the path

 

Original:

ای دل غلام شاه جهان باش و شاه باش
 پـیـوسـتـه در حـمـایـت لطـف اله باش
از خارجـی هزار به یک جو نمی خرند
 گو، کوه تا به کـوه منـافق سپـاه بـاش
چون احمدم شـفـیع بود روز رسـتخیز
 گو این تن بـلاکش مـن پـرگنـاه بـاش*
آن را که دوستی علی نیست کافر است
 گـو زاهـد زمانـه و گو شـیخ راه بـاش**
امـروز زنـده ام بـه ولای تـو یا عـلی
 فـردا به روح پـاک امامان گـواه بـاش
قبر امام هشـتم و سـلطان دیـن رضـا
 از جان ببوس و بر در آن بارگاه باش
دستت نمی رسد که بچینی گلی زشاخ
بـاری به پـای گلبن ایشـان گیاه بـاش
مرد خـدا شـنـاس که تـقـوی طلب کند
 خواهی سپید جامه و خواهی سیاه باش
حـافظ طریـق بـنـدگی شـاه پـیـشـه کن
وانگاه در طریق چـو مـردان راه بـاش

 

 

 

Translation:

The garden of eternity is in the retreat of the dervishes
the very essence of grandeur is the service of the dervishes
The treasury of glory that is sealed by the talisman of wonders
opens at the merciful glance of the dervishes
The castle of paradise for which Rezwan is the doorkeeper
is but a view from the lawn of the dervishes
That which by its radiance turns black hearts to gold
is the alchemy that is the company of the dervishes
That before which the sun lays down its crown of glory
is the greatness that comes from the grandeur of the dervishes
The power/state (dawlat) whose decline need never be feared
without exaggeration, is the power/state of the dervishes
The kings are the qiblah to which we direct our needs
and this is because they are the slaves of the dervishes
That which kings seek to achieve in their prayers
is manifested in the mirror of the countenance of the dervishes
From shore to shore is the army of tyranny,
but from beginningless eternity to eternity without end is the time of the dervishes
O rich man, don’t sell us so much vanity
for your health and wealth are in the hands of the will (himmat) of the dervishes
Korah’s treasure, which still is still sinking from heaven’s severity
is an effect of the wrath of the dervishes
Hafez, if you’re seeking the eternal water of life
its spring is the dust of the retreat of the dervishes
I am the slave of the Asaf of my time
because he has the looks of a nobleman and the character of the dervishes.

 

 

Original:

روضه خلد برین خلوت درویشان است
مایه محتشمی خدمت درویشان است
گنج عزلت که طلسمات عجایب دارد
فتح آن در نظر رحمت درویشان است
قصر فردوس که رضوانش به دربانی رفت
منظری از چمن نزهت درویشان است
آن چه زر می‌شود از پرتو آن قلب سیاه
کیمیاییست که در صحبت درویشان است
آن که پیشش بنهد تاج تکبر خورشید
کبریاییست که در حشمت درویشان است
دولتی را که نباشد غم از آسیب زوال
بی تکلف بشنو دولت درویشان است
خسروان قبله حاجات جهانند ولی
سببش بندگی حضرت درویشان است
روی مقصود که شاهان به دعا می‌طلبند
مظهرش آینه طلعت درویشان است
از کران تا به کران لشکر ظلم است ولی
از ازل تا به ابد فرصت درویشان است
ای توانگر مفروش این همه نخوت که تو را
سر و زر در کنف همت درویشان است
گنج قارون که فرو می‌شود از قهر هنوز
خوانده باشی که هم از غیرت درویشان است
حافظ ار آب حیات ازلی می‌خواهی
منبعش خاک در خلوت درویشان است
من غلام نظر آصف عهدم کو را
صورت خواجگی و سیرت درویشان است

 

 

Translation:

