I looked and all I saw was you…



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




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






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:



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





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






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.




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


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.




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.







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




Three more ghazals of Hafez


Three more gems, back to back in his Divan:



O you whose road-dust is the blood-price of China musk
and in whose crown’s shade the sun is tenderly nurtured
Strut out, for the narcissus’ pride is getting to be too much
I would die for the way your dark eyes look
Go ahead and drink my blood, for seeing a beauty such as you,
no angel will have the heart to write down your sin
You are the cause of the rest and sleep of the world
so your place is next to my heart and eye
I have an affair with every star every night,
out of desire for the light of your moon-like face
Friends who were together separated from each other,
but I am still in the happy refuge of your threshold
Hafez, do not lose hope in the grace of God
for in the end the fumes of your sigh will set fire to the harvest of grief.

MS 311 (f82r)


ای خونبهای نافه چین خاک راه تو              خورشید سایه پرور طرف کلاه تو
نرگس کرشمه می‌برد از حد برون خرام                   ای من فدای شیوه چشم سیاه تو
خونم بخور که هیچ ملک با چنان جمال                  از دل نیایدش که نویسد گناه تو
آرام و خواب خلق جهان را سبب تویی              زان شد کنار دیده و دل تکیه گاه تو
با هر ستاره‌ای سر و کار است هر شبم                از حسرت فروغ رخ همچو ماه تو
یاران همنشین همه از هم جدا شدند                       ماییم و آستانه دولت پناه تو
حافظ طمع مبر ز عنایت که عاقبت                  آتش زند به خرمن غم دود آه تو




O you who stature decorates the robe of royalty
and whose great nature adorns the crown and the signet
Your moon-like face from beneath the royal crown
makes the sun of victory rise every moment
Although the sun of the sky is the light and sight of the world
the dust under you your feet illumines its sight
Wherever the homa of your sky-high canopy casts a shade,
becomes the land of the bird of happiness
Of the thousands of different laws of religion and philosophy
not a single point was lost from your heart
The water of life drips from the beak of eloquence of
your sweet-speaking parrot, your sugar-chewing pen
What Alexander sought but the world did not give him
was a sip of pure wine from your reviving cup
There is no need to express one’s wish in your presence
no one’s secret remains hidden in the light of your insight
Hafez boasts of being a servant before your presence
in hope of your life-giving and world-granting forgiveness



ای قبای پادشاهی راست بر بالای تو                          زینت تاج و نگین از گوهر والای تو
آفتاب فتح را هر دم طلوعی می‌دهد                          از کلاه خسروی رخسار مه سیمای تو
گر چه خورشید فلک چشم و چراغ عالم است             روشنایی بخش چشم اوست خاک پای تو
جلوه گاه طایر اقبال باشد هر کجا                               سایه‌اندازد همای چتر گردون سای تو
از رسوم شرع و حکمت با هزاران اختلاف                 نکته‌ای هرگز نشد فوت از دل دانای تو
آب حیوانش ز منقار بلاغت می‌چکد                     طوطی خوش لهجه یعنی کلک شکرخای تو
آن چه اسکندر طلب کرد و ندادش روزگار                 جرعه‌ای بود از زلال جام جان افزای تو
عرض حاجت در حریم حضرتت محتاج نیست                  راز کس مخفی نماند با فروغ رای تو
                                            حافظ اندر حضرتت لاف غلامى مى جند
                                              براميد عفو جان بخش جهان بخشاى تو



The violet twists from your musk-spreading tress
the rosebud’s veil tears from your heart-opening laughter
O my sweet smelling rose, do not burn your nightingale
for in all sincerity, every night, all night, he prays for you
I who used to be annoyed even by the angels’ breathing
now I stand a world of vexation for you
love of your face is my nature, the dust of your door is my heaven
your love is my destiny, my comfort is your satisfaction
The robe of the beggar of love has treasure up its sleeve
he who becomes your beggar attains the kingdom quickly
The throne of my eye is the seat of your image
I pray that your seat never be without you, my king
The frenzy of your love’s wine will only go away
when my passionate head has turned into dust at your door
Your face is a pleasant field, especially in the spring of beauty
when sweet-spoken Hafez became your songbird.


