Natural Mystic

Shushtari

Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural
Natural, Natural, ay By God, Natural

 

A poor man like me, with a begging bag around my neck
My heart is free of any care
And I like people who are light-hearted
Such is the natural, he is liked by every natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

First thing in the morning, when I go out to work
I open my mouth and stretch out my hand
And for me, if I saw my granddad, who is not natural
For me, leaving him be, is only natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I cover my body with needle and thread
of rough wool, which, for me, is a lot
“Who is that guy?” the people ask, bewildered
Still I’m just natural, loved by every Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

My head is shaved and I walk around dazed
I beg in the market or at the mansions
Barefoot, walking the earth, saying: “Give for God’s sake,
some natural bread, to a natural man.”
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I might sit down and not want to talk
I might lie on the earth as my bed
I graze on the earth’s grass, living well
The Natural one is loved by every Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I have a begging bag and a sea-shell
And a pot hung on the end of a stick
And my head is polished like a guitar
I walk naturally, naturally used to poverty
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

And when I stop at a town or market, I see the people come up to me
like brothers, their speech is well-intended
You see the Natural welcoming the Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I don’t fake anything, and I have no rule
I don’t crave food or clothes
and this position, is what every hypocrite needs
A natural poor man, loved by every natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I know no jugde nor ruler
that’s more noble and natural for me
that’s how the high levels are described
A natural heart, in this state it is natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

Apart from these deeds, things are incomplete
Whoever humbles himself before a vizier or Sultan
Is arrogant and confused
His garment is natural, and by God, he is natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

Tearing the two sleeves, by this I mean, resurrection
Casting the two worlds from my heart
And I take off my two shoes to arrive at the Presence
Abandoning the unnatural is, for me, natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I have a sitting mat that is pure like my heart
and a presence of intimacy with which I polish my cup
and a bunch of bags, a faqīr murabbī*
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

*A poor man (Sufi) who trains others.

 

Original:

 

Bob Marley

Lyrics:

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
If you listen carefully now you will hear
This could be the first trumpet
Might as well be the last
Many more will have to suffer
Many more will have to die
Don’t ask me why

 

Things are not the way they used to be
I won’t tell no lie
One and all got to face reality now

 

Though I try to find the answer
To all the questions they ask
Though I know it’s impossible
To go living through the past
Don’t tell no lie

 

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
Can’t keep them down
If you listen carefully now you will hear
Such a natural mystic
Blowing through the air

 

This could be the first trumpet
Might as well be the last
Many more will have to suffer
Many more will have to die
Don’t ask me why

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
I won’t tell no lie
If you listen carefully now, you will hear
There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air

 

Lyrics:

Old Twinkling Lee
Can’t see the right roads when the streets are paved
The old slave mill, might grind slow
But it grinds fine… yeah

[Verse 1]
African Herbsman, why linger on?
Just concentrate cuz heaven lives on
Retired slaveman, will look with a scorn
With a transplanted heart

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
The remembrance… of today… is the sad feeling of tomorrow…

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Oh, oh yeah

[Verse 2]
African Herbsman, seize your time
I’m taking illusion on the edge of my mind
I’m taking losers down through my life
Down through my life, yeah

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Did they part? Yes they part!
In remembrance of today…

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Repeat Verse 1]

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
In remembrance, of today, brings sad feelings of tomorrow

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Believe me oh, oh lord I praise

African Herbsman
African Herbsman
African, African Herbsman

Chuang Tzu

 

The flowing of the stream does nothing, but follows its nature
The perfect man does the same with regard to virtue
He does nothing to cultivate it, but all is affected by its presence
He is like the height of Heaven: natural
or the solidity of the Earth
or the brightness of sun and moon—all-natural
There is no need to cultivate this.

 

What is meant by ‘the True Man?’ The True men of old did not reject (the views of) the few; they did not seek to accomplish (their ends) like heroes (before others); they did not lay plans to attain those ends. Being such, though they might make mistakes, they had no occasion for repentance; though they might succeed, they had no self-complacency. Being such, they could ascend the loftiest heights without fear; they could pass through water without being made wet by it; they could go into fire without being burnt; so it was that by their knowledge they ascended to and reached the Tâo.