The dust of my body is the veil of the face of the beloved of my soul
happy is the moment when from off this face, I cast the veil
Even so, this cage is no good for a sweet singer such as me
I will go to the rose garden of paradise, for I am a bird of that field
It is not clear why I came where I went
my regret and pain is that I have been heedless of my own affair
Oh how I circumambulate in the space of the holy world
but in this flat, compounded abode, I am bound to my body
If the scent of musk issues from my heart’s blood
do not wonder, my friend, for I am the musk gland of Khotan
Do not look at the golden embroidery of my cloak like a candle
for there is burning hidden within this cloak
Come and take Hafez’s existence from him
so that by your being, none will hear from me that I am

 

 

Original:

حجاب چهره جان می‌شود غبار تنم
خوشا دمی که از آن چهره پرده برفکنم
چنین قفس نه سزای چو من خوش الحانیست
روم به گلشن رضوان که مرغ آن چمنم
عیان نشد که چرا آمدم کجا رفتم
دریغ و درد که غافل ز کار خویشتنم
چگونه طوف کنم در فضای عالم قدس
که در سراچه ترکیب تخته بند تنم
اگر ز خون دلم بوی شوق می‌آید
عجب مدار که همدرد نافه ختنم
طراز پیرهن زرکشم مبین چون شمع
که سوزهاست نهانی درون پیرهنم
بیا و هستی حافظ ز پیش او بردار
که با وجود تو کس نشنود ز من که منم

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLBs-iUKGxQ

She walks in beauty like the night…

One of my favorite English poems of all time is reminiscent of Sufi poetry about Layla, whose name means “night,” and who symbolizes the beloved Divine Essence/Essence of the Self.

Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

 

 

Rumi
Translation:
 You look through my two eyes, you are closer to me than myself
Your light shines brighter than the moon
Come into the garden so that the glory of the rose garden is humbled
that it may be more beautiful and blooming than a hundred gardens and rosebeds
so that the cedar will hide its height in shame
that the tongue of the lily will declare you more lily than itself
When you are kind, you are the candle of the soul, soft and pliable as wax
When you are aloof, you are more iron than iron
Do no be wild because you will meet her face to face
her charm will make you as cool and pliant as the earth
Throw away your armor and bare your chest at the moment of battle
there is no better protection nor armor than her.
That’s why in every Sufi retreat, all the openings are are sealed shut
so that from your light the house becomes more illumined

 

 

Orignal:
در دو چشم من نشین ای آن که از من منتری
تا قمر را وانمایم کز قمر روشنتری
اندرآ در باغ تا ناموس گلشن بشکند
ز آنک از صد باغ و گلشن خوشتر و گلشنتری
تا که سرو از شرم قدت قد خود پنهان کند
تا زبان اندرکشد سوسن که تو سوسنتری
وقت لطف ای شمع جان مانند مومی نرم و رام
وقت ناز از آهن پولاد تو آهنتری
چون فلک سرکش مباش ای نازنین کز ناز او
نرم گردی چون زمین گر از فلک توسنتری
زان برون انداخت جوشن حمزه وقت کارزار
کز هزاران حصن و جوشن روح را جوشنتری
زان سبب هر خلوتی سوراخ روزن را ببست
کز برای روشنی تو خانه را روشنتری

 

Ibn al-Farid

 

Translation:
Every part of me kissed her veil
With every mouth whose touch held every kiss
If she dissolved my body, she would see in every atom
each and every heart filled with each and every love

 

Original:

ويلثم مني كلّ جزء لثامها
بكلّ فم فى لثمه كلّ قبلة
فلو بسطت جسمي رأت كلّ جوهر
به كلّ قلب فيه كلّ محبة

 

Translation:

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

 

Original:

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

 

Shushtari

Translation:

You seek Layla, but she reveals herself within you
You think she’s other, but she’s not other than you
And that’s a madness that is apparent to the cult of lovers
So be careful, for otherness is the essence of being cut off
Don’t you see how her beauty envelops you?
She disappears only when you reject part of yourself
“Come close to me,” you say to she who is your All
And when she loves you, she leads you to yourself
Meeting her is bliss beyond description
and none reach her, save those who see meaning without forms
I was so in love with her that I would have vanished in her love
had she not sworn that I only obey her
I concealed her from people with fantasy
After having revealed her, truly, inside my cloak.
I hid her from myself, with the robe of my worlds,
And from my envy, out of the severity of my jealousy
O Dazzling beauty! Should the light of your face
Touch the eyes of a blind man, he would see every atom
She is adorned with each and every charm and grace of beauty
And wherever she appears, she is desired by those who love.

