Cups and wine and vine-Hafez

Last night I saw the angels
tapping at the wine-shop’s door.
And kneading Adam’s dust,
and molding it as cups for wine;


And, where I sat beside the road,
these messengers of heaven
Gave me their wine to drink,
so that their drunkenness was mine.


The heavens could not bear
the heavy trust they had been given,
And lots were cast, and crazed
Hafez’s name received the sign


Forgive the seventy-two
competing factions- all their tales
Mean that the Truth is what
they haven’t seen and can’t define.


But I am thankful that there’s peace
between Him now, and me;
In celebration of our pact
the houris drink their wine-


And fire is not what gently smiles
from candles’ flames, it’s what
Annihilates the flocking moths
that flutter round His shrine.




دوش دیدم که ملائک در میخانه زدند
گل آدم بسرشتند و به پیمانه زدند


ساکنان حرم ستر و عفاف و ملکوت
با من راه نشین باد مستانه زدند


شکر ایزد که میان من و او صلح افتاد
صوفیان رقص کنان ساغر شکرانه زدند


آسمان بار امانت نتوانست کشید
قرعه فال به نام من دیوانه زدند


آتش آن نیست که از شعله او خندد شمع
آتش آنست که در خرمن پروانه زدند


جنگ هفتاد و دو ملت همه را عذر بنه
چون ندیدند حقیقت ره افسانه زدند


ما بصد خرمن پند و اندرز ره چون نرویم
چون ره آدم خاکی بیکی دانه زدند


کس چو حافظ نگشاد از رخ اندیشه نقاب
تا سر زلف عروسان سخن شانه زدند



When you drink wine, sprinkle
A few drops on the ground—
What’s there to fear from sin
That spreads much joy around?


Go, drink up all you have,
Drink now and don’t delay—
Death’s dagger won’t delay
Dispatching you one day.


My cypress-slender love,
By the dust on which you tread,
Don’t hesitate to visit
My dust when I am dead


In heaven or in hell,
For angels or for men
In every faith — to hold back
Counts as a mortal sin.


The architect of heaven
Who gave the world its shape
Has sealed its six directions
So that there’s no escape.


The daughter of the vine
Leads Reason all astray—
May the vine’s trellis stand
Unharmed till Judgement Day!


And may your dear friends’ prayers,
Hafez, when you depart
Via the wine-shop’s door,
Accompany your heart.


                  اگر شراب خوری جرعه‌ای فشان بر خاک
از آن گناه که نفعی رسد به غیر چه باک
                 برو به هر چه تو داری بخور دریغ مخور
که بی‌دریغ زند روزگار تیغ هلاک
                       به خاک پای تو ای سرو نازپرور من
که روز واقعه پا وامگیرم از سر خاک
                   چه دوزخی چه بهشتی چه آدمی چه پری
به مذهب همه کفر طریقت است امساک
                            مهندس فلکی راه دیر شش جهتی
چنان ببست که ره نیست زیر دیر مغاک
                      فریب دختر رز طرفه می‌زند ره عقل
مباد تا به قیامت خراب طارم تاک
                      به راه میکده حافظ خوش از جهان رفتی
دعای اهل دلت باد مونس دل پاک



Good wine, that doesn’t stupefy
That’s served by someone pretty—who
Among the wise men of this world
Escapes the snares set by these two?


It’s true I’m dissolute, in love,
Known as a shiftless miscreant…
A thousand thanks, then, that this town
Provides friends who are innocent.


If you should step inside our wine shop,
Look to your manners while you’re there—
The crowd that hangs around its door
Are the king’s cronies, so take care!


Cruelty is not the way of pilgrims,
Poor men who seek their journey’s end;
Bring wine! These “pilgrims” here are going
Nowhere, for all that they pretend.


But don’t despise the beggar’s lost
In hopeless love, don’t put them down—
They’re kings, though this one has no scepter
Monarchs, though that one has no crown


Don’t mar your loveliness, don’t let
The glory of your charm be shattered—
You’ll find your servants and your slaves
And all your retinue have scattered


I am the slave of those who drink
Life to the dregs, but not of those
Who hide a blackened heart beneath
The showy splendor of their clothes


Be ready, for a winnowing wind
Will blow—none of us sha;; remain,
And all devotions’s thousand harvests
Will not be worth a barley grain.


Love is the nobler task—up then,
Hafez, and seek it while you may,
For lovers will not let the timid
Amble beside them on love’s way.



Translations from Dick Davis. Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz. Mage, 2012.



شراب بى غش و ساقى خوش دو دام رهند               كه زيركان جهان از كمندشان نرهند
من ار چه عاشقم و رند و مست و نامه سياه               هزار شكر كه ياران شهر بى گنهند
جفا نه پيشه ء درويشى است و راهروى                 بيار باده كه اين سالكان نه مرد رهند
مبين حقير گدايان عشق را كاين قوم                       شهان بى كمر و خسروان بى كلهند
به هوش باش كه هنگام باد استغناء                       هزار خرمن طاعت به نيم جو ننهند
مكن كه كوكبه ء دلبرى شكسته شود                     چو بندگان بگريزند و چاكران بجهند
غلام همت دردى كشان يك رنگم                      نه آن گروه كه ازرق لباس و دل سيهند
قدم منه به خرابات جز به شرط ادب                       كه سالكان درش محرمان پادشهند

جناب عشق بلندست همتى حافظ
كه عاشقان ره بى همتان به خود ندهند


And my own Hafez-style poem…

If you see cup and wine as two, you haven’t drunk enough
In this tavern, we drink love’s molten glass, served by the cup


And when the sparkling wine is swirled and left still to breathe well
That’s just the glass-blower whispering his secret sculpting spells


Not only does this wine redden cups’ sweet cheeks and their lips
Its pouring gives them lovely shapes and their bright translucence


The heavens are but spinning glasses cast from frozen wine
How strange that they all seem to fit within this cup of mine


Inside my glass, last night, I saw your face, mingling with mine
In drunken clarity, I sipped myself in your outline


The fine lines of your lips are just the rippling of this wine
And so we drink and kiss ‘till I can’t tell what’s yours from mine


Last night, I got so drunk I sold my soul for cups of wine
I’m back to see what I can get for my body this time


My heart’s the secret flask of that most thirsty of madmen
Who drained the wine, drank the dry glass, then downed the whole tavern


Bilqis thought our way was water, but soon learned this glass held wine
Sulayman’s tricked many spirits into these bottles of rhymes


Though everyone loves wine’s bouquet, who likes the drunkard’s belch?
Be quiet, hold your drink, and keep its secrets to yourself.

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