(Translations modified from The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi pp.473-5)



تاب بنفشه می‌دهد طره مشک سای تو
پرده غنچه می‌درد خنده دلگشای تو
ای گل خوش نسیم من بلبل خویش را مسوز
کز سر صدق می‌کند شب همه شب دعای تو
من که ملول گشتمی از نفس فرشتگان
قال و مقال عالمی می‌کشم از برای تو
مهر رخت سرشت من خاك درت بهشت من
عشق تو سرنبشت من راحت من رضاى تو
دلق گداى عشق را گنج بود در آستين
زود به سلطنت رسد هر كه بود گداى تو
شاه‌نشین چشم من تکیه گه خیال توست
جای دعاست شاه من بی تو مباد جای تو
شور شراب عشق تو آن نفسم رود ز سر
کاین سر پرهوس شود خاک در سرای تو
خوش چمنیست عارضت خاصه که در بهار حسن
حافظ خوش کلام شد مرغ سخنسرای تو



Keats and the Sufis


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

John Keats

“Fill for me a brimming bowl”


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


Ibn al-Farid


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


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


John Keats

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


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




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


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




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





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


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



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




Hafez and Surah Qadr

There’s a close relationship between Hafez’s poetry and the Qur’an, and it’s seldom as explicit as in the poem below:




This is the night of power and the book of separation is at an end
Therein is happiness until the break of dawn.
O heart, be steadfast in love
For on this path, no work is without reward.
I will not repent of my dissolute ways.
even if you punish me with banishment and separation.
My heart left, but I did not see the face of the sweetheart
weeping from this disdain and oh, from this grief.
Oh heart-illuminating morning, arise for God’s sake.
For the night of separation looks dark to me.
Hafez, if you want fidelity, endure cruelty
for there is gain and loss in trade.





شب وصل است و طی شد نامه هجر
سلام فیه حتی مطلع الفجر
دلا در عاشقی ثابت قدم باش
که در این ره نباشد کار بی اجر
من از رندی نخواهم کرد توبه
و لو آذیتنی بالهجر و الحجر
برآی ای صبح روشن دل خدا را
که بس تاریک می​بینم شب هجر
دلم رفت و ندیدم روی دلدار
فغان از این تطاول آه از این زجر
وفا خواهی جفاکش باش حافظ
فان الربح و الخسران فی التجر


Surah al-Qadr



Truly we sent it down in the Night of Power
And what shall apprise thee of the Night of Power?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
The Angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the leave of their Lord, with every command
Peace it is until the break of dawn.




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Hafez taught me: Three Great Ghazals

These three wonderful ghazals are right next to one another in Hafez’s Divan:

Ghazal 344:







With your black eyelashes, you poked thousands of holes in my faith
Come, let me pick thousands of pains from your lovesick eyes.

O companion of the heart who has forgotten your friends
Let there be no day when I am without your memory.

The world is old and without foundation—Alas, the fraud and deceit
of this killer of Farhad has made me tired of my sweet life.

The fire of separation drowned me in sweat like the rose
O dawn wind, bring a breeze from the one who wipes my sweat.

I sacrifice the ephemeral and eternal worlds for the young beauty and the Saqi
for I see the sultanate of the world as a parasite of love.

If the Friend chooses another in my place, the choice is His
But God forbid that I choose my life in place of the Friend.

The nightingale sang good morning. Where are you, Saqi? Arise!
For the memory of last night’s dream clamors in my head.

On the night of death, I shall go from my bed to the huri’s palace
if I you are the candle at my bedside as I surrender my soul.

The story of longing that became recorded in this book
is wholly without fault, for Hafez taught it to me.


(Translation From The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi, p. 410)


به مژگان سیه کردی هزاران رخنه در دینم
بیا کز چشم بیمارت هزاران درد برچینم
الا ای همنشین دل که یارانت برفت از یاد
مرا روزی مباد آن دم که بی یاد تو بنشینم
جهان پیر است و بی‌بنیاد از این فرهادکش فریاد
که کرد افسون و نیرنگش ملول از جان شیرینم
ز تاب آتش دوری شدم غرق عرق چون گل
بیار ای باد شبگیری نسیمی زان عرق چینم
جهان فانی و باقی فدای شاهد و ساقی
که سلطانی عالم را طفیل عشق می‌بینم
اگر بر جای من غیری گزیند دوست حاکم اوست
حرامم باد اگر من جان به جای دوست بگزینم
صباح الخیر زد بلبل کجایی ساقیا برخیز
که غوغا می‌کند در سر خیال خواب دوشینم
شب رحلت هم از بستر روم در قصر حورالعین
اگر در وقت جان دادن تو باشی شمع بالینم
حدیث آرزومندی که در این نامه ثبت افتاد
همانا بی‌غلط باشد که حافظ داد تلقینم


Working Title/Artist: Divan of Hafiz from Allegory…Drunkenness Department: Islamic Art Culture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 08 Working Date: photography by mma, DP167098.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 9_24_08


Ghazal 355:


The way I see it, the best thing for me to do now is:
to go to the tavern and sit there happily.

Having no friend nor companion save my book and a cup
so that I see less of the deceitful colleagues.

I boasted of piety so much in my stained robe
that I am shamed by the Saqi’s face and the colorful wine.

I will take the cup of wine and stay away from the hypocrites
That is, of the people of the world, I will choose the one with a pure heart.

If it be possible to gather up my skirt from this world,
I will freely raise my head up above the people like a cypress.