 

Original:

أَتَطلُبُ لَيلى وَهيَ فيكَ تَجَلَّت                  وَتَحسَبُها غَيراً وَغَيرُكَ لَيسَتِ

فَذابلُهُ في مِلَّةِ الحُبِّ ظاهِرٌ                   فَكُن فَطِناً فَالغيرُ عَينُ القَطيعَةِ

أَلَم تَرَها أَلقَت عَلَيكَ جَمالَها               وَلَو لَم تَقُم بِالذاتِ مِنكَ اِضمَحَلَّتِ

تَقولُ لَها اُدنُ وَهيَ كُلَّك ثُمَّ إِن                    حَبَتكَ بِوَصلٍ أَوهَمَتكَ تَدَلَّتِ

عَزيزٌ لِقاها لا يَنالُ وِصالَها                 سِوى مَن يَرى مَعنىً بِغَيرِ هَوِيَّةِ

كَلِفت بِها حَتّى فَنِيتُ بِحُبِّها                       فَلَو أَقسَمَت أَنّيَ إِيّاها لَبَرَّتِ

وَغالَطتُ فيها الناسَ بِالوَهمِ بَعدَما                      تَبَيَّنتها حَقّاً بِداخِلِ بُردَتي

وَغَطَّيتُها عَنّي بِثَوبِ عَوالِمي                 وَعَن حاسِدي فيها لِشِدَّةِ غيرَتي

بَديعَة حُسنٍ أَو بَدا نورُ وَجهِها                 إِلى أَكمَهٍ أَضحى يَرى كُلَّ ذَرَّةِ

تحلّت بأنواع الجمال بأسرها                  فهام بها أهل الهوى حيثُ حلّت

This Love is not a River…

Two of my favorite Fado songs, by two of my favorite singers, Cristina Branco and Carminho:

Translation:
This love is not a river
It has the vastness of the sea
The green dance of the waves
Sobbing in my eyes.
I tried to forget the words
Unspoken between us
But hanging over the silence
On the shores of our voice
I tried to forget your eyes
That do not know how to read mine
But in them is born the daybreak
That dawns on the earth and the heavens
I tried to forget your name
Pluck it from my thoughts
But it returns at every instant
Entwined in the wind.
I tried to see my image
But it was yours that I saw
In my mirror, for I bear
Your flat eyes.
This love is not a river
It has abysses like the sea
And the black mantle of the waves
Shrouds me in blackness
This love is not a river
It has the vastness of the sea
 
Original:
Este amor não é um rio
Tem a vastidão do mar
A dança verde das ondas
Soluça no meu olhar
Tentei esquecer as palavras
Nunca ditas entre nós
Mas pairam sobre o silencio
Nas margens da nossa voz
Tentei esquecer os teus olhos
Que não sabem ler nos meus
Mas neles nasce a alvorada
Que amanhece a terra e os céus
Tentei esquecer o teu nome
Arrancá-lo ao pensamento
Mas regressa a todo o instante
Entrelaçado no vento
Tentei ver a minha imagem
Mas foi a tua que vi
No meu espelho, porque trago
Os olhos rasos de ti
Este amor não é um rio
Tem abismos como o mar
E o manto negro das ondas
Cobre-me de negro o olhar
Este amor não é um rio
Tem a vastidão do mar
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/fado-perdi%C3%A7%C3%A3o-perdition-fado.html