The True men of old did not dream when they slept, had no anxiety when they awoke, and did not care that their food should be pleasant. Their breathing came deep and silently. The breathing of the true man comes (even) from his heels, while men generally breathe (only) from their throats. When men are defeated in argument, their words come from their gullets as if they were vomiting. Where lusts and desires are deep, the springs of the Heavenly are shallow.

The True men of old knew nothing of the love of life or of the hatred of death. Entrance into life occasioned them no joy; the exit from it awakened no resistance. Composedly they went and came. They did not forget what their beginning bad been, and they did not inquire into what their end would be. They accepted (their life) and rejoiced in it; they forgot (all fear of death), and returned (to their state before life). Thus there was in them what is called the want of any mind to resist the Tâo, and of all attempts by means of the Human to assist the Heavenly. Such were they who are called the True men.

Being such, their minds were free from all thought; their demeanour was still and unmoved; their foreheads beamed simplicity. Whatever coldness came from them was like that of autumn; whatever warmth came from them was like that of spring. Their joy and anger assimilated to what we see in the four seasons. They did in regard to all things what was suitable, and no one could know how far their action would go.

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

 

 

Ibn ‘Arabi-My Beloved

Although not a poem in Arabic, this moving account of Divine “pillow talk” or munājāt (intimate discourses) by Ibn ‘Arabi was beautifully translated by Henri Corbin in poetic form.

 

 

Translation:

Listen, O dearly beloved!
I am the reality of the world, the centre of the circumference,
I am the parts and the whole.
I am the will established between Heaven and Earth,
I have created perception in you only in order to be the object of My Perception.
If then you perceive Me, you perceive yourself.
But you cannot perceive Me through yourself.
It is through My Eyes that you see Me and see yourself,
Through your eyes you cannot see Me.

Dearly beloved!
I have called you so often and you have not heard Me.
I have shown Myself to you so often and you have not seen Me.
I have made Myself fragrance so often, and you have not smelled Me,
Savorous food, and you have not tasted Me.
Why can you not reach Me through the object you touch
Or breathe Me through sweet perfumes?
Why do you not see Me? Why do you not hear Me?
Why? Why? Why?

For you My delights surpass all other delights,
And the pleasure I procure you surpasses all other pleasures.
For you I am preferable to all other good things,
I am Beauty, I am Grace.

Love Me, love Me alone.
Love yourself in Me, in Me alone.
Attach yourself to Me,
No one is more inward than I.
Others love you for their own sakes,
I love you for yourself.
And you, you flee from Me.

Dearly beloved!
You cannot treat Me fairly,
For if you approach Me,
It is because I have approached you.
I am nearer to you than yourself,
Than your soul, than your breath.
Who among creatures
Would treat you as I do?

I am jealous of you, over you,
I want you to belong to no other,
Not even to yourself.
Be Mine, be for Me as you are in Me,
Though you are not even aware of it.

Dearly beloved!
Let us go toward Union.
And if we find the road
That leads to separation,
We will destroy separation.

Let us go hand in hand.
Let us enter the presence of Truth.
Let It be our judge
And imprint Its seal upon our union
For ever.

 

From: Henri Corbin. Creative Sufism ‘Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi, p. 174-75

 

Original:

