Night

“The Night” by Henry Vaughan

 There is in God, some say,
A deep but dazzling darkness, as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
             See not all clear.
    O for that night! where I in Him
    Might live invisible and dim!

 

Rumi

Translation:

Truth is the Night of Power,
hidden amid the other nights
so the soul may try each one.
Not all nights are the Night of Power,
yet all nights aren’t empty of it either.

 

Original:

Haqq Shab-e Qadrast dar shab-hâ nehân
tâ konad jân har shabi-râ emtehân
Nah hameh shab-hâ bovad Qadr ay javân
nah hameh shab-hâ bovad khâli az ân

حق شب قدراست در شبها نهان
تا كند جان هر شب را امتهان
نه همه شبها بود قدر اط جوان
نه همه شبها بود خال از ان

 

— Mathnawi II: 2935-2936
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
“Rumi: Daylight”
Threshold Books, 1994

Shabistari

The Rose Garden of Mystery (verses 122-130)

Reason’s light applied to the Essence of Lights
is like the eye of the head looking at the brilliance of the Sun
when the object seen is very close to the eye
The eye is darkened so that it cannot see it
This blackness, if you know it, is the very light of Being
in the land of darkness is the fountain of life
Since the darkness destroys the light of vision
Give up loooking, for this is no place for looking
What connection has dust with the pure world?
Its perception is the inability to perceive perception
What shall I say? since this saying is fine,
“A bright night in the midst of a dark day”
In this place of witnessing, which is the light of manifestation
 I have much to say, but silence is best.

 

Original:

بود نور خرد در ذات انور              به سان چشم سر در چشمه خور
چو مبصر با بصر نزدیک گردد              بصر ز ادراک آن تاریک گردد
سیاهی گر بدانی نور ذات است              به تاریکی درون آب حیات است
سیه جز قابض نور بصر نیست               نظر بگذار کین جای نظر نیست
چه نسبت خاک را با عالم پاک        که ادراک است عجز از درک ادراک
سیه رویی ز ممکن در دو عالم                       جدا هرگز نشد والله اعلم
سواد الوجه فی الدارین درویش                 سواد اعظم آمد بی کم و بیش
چه می‌گویم که هست این نکته باریک              شب روشن میان روز تاریک
در این مشهد که انوار تجلی است           سخن دارم ولی نا گفتن اولی است

 

When I die—Rumi and al-Ghazali

Two of the most beautiful death-bed poems from two great Sufis. I pray to live in such a way that someone will recite these at my burial.

Rumi

Translation:

When my bier moveth on the day of death
Think not my heart is in this world.
Do not weep for me and cry “woe, woe!”
Thou wilt fall in the devil’s snare: that is woe
When thou seest my hearse, cry not, “gone, gone!”
Union and meeting are mine in that hour
If thou commit me to the grave, say not “Farewell, farewell”
For the grave is a curtain hiding the communion of paradise
After beholding descent, consider resurrection
Why should setting be injurious to the sun and moon?
To thee it seems a setting, but ’tis a rising’
Tho’ the vault seems a prison, ’tis the release of a soul
What seed went down into the earth but it grew?
Why this doubt of thine as regards the seed of man?
What bucket was lowered but it came out brimful?
Why should the Joseph of the Spirit complain of the well?
Shut thy mouth on this side, and open it beyond
For in placeless air will by thy triumphal song.

(From R.A. Nicholson, Selected Poems form the Divani Shamsi Tabriz, p. 94-96)

Original:

به روز مرگ چو تابوت من روان باشد
گمان مبر که مرا درد این جهان باشد
برای من مگری و مگو دریغ دریغ
به دوغ دیو درافتی دریغ آن باشد
جنازه‌ام چو ببینی مگو فراق فراق
مرا وصال و ملاقات آن زمان باشد
مرا به گور سپاری مگو وداع وداع
که گور پرده جمعیت جنان باشد
فروشدن چو بدیدی برآمدن بنگر
غروب شمس و قمر را چرا زبان باشد
تو را غروب نماید ولی شروق بود
لحد چو حبس نماید خلاص جان باشد
کدام دانه فرورفت در زمین که نرست
چرا به دانه انسانت این گمان باشد
کدام دلو فرورفت و پر برون نامد
ز چاه یوسف جان را چرا فغان باشد
دهان چو بستی از این سوی آن طرف بگشا
که های هوی تو در جو لامکان باشد

 

al-Ghazali

Translation:

Say unto brethren when they see me dead,
And weep for me, lamenting me in sadness:
“Think ye I am this corpse ye are to bury?
I swear by God, this dead one is not I.
 I in the Spirit am, and this my body
My dwelling was, my garment for a time.
I am a treasure: hidden I was beneath
This talisman of dust, wherein I suffered.
I am a pearl; a shell imprisoned me,
 But leaving it, all trials I have left.
I am a bird, and this was once my cage;
But I have flown, leaving it as a token.
I praise God who hath set me free,
and made For me a dwelling in the heavenly heights.
 Ere now I was a dead man in your midst,
But I have come to life, and doffed my shroud.”

(Translation by Martin Lings)

Original:

 قل لإخوان رأوني ميتا                فبكوني ورثوني حزنا
أتظنون بأني ميتكم                   ليس هذا الميت والله أنا
أنا في الصور وهذا جسدي        كان لباسي وقميصي زمنا
أنا در قد حواني صدف               طرت عنه وبقى مرتهنا
أنا عصفور وهذا قفصي           كان سجني فتركت السجنا
أشكر الله الذي خلصني              وبنا لي في المعالي وطنا
كنت قبل اليوم ميتا بينكم                 فحييت وخلعت الكفنا

 

Rumi—Awake! Enter the Cave!

Translation:

Awake, awake, the time has come, awake!
Without union with him, forsake yourself, forsake!
The heavenly decree has arrived, the healer of lovers has arrived,
If you want him to visit you, become sick, become sick!
Without a trace, without a doubt, he’ll make you rosy-faced
He’ll pluck out the thorn from you hand, become a rosebed, become a rosebed!
Know this breast as a cave, the spiritual retreat of that Friend;
If you’re really the ‘companion of the cave’, then enter the cave, enter the cave!
Once this time has ruined you, laments will be of no avail,
If you want him to restore you, become a restorer, become a restorer!
See the world filled with tumult, see the dominion of the victorious (Manṣūr [al-Ḥallāj])
If you want to become victorious (Manṣūr[al-Ḥallāj), hang on the gallows, hang on the gallows!
As the dawn wind tangles her hair each morning
If you want to savor its scent, become a perfumer ([Farīd al-dīn] ‘Attar), become a perfumer

 

 

Original:

Alternate Version

Translation:

Awake! awake! The night has gone, awake!
Forsake, forsake, your own self, forsake!
In our Egypt a stupid fool is selling a Joseph
Don’t believe me, go to the market and see for yourself!
Without a trace, without a doubt, he’ll make you rosy-faced
He’ll pluck out the thorn from you hand, become a rosebed, become a rosebed!
Know this breast as a cave, the spiritual retreat of that Friend;
If you’re really the ‘companion of the cave’, then enter the cave, enter the cave!
Don’t listen to every scheme and spell, don’t wash blood with blood
Like a glass cup, fall over and shatter, be lowly and debased
In the swing of the polo mallet, be the ball! be the ball!
Because of the arrows in its quiver, drop dead! drop dead!
The heavenly decree has arrived, the healer of lovers has arrived,
If you want him to visit you, become sick, become sick!
Know this breast as a cave, the spiritual retreat of that Friend;
If you’re really the ‘companion of the cave’, then enter the cave, enter the cave!
You’re a fine man, but naive, offering gold to thieves
If you want to recognize the thieves, be an outlaw, be an outlaw!
Hush! Silence the description of the sea and float within its depths
If you want to learn to dive, grow fins! grow fins!

Original:

 بیدار شو بیدار شو هین رفت شب بیدار شو
 بيزارشو بيزارشو وز خويش هم بيزار شو
در مصر ما يك احمقي نك مي فروشد يوسفي
باور نمي داري مرا اينك سوي بازار شو
بي چون ترا بي چون كند روي ترا گلگون كند
 خار از كفت بيرون كند وانگه سوي گلزار شو
مشنو تو هر مكر و فسون خون را چرا شويي به خون
 همچون قدح شو سرنگون وانگاه دردي خوارشو
در گردش چوگان او چون گوي شو چون گوي شو
وز بهر نقل كركسش مردارشو مردارشو
آمد نداي آسمان آمد طبيب عاشقان
 خواهي كه آيد پيش تو بيمارشو بيمارشو
اين سينه را چون غار دان خلوتگه آن يار دان
گر يار غاري هين بيا در غار شو در غار شو
تو مرد نيك ساده اي زر را به دزدان داده اي
خواهي بداني دزد را طرار شو طرار شو
خاموش وصف بحر و در كم گوي در درياي او
 خواهي كه غواصي كني دم دارشو دم دارشو

 

What is this drunkeness?