My heart has the dust of many cruelties
O God, do not allow this mirror which is accustomed to love to be tarnished.

If I am the rascal of the tavern or the Hafez of the city,
I am that which you see or even less.

My straightened chest and the burden of his grief? Impossible.
My wretched heart is no match for this heavy burden.

I am the slave of the Asaf of the age. Do not mislead my heart.
For if I complain of the wheel, he will avenge me thereon.

(Translation From The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi, p. 411)




حالیا مصلحت وقت در آن می‌بینم
که کشم رخت به میخانه و خوش بنشینم
جام می گیرم و از اهل ریا دور شوم
یعنی از اهل جهان پاکدلی بگزینم
جز صراحی و کتابم نبود یار و ندیم
تا حریفان دغا را به جهان کم بینم
سر به آزادگی از خلق برآرم چون سرو
گر دهد دست که دامن ز جهان درچینم
بس که در خرقه آلوده زدم لاف صلاح
شرمسار از رخ ساقی و می رنگینم
سینه تنگ من و بار غم او هیهات
مرد این بار گران نیست دل مسکینم
من اگر رند خراباتم و گر زاهد شهر
این متاعم که همی‌بینی و کمتر زینم
بنده آصف عهدم دلم از راه مبر
که اگر دم زنم از چرخ بخواهد کینم
بر دلم گرد ستم‌هاست خدایا مپسند
که مکدر شود آیینه مهرآیینم




Ghazal 353:



I will not renounce love, the young beauty, and the cup of wine
I repented a hundred times and will do so no more.

The garden of paradise, the shade of Tuba, and the palace of heavenly maidens,
I will not compare them to the dust of the friend’s street.

The teaching and guidance of men of vision is but an allusion
I said this as a metaphor and will not repeat it again.

I am never conscious of my own head
until I raise it in the middle of a tavern.

The advisor tauntingly told me not to drink wine, it is forbidden.
I said alright. But I do not listen to every donkey.

The Shaykh told me angrily, “Stop falling in love!”
There is no need to quarrel, brother. I will not.

This much piety is enough for me that I do not wink at
the beautiful youths of the city from the top of the pulpit.

Hafez, the Magian Pīr’s side is a stately place
I will not give up kissing the dust of this door.


(Translation From The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi, p. 409)




من ترک عشق شاهد و ساغر نمی‌کنم
صد بار توبه کردم و دیگر نمی‌کنم
باغ بهشت و سایه طوبی و قصر و حور
با خاک کوی دوست برابر نمی‌کنم
تلقین و درس اهل نظر یک اشارت است
گفتم کنایتی و مکرر نمی‌کنم
هرگز نمی‌شود ز سر خود خبر مرا
تا در میان میکده سر بر نمی‌کنم
ناصح به طعن گفت که رو ترک عشق کن
محتاج جنگ نیست برادر نمی‌کنم
این تقویم تمام که با شاهدان شهر
ناز و کرشمه بر سر منبر نمی‌کنم
حافظ جناب پیر مغان جای دولت است
من ترک خاک بوسی این در نمی‌کنم



Ghazal #1 of Hafez’s Divan


This first Ghazal of Hafiz’s Divan is as mysterious as it is beautiful and wise:




O Saqi, come pass the cup ’round and fill it up
        for love seemed easy at first, but then came difficulties
Longing for the sweet scent the morning wind unlocks from her locks
        many a heart filled with blood for the curls of her musky tress
Stain the prayer mat with wine if the Magian Pīr tells you to
        for the traveler knows the rules of the road’s stations
What assurance of joy can I have in the beloved’s home/station?
        when every moment the caravan’s bells cry, “pack up and go!”
Dark night, fearful waves, and whirlpools so terrifying
         how can those lightly-burdened on the shore know our plight?
All my work for my own sake gave me a bad name in the end
         how can the secret told at gatherings remain hidden?
Hafez, if you still desire presence, do not be absent from Him/It.
          When you meet the one you love, leave the world, forget it.





الا یا ایها الساقی ادر کاسا و ناولها
که عشق آسان نمود اول ولی افتاد مشکل‌ها
به بوی نافه‌ای کاخر صبا زان طره بگشاید
ز تاب جعد مشکینش چه خون افتاد در دل‌ها
مرا در منزل جانان چه امن عیش چون هر دم
جرس فریاد می‌دارد که بربندید محمل‌ها
به می سجاده رنگین کن گرت پیر مغان گوید
که سالک بی‌خبر نبود ز راه و رسم منزل‌ها
شب تاریک و بیم موج و گردابی چنین هایل
کجا دانند حال ما سبکباران ساحل‌ها
همه کارم ز خود کامی به بدنامی کشید آخر
نهان کی ماند آن رازی کز او سازند محفل‌ها
حضوری گر همی‌خواهی از او غایب مشو حافظ
متی ما تلق من تهوی دع الدنیا و اهملها