!اسمع يا حبيبي
انا العين المقصودة في الكون
انا نقطة الدائرة ومحيطها
انا مركبها وبسيطها
انا الامر المنزل بين السماء والارض و السماء
ما خلفت لك الادراكات الا لتدركني بها
فاذا ادركتني ادركت نفسك
لا تطمع ان تدركني بادراكك نفسك
بعيني تراني ونفسك
لابعين نفسك تراني
!حبيبي
كم اناديك فلا تسمع؟
كم اتراءى لك فلا تبصر ؟
كم اندرج لك فى الروائح فلا تشم ؟
وفي الطعوم فلا تطعم لى ذوقا؟
ما لك لاتلمسني فى الملموسات ؟
ما لك لاتدركني فى المشمومات ؟
ما لك لاتبصرنى؟
ما لك لاتسمعني؟
ما لك مالك مالك ؟
انا الذ لك من كل ملذوذ
أنا اشهي لك من كل مشتهى
انا احسن لك من كل حسن
انا الجميل
انا المليح
! حبيبي
حبني لا تحب غيري
اعشقني هم في
لا تهم في سواي
ضمّني قبّلني
ما تجد وصولا مثلي
كل يريدك له
وانا اريدك لك
وانت تفر مني
يا حبيبي
ما تنصفني
ان تقربت اليّ
تقربت اليك اضعاف ما تقربت به اليّ
انا اقرب اليك من نفسك و نسفك
من يفعل معك ذلك غيري من المخلوقين
حبيبي
اغار عليك منك
لا احب ان اراك عند الغير
ولاعندك
كن عندى بي
اكن عندك
كما انت عندي
وانت لاتشعر
حبيبي
الوصال الوصال
!تعال
يدي و يدك
ندخل على الحق تعالى
…ليحكم بيننا حكم الابد

 

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

 

‘Iraqi and Shushtari—The Wealth of Poverty

‘Iraqi

laylamajnunpersianmin

 

Translation:

I have seen that the lane of piety stretches out,
far, far into the distance;
My dearest friends, can you not show me then
the way of the madman?
Bring me a glass of Magian wine
that I may drink deep
for I have given up all thought
of ascetic piety;
or if the pure wine has all been downed
bring me the cloudy dregs
for thick residue lights up the heart
and illuminates the eyes.
Tuppence for the Sufi meeting house!
I flee the company of the righteous;
fill up a row of glasses with wine
and bring me the first.
I have no rules or regulations,
nor heart nor religion –
only I remain, and you, sitting in the corner
and the wealth of Poverty.
All fear of God, all self-denial I deny;
bring wine, nothing but wine
for in all sincerity I repent
my worship which is but hypocrisy.
Yes, bring me wine, for I have renounced all renunciation
and all my vaunted self-righteousness
seems to me but swagger and self-display.
Now for a time let my proof be wine
against the sorrow of Time
for only in drunkenness can one be free
of the hour’s grief.
Once I am thoroughly drunk, what difference
if I end up in a church or in Mecca?
Once I’ve abandoned myself, what matter
if I win Union – or separation?
I’ve been to the gambling house and seen
that the losers there are pure;
I’ve been to the monastery and have found
no one but hypocrites.
Now I’ve broken my repentance, at least
do not break our covenant:
at least welcome this broken heart and say
“How are you? Where have you been?”
I’ve been to Mecca, to circle the Kaaba
but they refused me entrance
saying “Off with you!  What merit have you earned
outside, that we should admit you within?”
Then, last night, I knocked
at the tavern door;
from within came a voice: “‘Iraqi! Come in!
for you are one of the chosen!”

 

from the introduction to Divine Flashes
translation by William Chittick and Peter Wilson

 

squarekuficmosque

 

Original:
پسرا، ره قلندر سزد ار به من نمایی
که دراز و دور دیدم ره زهد و پارسایی
پسرا، می مغانه دهی ار حریف مایی
که نماند بیش ما را سر زهد و پارسایی
قدحی می مغانه به من آر، تا بنوشم
که دگر نماند ما را سر توبهٔ ریایی
می صاف اگر نباشد، به من آر درد تیره
که ز درد تیره یابد دل و دیده روشنایی
کم خانقه گرفتم، سر مصلحی ندارم
قدح شراب پر کن، به من آر، چند پایی؟
نه ره و نه رسم دارم، نه دل و نه دین، نه دنیی
منم و حریف و کنجی و نوای بی‌نوایی
نیم اهل زهد و توبه به من آر ساغر می
که به صدق توبه کردم ز عبادت ریایی
تو مرا شراب در ده، که ز زهد تو به کردم
ز صلاح چون ندیدم جز لاف و خودنمایی
ز غم زمانه ما را برهان ز می زمانی
که نیافت جز به می کس ز غم زمان رهایی
چو ز باده مست گشتم، چه کلیسیا، چه کعبه؟
چو به ترک خود بگفتم، چه وصال و چه جدایی؟
به قمارخانه رفتم همه پاکباز دیدم
چو به صومعه رسیدم همه یافتم دغایی
چو شکست توبهٔ من، مشکن تو عهد، باری
به من شکسته دل گو که: چگونه‌ای؟ کجایی؟
به طواف کعبه رفتم به حرم رهم ندادند
که برون در چه کردی، که درون خانه آیی؟
در دیر می‌زدم من، ز درون صدا بر آمدکه: درآی،
ای عراقی، که تو خود حریف مایی