A current favorite Ghazal of Hafez, a sublime wedding of melody and meanings

Translation:

I known not what this drunkenness is that to us he brought
and who is the Saqi and from where is this wine that he brought?
What tune is this musician playing so skillfully
that in the midst of his song, my friend’s words, he’s brought
You too, grab some wine and take the desert road
For the songbird, sweet-sounding music, has brought
With goodness and joy, let the rose and daffodil arrive
The violet came happily, and purity the jasmine brought
The east wind is Solomon’s hoopoe in bringing us good news
For glad tidings from Sheba’s rose garden it has brought
O heart don’t complain of your state, knotted-up like a bud
for the knot-untying morning breeze, the dawn wind has brought
The cure for our heart’s weakness is the Saqi’s smile
Come—for the healer has arrived, and the remedy he’s brought
I am the disciple of the Magian Pir, don’t worry about me, O Shaykh
For you’ve made the promises, but he’s brought them to pass
I am amazed at that Turkish warrior
who attacked a poor dervish like me!
Heaven will be Hafez’s servant and work obediently
Now that seeking refuge, to your door, he’s brought

 

Original:

چه مستیست ندانم که رو به ما آورد
که بود ساقی و این باده از کجا آورد
چه راه مى زند اين مطرب مقام شناس
كه در ميان غزل قول آشنا آورد
تو نیز باده به چنگ آر و راه صحرا گیر
که مرغ نغمه سرا ساز خوش نوا آورد
رسیدن گل و نسرین به خیر و خوبی باد
بنفشه شاد و کش آمد سمن صفا آورد
صبا به خوش خبری هدهد سلیمان است
که مژده طرب از گلشن سبا آورد
دلا چو غنچه شکایت ز کار بسته مکن
که باد صبح نسیم گره گشا آورد
علاج ضعف دل ما کرشمه ساقیست
برآر سر که طبیب آمد و دوا آورد
مرید پیر مغانم ز من مرنج ای شیخ
چرا که وعده تو کردی و او به جا آورد
به تنگ چشمی آن ترک لشکری نازم
که حمله بر من درویش یک قبا آورد
فلک غلامی حافظ کنون به طوع کند
که التجا به در دولت شما آورد

Thank God the tavern is open

 

One of Hafez’s most musical and delightful ghazals:

Translation:

Thank God the tavern door is finally open
for I’ve pressed my face to its door in need
The wine vats are gushing and roaring drunk
And that wine here is real and not metaphorical
He is all drunkenness, pride, and arrogance
we are all desperation, weakness, and need
The secret I never told the stranger and never will
I’ll tell the friend, for he is secrets’ intimate
The description of the wavy curls of his locks
cannot be made short, for it is a long story
It is the burden of Majnun’s heart and Layla’s curved tress
It is Mahmud’s face and the sole of Ayaz’s foot
Like the hawk, I’ve closed my eyes to the whole world
since I opened them to your beautiful face
Whoever enters the Ka’aba of your street
stands in prayer before the qibla of your eyebrow
O people of the assembly, about the agony of poor Hafez’s heart
ask the candle which is burning and melting…

(modified from Reza Saberi’s translation in The Divan of Hafez, p. 51)

 

 

Original:

المنة لله که در میکده باز است
زان رو که مرا بر در او روی نیاز است
خم‌ها همه در جوش و خروشند ز مستی
وان می که در آن جاست حقیقت نه مجاز است
از وی همه مستی و غرور است و تکبر
وز ما همه بیچارگی و عجز و نیاز است
رازی که بر غیر نگفتیم و نگوییم
با دوست بگوییم که او محرم راز است
شرح شکن زلف خم اندر خم جانان
کوته نتوان کرد که این قصه دراز است
بار دل مجنون و خم طره لیلی
رخساره محمود و کف پای ایاز است
بردوخته‌ام دیده چو باز از همه عالم
تا دیده من بر رخ زیبای تو باز است
در کعبه کوی تو هر آن کس که بیاید
از قبله ابروی تو در عین نماز است
ای مجلسیان سوز دل حافظ مسکین
از شمع بپرسید که در سوز و گداز است

 

 

 

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 pass 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.