Great Poetic Translation by A.Z. Foreman:

Come wineboy, bring the cup around and pour the spirit free.
Love, at first sight, looked easy. But it soon got hard for me.
In pining for the musk-sweet scent dawn wind bears from her hair
Such tearful blood wells in the hearts of lovers everywhere.
No chance of rest or pleasure at love’s station in my heart.
Life’s bells already ring outside: make ready to depart.
Stain prayer-mats with wine if the wine-seller tells you to.
Pilgrims must know the way, its every stage, and what to do.
The dread of waves, the dark of night, the maelstrom’s monstrous roar…
How can they know my plight, who stay so carefree on the shore?
All my pursuits for my own pleasure ruined my good name.
When gossip-parties learn your secret, it becomes your shame.
Hafiz! If you so wish to be with Him, then do not hide.
That day you meet the One you yearn for, cast this world aside.


From: http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.com/2011/08/hafiz-ghazal-1-ars-poetica-from-persian.html




Hafez sung beautifully


This is one of the most beautiful recordings of Hafez’s ghazals that I’ve ever heard:




As long as there is a name and sign on the tavern
My head will be dust on the road of the Magian Pīr
The ring of the Magian Pīr has been in my ear since pre-eternity
I am as I was and will be as I am
When you pass by my grave, pray for a blessing
For this place will be the shrine of the world’s scoundrels
Go away, O self-seeing ascetic! The mystery behind this veil
Is hidden form your eyes and mine, and will remain so
My Turk, the lover-slayer went out drunk today
I wonder what other person’s blood will run from his eye
from the night my head is laid in the grave
till the morning of the Resurrection, my eye will be anxious to see you
If Hafez’s luck helps him in this way,
The Beloved’s tress will be in the hands of the others.


(modified from the translation in The Divan of Hafez by Reza Saberi p. 245)





تا ز میخانه و می نام و نشان خواهد بود
سر ما خاک ره پیر مغان خواهد بود
حلقه پیر مغان از ازلم در گوش است
بر همانیم که بودیم و همان خواهد بود
بر سر تربت ما چون گذری همت خواه
که زیارتگه رندان جهان خواهد بود
برو ای زاهد خودبین که ز چشم من و تو
راز این پرده نهان است و نهان خواهد بود
ترک عاشق کش من مست برون رفت امروز
تا دگر خون که از دیده روان خواهد بود
چشمم آن دم که ز شوق تو نهد سر به لحد
تا دم صبح قیامت نگران خواهد بود
بخت حافظ گر از این گونه مدد خواهد کرد
زلف معشوقه به دست دگران خواهد بود



The Lovers’ Anthem


This incredibly beautiful, and incredibly rich, ghazal of Hafez is my current favorite:


When you hear the speech of the people of the heart, do not say that it is wrong
the problem is, my dear, that you do not understand this speech.
My head bows neither to this world nor the next
Praise God for these troubles that boil in my head.
I do not know who is within poor heartbroken me
For while I am silent, he roars and clamors.
My heart came out from the veil. Where are you o minstrel?
Play a tune, for my well-being depends on your scale.
I never paid any attention to the affairs of this world
In my sight, your face adorned it so beautifully.
Many nights I have not slept because of my fantasies
I have a hundred-night hangover, where is the tavern?
So defiled is the monastery by my heart’s blood that
You would have the right to wash me with wine.
The reason they hold me dear in the Magian’s house is:
The fire that never dies is ever in my heart.
What was the melody the minstrel played last night?
Though time has passed, my head is still full of that tune.
Last night, your love’s voice sang out in my heart
and the space in my breast is still full of its echoes.


چو بشنوی سخن اهل دل مگو که خطاست
سخن شناس نه‌ای جان من خطا این جاست
سرم به دنیی و عقبی فرو نمی‌آید
تبارک الله از این فتنه‌ها که در سر ماست
در اندرون من خسته دل ندانم کیست
که من خموشم و او در فغان و در غوغاست
دلم ز پرده برون شد کجایی ای مطرب
بنال هان که از این پرده کار ما به نواست
مرا به کار جهان هرگز التفات نبود
رخ تو در نظر من چنین خوشش آراست
نخفته‌ام ز خیالی که می‌پزد دل من
خمار صدشبه دارم شرابخانه کجاست
چنین که صومعه آلوده شد ز خون دلم
گرم به باده بشویید حق به دست شماست
از آن به دیر مغانم عزیز می‌دارند
که آتشی که نمیرد همیشه در دل ماست
چه ساز بود که در پرده می‌زد آن مطرب
که رفت عمر و هنوزم دماغ پر ز هواست
ندای عشق تو دیشب در اندرون دادند
فضای سینه حافظ هنوز پر ز صداست