Translation:
I wrote your name on the wind
convinced that I was writing it
on the page of forgetfulness
that in the wind
it would get lost
On the page of forgetfulness
that in the wind it would get lost
And on seeing it go
covered in dust
I considered my heart free
of the bonds of your love
I considered my heart free
of the bonds of your love
Poor me!
I never even thought
that just like me
the wind would fall in love
with that name that is yours
The wind would fall in love
with that name that is yours
As the wind stirs up, so does my pain get stirred up
I want to forget you, believe me
But there is always more wind
I want to forget you
but there is always more wind
Rumi
Translation:
Love is the One who masters all things;
I am mastered totally by Love.
By my passion of love for Love
I have ground sweet as sugar.
O furious Wind, I am only a straw before you;
How could I know where I will be blown next?
Whoever claims to have made a pact with Destiny
Reveals himself a liar and a fool;
What is any of us but a straw in a storm?
How could anyone make a pact with a hurricane?
God is working everywhere his massive Resurrection;
How can we pretend to act on our own?
In the hand of Love I am like a cat in a sack;
Sometimes Love hoists me into the air,
Sometimes Love flings me into the air,
Love swings me round and round His head;
I have no peace, in this world or any other.
The lovers of God have fallen in a furious river;
They have surrendered themselves to Love’s commands.
Like mill wheels they turn, day and night, day and night,
Constantly turning and turning, and crying out.
Original:
If I could see you I would die
and if I died, then I’d see you
I can’t stop, even though I’ve tried
from staring, drowning, in your eyes
Without you all I see are lies
and so my beautiful, that’s why
approaching you, I’m terrified
and yet, still more scared am I
of losing sight of you, my life
In death, I see you with your eyes
awake, you peer out within mine
your love swallowed the whole world up
and burned down my soul and my mind
even my love burned up in yours
it ate up all space and all time
so there’s no inside nor outside
there’s just your side, nothing to find
nothing to say, free, pay no mind
hearing no ears, seeing no eyes
all knots and thoughts simply unwind
as your sword falls, gentler than kind
there’s no one left to realize
Just your dark beauty, shining bright
in each and every lover’s sight
in every tale, in every plight
in all that’s wrong and all that’s right
beneath the depths, above the heights
through all the days, over the nights
you hold my soul closer than tight
and unseen, you perceive the sights
Love’s river floods mine out of sight
Love’s flames burn bodies into light
Love’s kiss turns death back into life
Love conquers all by its sweet might
And so whence my despair or fright?
when all my pains and all delights
are but you, your love and love bites
that bear aloft my soul’s fair kite
and put to shame all that I write

Hafez—If you passs by my grave…

Two of my favorite poems of Hafez; legend is that scholars decided to settle a debate over whether or not Hafez should receive a proper Muslim burial by performing divination with his poetry, the last couplet of the second poem emerged and Hafez was given a proper burial and his shrine has remained a site of pilgrimage ever since.

 

 

Translation:

It’s the fatwa of the Magian Pir and an ancient saying:
Wine is forbidden where the beloved is not the sommelier
I want to tear this cloak of hypocrisy
for unsuitable company is a painful torment for the spirit
Hoping for a sip of wine from the beloved’s lip
For years I have remained firm at the tavern door
Perhaps he has forgotten my old service
Morning breeze, remind him of our ancient pact
If you pass over my grave after a hundred years
My rotten bones will rise from the dust, dancing
The heart-ravisher took my heart with a hundred promises first
Apparently, his kind nature will not forget its pact
Tell the rosebud not to be sad about its knotted state
For it will find help from the breaths of the dawn wind and breeze
O heart, think about finding your remedy at another door
For the lover’s pain cannot be cured by the doctor’s medicines
Get the jewel of ma’rifat that you can take with you
The wealth of gold and silver belongs to others
This snare is hard, without the grace of God
Adam cannot prevail over the accursed Satan
Hafez, if you have no gold or silver, so what? Give thanks!
What better wealth than subtlety of speech and soundness of nature?