 

 

Shushtari

 

Translation:

We come to you in poverty, not riches, for you are the generous one.

You accustomed us to every grace, may your grace endure.

These poor disheveled souls of yours are drenched
in your love, because it is the utmost of desires.

There is no one in richness like you
and in poverty there are none like us.

We see you manifest in everything; nothing is ours.

I hid your name out of jealousy. Look at me, lost on a mountain trail and a slope.

Since you are always with me,
I have no need to carry provisions: I am rich.

For you, you are the truth, there is no other
and I – would that I knew – who am I?

From Alvarez, L.M. Abū al-Ḥasan al-Shushtarī: Songs of Love and Devotion, (New York, Paulist Press, 2009), p. 69

 

 

Original:
أتيناك بالفقر لا بالغنى    وأنت الذي لم تزل محسنّا
وعوّدتنا كلّ فضل عسى      يدوم الذي منك عوّدتنا
مسا كينك الشعث قد موهوا      بحبك إذ هو أقصى المنى
فما في الغنى واحد مثلكم      و في الفقر لا عصبة مثلنا
رأيناك في كلّ أمر بدا      وليس من الأمر شيء لنا
سترت اسمكم غيرة ها أنا      أموه بالشعب والمنحنى
إذا كنت في كلّ حال معي      فعن حمل زادي أنا في غنى
فأنتم هم الحق لا غيركم      فياليت شعري أنا من أنا

Shabistari on the pure drink

Qur’an 76:21

Translation:

Upon them are robes of green silk and embroidery, and they are adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord pours for them them a pure wine.

 

Original:
عَالِيَهُمْ ثِيَابُ سُندُسٍ خُضْرٌ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٌ وَحُلُّوا أَسَاوِرَ مِن فِضَّةٍ وَسَقَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ شَرَابًا طَهُورًا


Shabistari:

 

Translation:

Consider the meaning of “their Lord gives them to drink
What is this “pure wine“? — purification from oneself
What a drink, what sweetness, what taste!
What wonder, what power, what longing!
O happy moment when we are free of our selves
when we are absolutely rich in poverty
No religion, no reason, no piety, no perception
Head in the dust, passed out, drunk
Of what account are paradise and houris and eternity?
For there is no room for such strangers in the khalwah
When I have seen this vision and drunk this wine
I do not know what will happen afterwards
But after every drunken spell there is a hangover
And from this thought, my heart fills with blood (grief)

 

 

Original:

سقاهم ربه” چبود بیندیش”
طهورا” چیست صافی گشتن از خویش”
زهی شربت زهی لذت زهی ذوق
زهی حیرت زهی دولت زهی شوق
خوشا آن دم که ما بی‌خویش باشیم
غنی مطلق و درویش باشیم
نه دین نه عقل نه تقوی نه ادراک
فتاده مست و حیران بر سر خاک
بهشت و حور و خلد آنجا چه سنجد
که بیگانه در آن خلوت نگنجد
چو رویت دیدم و خوردم از آن می
ندانم تا چه خواهد شد پس از وی
پی هر مستیی باشد خماری
از این اندیشه دل خون گشت باری

 

O you present in my heart…

benyousefmadrasa

dalailkhayratmaghribi

Translation:

O you present in my heart, thinking of you makes me sweet
If no one ever visits my eye, then my heart will take its place for me
I am not gone, but my body is vanishing from wasting away
So no blamer found me, and no chaperone/rival saw me
Had the era known about me, people would have come to me
Nothing remains but passion, ask it about me, and it will answer for me

 

8-khalili-leiden_mss-1138-fol-44b-45a_sandal

 

Orignal:

يَا حاضِراً في فُؤادي ** بِالفكرِ فِيكمْ أطيبُ
إِنْ لمْ يزُرْ شخصُ عيني ** فالقلبُ عِندي ينُوبُ
مَا غِبتُ لَكِنَّ جِسْمي ** من النُّحول يذوبُ
فَلمْ يَجدْني عذولٌ ** وَلاَ رآنِي رَقِيبُ
وَلوْ دَرَى الدَّهْرُ ** عَنِّي جَاءت إِلىَّ شعُوبُ
لَمْ يَبْقَ غَيْرُ غَرامٍ ** فَسَلهُ عَنِّي يِجُيبُ

 

alhambrawall

Original:

Hey you hiding in my heart

I am happy when you’re near

You, my life, my joy and art

Who’s the image, who’s the mirror?

kullushayhalik

I fear my tears may tear the veil

Another favorite Hafez poem, it ends as it begins. It is performed beautifully here by Seyyed Khalil Alinejad.


header

shamsa1

 

Translation:
I fear my tears may tear the veil of my love for you
and this sealed secret became a legend the whole world through
They say a stone becomes a ruby in the station of patience
Yes, it does, but not without the blood of the liver
I’ll go down to the tavern, weeping, wailing for justice
perchance there I can find release  for me from the hand of grief
I’ve cast the arrows of my prayers in every last direction
It may be that one of them, at least, will do its work
O soul, go tell our story to my sweetheart, lovingly
but not in such a way that the soft breeze gets wind of it
I’m in utter amazement at my rival’s arrogance
O Lord, let not a beggar assume so much importance
By your love’s alchemy, my face became bright gold
Yes, that’s true, thanks to your grace, the dust can become gold
Distinction great and beauty too are likewise needed here
So that one may accepted be by “people of the glance”
With all this stubbornness your cypress has in its tall head
How can my short arm ever find its way around your waist?
O Hafez, when the perfume of his tress is in your hand
Be silent, otherwise the breeze so soft will tear the veil.

 

frontshamsa

 

shamsa2

 

Original:

ترسم که اشک در غم ما پرده‌در شود
وین راز سر به مهر به عالم سمر شود
گویند سنگ لعل شود در مقام صبر
آری شود ولیک به خون جگر شود
خواهم شدن به میکده گریان و دادخواه
کز دست غم خلاص من آن جا مگر شود
از هر کرانه تیر دعا کرده‌ام روان
باشد کز آن میانه یکی کارگر شود
ای جان حدیث ما بر دلدار بازگو
لیکن چنان مگو که صبا را خبر شود
از کیمیای مهر تو زر گشت روی من
آری به یمن لطف شما خاک زر شود
در تنگنای حیرتم از نخوت رقیب
یا رب مباد آن که گدا معتبر شود

از كيمياى ههر تو زر گشت روى من
آرى به يمن لطف شما خاك زر شود
بس نکته غیر حسن بباید که تا کسی
مقبول طبع مردم صاحب نظر شود
این سرکشی که کنگره کاخ وصل راست
سرها بر آستانه او خاک در شود
حافظ چو نافه سر زلفش به دست توست
دم درکش ار نه باد صبا را خبر شود

shamsacarpet

 

persiancarpetbeaut

Rumi: Dead yet I was, then came to life…

One of my favorite poems of Rumi’s, its rhythm is intoxicating:

 

Translation (some liberties taken to approximate the rhythm of the original):