 

(translation modified from Reza Saberi’s Divan of Hafez, 426-7)

Original:

فتوی پیر مغان دارم و قولیست قدیم
که حرام است می آن جا که نه یار است ندیم
چاک خواهم زدن این دلق ریایی چه کنم
روح را صحبت ناجنس عذابیست الیم
تا مگر جرعه فشاند لب جانان بر من
سال‌ها شد که منم بر در میخانه مقیم
مگرش خدمت دیرین من از یاد برفت
ای نسیم سحری یاد دهش عهد قدیم
بعد صد سال اگر بر سر خاکم گذری
سر برآرد ز گلم رقص کنان عظم رمیم
دلبر از ما به صد امید ستد اول دل
ظاهرا عهد فرامش نکند خلق کریم
غنچه گو تنگ دل از کار فروبسته مباش
کز دم صبح مدد یابی و انفاس نسیم
فکر بهبود خود ای دل ز دری دیگر کن
درد عاشق نشود به به مداوای حکیم
گوهر معرفت آموز که با خود ببری
که نصیب دگران است نصاب زر و سیم
دام سخت است مگر یار شود لطف خدا
ور نه آدم نبرد صرفه ز شیطان رجیم
حافظ ار سیم و زرت نیست چه شد شاکر باش
چه به از دولت لطف سخن و طبع سلیم

 

 

Translation:

Now that the breeze of paradise blows from the garden
it’s just me and the joyful wine and a houri-natured beloved
Why should the beggar not brag of the sultanate today when
his pavilion is the shade of the cloud and his banquet is the field’s horizon?
The meadow tells the tale of the month of spring
He is not wise, who trades cash for credit of paradise
Do not seek loyalty from the enemy, there will be no light
If the monastery’s candle is lit by the synagogue’s lamp
Mend your soul with wine, for this ruinous world intends
to make bricks from our dust
Do not blame me, a drunk, for the blackness of my record
Who knows what fate has written on his head?
Do not keep your feet away from Hafez’s funeral
for, though immersed in sin, he’s on his way to paradise

 

translation modified from Reza Saberi’s Divan of Hafez)

 

 Original:
کنون که می‌دمد از بوستان نسیم بهشت
من و شراب فرح بخش و یار حورسرشت
گدا چرا نزند لاف سلطنت امروز
که خیمه سایه ابر است و بزمگه لب کشت
چمن حکایت اردیبهشت می‌گوید
نه عاقل است که نسیه خرید و نقد بهشت
به می عمارت دل کن که این جهان خراب
بر آن سر است که از خاک ما بسازد خشت
وفا مجوی ز دشمن که پرتوی ندهد
چو شمع صومعه افروزی از چراغ کنشت
مکن به نامه سیاهی ملامت من مست
که آگه است که تقدیر بر سرش چه نوشت
قدم دریغ مدار از جنازه حافظ
که گر چه غرق گناه است می‌رود به بهشت

Khaqani on Love

Khaqani

Translation:

The bird that sings the song of pain is love
The courier who knows the tongue of the Unseen is love
The existence that calls you to nonexistence is love
And that which redeems you from you is love

 

Original:

مرغی که نوای درد راند عشق است
پيکی که زبان غيب داند عشق است
هستی که به نيستيت خواند عشق است
وآنچ از تو ترا باز رهاند عشق است

Translation by Reza Saberi

 

Rumi

What then is love? The Ocean of Nonexistence.

It is there that the foot of the intellect is broken

Rumi, Mathnawi, ed. Nicholson, III: 4724.

 

Ibn ‘Arabi

Many mistakes may occur in love. The first of them is that people imagine that the object of love is an existent thing… In fact, love’s object remains forever nonexistent, but most lovers are not aware of this, unless they should be knowers of the realities. (II 337.17)

 

Camaron de la Isla

Translation:

I am like the sad bird
that flits from branch to branch
singing his suffering
because he doesn’t know how to cry

Original:

Soy cómo el pájaro triste,
ay que de rama en rama va,
cantando su sufrimiento, cantando su sufrimiento,
porque no sabe llorar.