Dead yet I was, then came to life, weeping I was, then came to laugh
Love’s kingdom came, I came to be, the kingdom of eternity
My eye is full, my soul is bold, a lion’s heart is what I have, the morning star, bright I became
Said: “You’re not mad, don’t belong here,” then I went mad, bound up in chains
Said: “You are drunk, get out of here,” then I got drunk, bubbling with joy
Said: “You’re not dead, not in joy drowned,” before his face, I died and bowed
Said: “You’re so smart, drunk on your doubt,” a fool I became, straight lifted out
Said: “You’re the candle of this folk,” I said, “I’m not, I’m wisps of smoke”
Said: “You’re a shaykh, you’re the leader.” “I’m but a slave to your command.”
He said: “You have feathers and wings. I will not give you feathered wings.” Seeking these wings, I lost my wings.
New fortune said: “Don’t come my way, I’ll come to you.”
Old love then said: “Don’t leave my heart.” I said, “I won’t, I’ll stay, I’m still.”
You are the fountain of the sun, I am the shade of the willow, You strike my head, I drop and melt
Heart felt the new glow of my soul, my heart opened, wove a new stole, I turned against that tattered one
Form of the soul swaggered with pride, slave though I was, Lord I became
Thanks your paper gives for your sweets, limitless it came to me and I dwelt in it
Thanks my dark earth gives for my curved sky and its sphere, for through its gaze, and its turning, I too became light-receiving
Thanks heaven’s sphere gives for the king and the kingdom and the angel, for through his grace I have become bright and graceful
Thanks the Knower of Truth gives for the fact that we’ve outstripped the rest; high up above the seven lay-ers I became a shining star
I was Venus, became the moon, and I became two-hundred skies; I was Joseph, now I became the Joseph seed
O famous moon, I am all yours, look upon me, and on yourself, for from the trace of your smile, I have become a garden of roses smiling
Move silently, like a chessman, yourself all tongue, for through the king of the world’s face, I have become happy and blessed.

 

 

 

Original:

مرده بدم زنده شدم گریه بدم خنده شدم
دولت عشق آمد و من دولت پاینده شدم
دیده سیر است مرا جان دلیر است مرا
زهره شیر است مرا زهره تابنده شدم
گفت که دیوانه نه‌ای لایق این خانه نه‌ای
رفتم دیوانه شدم سلسله بندنده شدم
گفت که سرمست نه‌ای رو که از این دست نه‌ای
رفتم و سرمست شدم وز طرب آکنده شدم
گفت که تو کشته نه‌ای در طرب آغشته نه‌ای
پیش رخ زنده کنش کشته و افکنده شدم
گفت که تو زیرککی مست خیالی و شکی
گول شدم هول شدم وز همه برکنده شدم
گفت که تو شمع شدی قبله این جمع شدی
جمع نیم شمع نیم دود پراکنده شدم
گفت که شیخی و سری پیش رو و راهبری
شیخ نیم پیش نیم امر تو را بنده شدم
گفت که با بال و پری من پر و بالت ندهم
در هوس بال و پرش بی‌پر و پرکنده شدم
گفت مرا دولت نو راه مرو رنجه مشو
زانک من از لطف و کرم سوی تو آینده شدم
گفت مرا عشق کهن از بر ما نقل مکن
گفتم آری نکنم ساکن و باشنده شدم
چشمه خورشید تویی سایه گه بید منم
چونک زدی بر سر من پست و گدازنده شدم
تابش جان یافت دلم وا شد و بشکافت دلم
اطلس نو بافت دلم دشمن این ژنده شدم
صورت جان وقت سحر لاف همی‌زد ز بطر
بنده و خربنده بدم شاه و خداونده شدم
شکر کند کاغذ تو از شکر بی‌حد تو
کآمد او در بر من با وی ماننده شدم
شکر کند خاک دژم از فلک و چرخ به خم
کز نظر وگردش او نورپذیرنده شدم
شکر کند چرخ فلک از ملک و ملک و ملک
کز کرم و بخشش او روشن بخشنده شدم
شکر کند عارف حق کز همه بردیم سبق
بر زبر هفت طبق اختر رخشنده شدم
زهره بدم ماه شدم چرخ دو صد تاه شدم
یوسف بودم ز کنون یوسف زاینده شدم
از توام ای شهره قمر در من و در خود بنگر
کز اثر خنده تو گلشن خندنده شدم
باش چو شطرنج روان خامش و خود جمله زبان
کز رخ آن شاه جهان فرخ و فرخنده شدم