 

Wherever you put your foot, we are the ground

Rumi:

 

Translation:

Oh beloved we only see you through your love
Wherever you put your foot we are the ground for you
So how can it be that in this way of love
We see the world through you and yet we don’t see you?

Original:

ای دوست به دوستی قرینیم ترا
هرجا که قدم نهی زمینیم ترا
در مذهب عاشقی روا کی باشد
عالم تو ببینیم و نه بینیم ترا

Majnun (Niẓāmī) and John Donne

Niẓami

Translation:

And who am I — so far from you, yet near?
A singing beggar! Layla, do you hear?
Freed from life’s drudgery, my loneliness ,
Sorrow and grief for me spell happiness.
And thirsty in the painstream of delight,
I drown. Child of the sun, I starve at night.
Though parted our two loving souls combine,
For mine is all your own and yours is mine.
Two riddles to the world we represent,
One answer each the other’s deep lament.
But if our parting severs us in two,
One radiant light envelops me and you,
As from another world — though blocked and barred
What there is one, down here is forced apart.
Yet if despairing bodies separate,
Souls freely wander and communicate.
I’ll live forever — Mortal Fear, Decay,
And Death himself have ceased to hold their sway.
Sharing your life in all eternity
I’ll live if only you remain with me.

(Niẓami’s Layla and Majnun, trans. R. Gelpke)

 

John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
   And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say
   The breath goes now, and some say, No:
So let us melt, and make no noise,
   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;
But trepidation of the spheres,
   Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers’ love
   (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
   Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined,
   That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
   Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
   Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
   Like gold to airy thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
   As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
   To move, but doth, if the other do.
And though it in the center sit,
   Yet when the other far doth roam,
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,
   And makes me end where I begun.
Niẓāmī
Fly in love as an arrow towards its target.
Love loosens the knots of being
Love is liberation form the vortex of egotism.
In love, every cup of sorrow which bites into the soul gives it new life
Many a draft bitter as poison has become in love delicious
with love for a saqi, what is there to fear from a bitter draft
However agonizing the experience, if it is for love, it is well.

(Niẓami’s Layla and Majnun, trans. R. Gelpke)

 

One Love

 

 

Ibn al-Fāriḍ

Translation:

As for my way in love, I have no way
If I neglect my love for a day, then I have left my sect
And if the thought of other than you occurs to me
Inadvertantly, I would consider it as my apostasy
You govern my life as you will,
so do what you will with me, for I have ever only desired you….

 

Original:

عن مذهبي في الحب مالي مذهب                وان ملت يوما عنه فارقت ملتي
وان خطرت لي في سواك ارادة             علي خاطري سهوا , قضيت بردتي
لك الحكم في أمري فما شئت            فأصنعي فلم تك الا فيك لا عنك رغبتي

Unknown Authors

Various positions have those who love from (mere) passion
But I have a unique place, in which I dwell alone.

 

Original:

مذاهب شتى للمحبّين في الهوى            و لي مدهب فرد أعيش به وحدي

 

Our expressions our many,
and your beauty is one
And it is to your beauty
that all of them allude

 

Original:

عباراتنا  شتّى و حسنك واحد      و كلّ إلى ذاك الجمال يشير

Rumi

The sect of Love is different from all other religions
 For lovers, their sect and religion is simply God

 

Original:

ملت عشق از همه دین‌ها جداست
 عاشقان را ملت و مذهب خداست

 

Wisdom is bewildered by the religion of love
Although it knows all other religions

 

Original:

خرد نداند و حیران شود ز مذهب عشق
اگر چه واقف باشد ز جمله مذهب‌ها

 

Bob Marley

Lyrics:

One Love! One Heart!
Let’s get together and feel all right.
Hear the children cryin’ (One Love!);
Hear the children cryin’ (One Heart!),
Sayin’: give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Sayin’: let’s get together and feel all right. Wo wo-wo wo-wo!Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love!);
There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart!):
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner,
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?

One Love! What about the one heart? One Heart!
What about – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One Love!);
So shall it be in the end (One Heart!),
All right!
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.
One more thing!

Let’s get together to fight this Holy Armagiddyon (One Love!),
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One Song!).
Have pity on those whose chances grows t’inner;
There ain’t no hiding place from the Father of Creation.

Sayin’: One Love! What about the One Heart? (One Heart!)
What about the – ? Let’s get together and feel all right.
I’m pleadin’ to mankind! (One Love!);
Oh, Lord! (One Heart) Wo-ooh!

Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let’s get together and feel all right.

I looked and all I saw was you…

 

Translation:

If the meaning of your speech is not for me, then I don’t know
For my heart will not be cured and my liver’s fire will not be quenched
I looked and I didn’t see any one I loved but you
If not for you, love would not be sweet for those who love
So when thought unveils you in the retreat of satisfaction
and it disappears, the people say my passions have led me astray
By your life, the lover has not gone astray nor has he erred*
But when they generalized, they made the fatwa miss its mark
If they had seen the meaning of your beauty
just as I saw, with the eye of the heart, they wouldn’t deny the claim
I dropped all shame in your love and
whoever is shameless in love enjoys the pillow talk
I tore the robes of dignity to shreds, exposing myself to you
and so distress becomes sweet in your love
There is no complaint in love even if one’s insides are torn up
and shame on the lovers who complain of your love

 

 

*Paraphrase of Qur’an 53:2

 

 

Original:

إِذا لم يكنْ مَعْنى حديثك لي يُدْرَى             فلا مُهْجْتيِ تُشْفىَ ولا كَبدي تُروَى
نَظرتُ فلم أنْظر سِواكَ أحبُّهُ                  ولَولاكَ ما طَاَب الهَوى لِلَّذي يَهوى
ولَّما اجْتلاَك الفكرُ في خَلوة الرّضا           وغيّبت قال الناس ضَلت بي الاهْوا
لَعمرُك ما ضَلَّ المحبُّ وَما غَوى                ولكَّنهمْ لمَّا عمُوا أخطئوا الفتوى
ولو شَهدوا معنى جمَالِكَ مثْلما              شهدْتُ بعينِ القلبِ ما أنكروا الدَّعوى
خلعت عِذاري في هَواك وَمنْ يكنْ             خليعَ عِذارِ في الهوى سَرَّهُ النجوى
وَمزقتُ أثواب الوقارِ تَهتكا                         عليكَ وطابت في محَبتكَ الْبلوَى
فما في الهْوى شكوىَ ولو مُزِّق الحَشَا         وَعارٌ على العُشاق في حُبِّكَ الشَّكوى

 

 

 

 

Hafiz

The pupil of my eye sees naught but your face
My bewildered heart recalls none but you

مردم دیده ما جز به رخت ناظر نیست
دل سرگشته ما غیر تو را ذاکر نیست

 

In the gangster’s world there is no thought or opinion of self
In this religion, seeing or thinking of yourself is infidelity

 

فکر خود و رای خود در عالم رندی نیست
کفر است در این مذهب خودبینی و خودرایی

 

 

The Music of Hafez

These are two of the most musical ghazals of the most musical of Persian poets, Hafez. The beauty of their melodies and rhythms are only surpassed by the sublimity of their meanings:

 

Translation:

Without the beloved’s beauty, the soul has no interest in the world
He who doesn’t have that, in truth has no soul
I have never seen a trace of that heart-stealer
So either I’m uninformed or she has no trace
Every dewdrop on this is path is a hundred burning seas
Alas, this mystery has no explanation nor description
We cannot miss the station of rest
Halt, O caravan-leader, for this road has no end.
No flavour has life without a good friend
and without a good friend, life has no flavour
The harp’s curved figure is calling you to pleasure
Listen! For the advice of the old has no harm
The tale of Korah’s treasure, which time threw to the wind
Tell it to the rosebud, so that it won’t hide its gold
No one has a slave like Hafez in the whole world
Because, in the whole world, no one has a king like you

 

 

 

Original:

جان بی جمال جانان میل جهان ندارد
هر کس که این ندارد حقا که آن ندارد
با هیچ کس نشانی زان دلستان ندیدم
یا من خبر ندارم یا او نشان ندارد
هر شبنمی در این ره صد بحر آتشین است
دردا که این معما شرح و بیان ندارد
سرمنزل فراغت نتوان ز دست دادن
ای ساروان فروکش کاین ره کران ندارد
چنگ خمیده قامت می‌خواندت به عشرت
بشنو که پند پیران هیچت زیان ندارد
ای دل طریق رندی از محتسب بیاموز
مست است و در حق او کس این گمان ندارد
احوال گنج قارون کایام داد بر باد
در گوش دل فروخوان تا زر نهان ندارد
گر خود رقیب شمع است اسرار از او بپوشان
کان شوخ سربریده بند زبان ندارد
کس در جهان ندارد یک بنده همچو حافظ
زیرا که چون تو شاهی کس در جهان ندارد

 

 

 

 

Translation:

The garden of eternity is in the retreat of the dervishes
the very essence of grandeur is the service of the dervishes
The treasury of glory that is sealed by the talisman of wonders
opens at the merciful glance of the dervishes
The castle of paradise for which Rezwan is the doorkeeper
is but a view from the lawn of the dervishes
That which by its radiance turns black hearts to gold
is the alchemy that is the company of the dervishes
That before which the sun lays down its crown of glory/pride
is the greatness that comes from the grandeur of the dervishes
The power/state (dawlat) whose decline need never be feared
without exaggeration, is the power/state of the dervishes
The kings are the qiblah to which we direct our needs
and this is because they are the slaves of the dervishes
That which kings seek to achieve in their prayers
is manifested in the mirror of the countenance of the dervishes
From shore to shore is the army of tyranny,
but from pre-eternity to post-eternity is the occasion of the dervishes
O rich man, don’t sell us so much vanity
for your health and wealth are in the hands of the will (himmat) of the dervishes
Korah’s treasure, which still is still sinking from heaven’s severity
is an effect of the wrath of the dervishes
Hafez, if you’re seeking the eternal water of life
its spring is the dust of the retreat of the dervishes
I am the slave of the Asaf of my time
because he has the looks of a nobleman and the character of the dervishes.

 

 

Original:

روضه خلد برین خلوت درویشان است
مایه محتشمی خدمت درویشان است
گنج عزت که طلسمات عجایب دارد
فتح آن در نظر رحمت درویشان است
قصر فردوس که رضوانش به دربانی رفت
منظری از چمن نزهت درویشان است
آن چه زر می‌شود از پرتو آن قلب سیاه
کیمیاییست که در صحبت درویشان است
آن که پیشش بنهد تاج تکبر خورشید
کبریاییست که در حشمت درویشان است
دولتی را که نباشد غم از آسیب زوال
بی تکلف بشنو دولت درویشان است
خسروان قبله حاجات جهانند ولی
سببش بندگی حضرت درویشان است
روی مقصود که شاهان به دعا می‌طلبند
مظهرش آینه طلعت درویشان است
از کران تا به کران لشکر ظلم است ولی
از ازل تا به ابد فرصت درویشان است
ای توانگر مفروش این همه نخوت که تو را
سر و زر در کنف همت درویشان است
گنج قارون که فرو می‌شود از قهر هنوز
خوانده باشی که هم از غیرت درویشان است
حافظ ار آب حیات ازلی می‌خواهی
منبعش خاک در خلوت درویشان است
من غلام نظر آصف عهدم کو را
صورت خواجگی و سیرت درویشان است