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 union and the tale of separation is at an end
Therein is peace 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.






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


Nightingale: Keats and Hafez


 Hafez sang:
بلبلى خون جگر خورد و گلى حاصل كرد
باد غيرت به صادش خار پريشان دل كرد
طوطيى را به خيال شكرى دل خوش بود
ناگهش سيل فنا نقش امل باطل كرد

Gertrude Bell’s translation:

The nightingale with drops of his heart’s blood
Had nourished the red rose, then came a wind,
And catching at the boughs in envious mood,
a hundred thorns about his heart entwined.
Like to the parrot crunching sugar, good
Seemed the world to me who could not stay
The wind of Death that swept my hopes away.


Compare with this beautiful recitation of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale:


Ode to a Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
         My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
         One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
         But being too happy in thine happiness,—
                That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
                        In some melodious plot
         Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
                Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
         Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
         Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
         Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
                With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
                        And purple-stained mouth;
         That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
                And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
         What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
         Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
         Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
                Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
                        And leaden-eyed despairs,
         Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
                Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
         Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
         Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
         And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
                Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
                        But here there is no light,
         Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
                Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
         Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
         Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
         White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
                Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
                        And mid-May’s eldest child,
         The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
                The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
         I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
         To take into the air my quiet breath;
                Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
         To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
                While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
                        In such an ecstasy!
         Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
                   To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
         No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
         In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
         Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
                She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
                        The same that oft-times hath
         Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
                Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
         To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
         As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
         Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
                Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
                        In the next valley-glades:
         Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
                Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?


chnese nightingale




Weep, O Nightingale, if you wish to be my friend
For we are two helpless lovers, whose work is weeping
In that land where the breeze blows from the beloved’s locks
what room is there for boasting of the musk of Tartar?
Bring wine so we can dye our cloak of hypocrisy
We are drunk form the cup of arrogance and we call it sobriety
Cherishing the thought of your hair is not for the novice
going under the chain is the way of the elite
There is a hidden subtlety that gives rise to love
whose name is neither ruby lip nor auburn cheek’s down
A person’s beauty is not in the eye nor face, nor cheek, nor hair
there are a thousand fine points in this work of beauties
The Qalandars of Truth do not buy, for half a barley corn,
the silk robe of the person who is without art
It is difficult to reach your doorstep
ascension to the heaven of joy is difficult
At dawn I dreamt of the seductive glance of your eye
Ah, some stages of sleep are better than being awake…
Do not harm his heart with your wailing, hush now Hafez
For eternal salvation lies in doing the least harm





بنال بلبل اگر با منت سر یاریست
که ما دو عاشق زاریم و کار ما زاریست

در آن زمین که نسیمی وزد ز طره دوست
چه جای دم زدن نافه‌های تاتاریست

بیار باده که رنگین کنیم جامه زرق
که مست جام غروریم و نام هشیاریست

خیال زلف تو پختن نه کار هر خامیست
که زیر سلسله رفتن طریق عیاریست

لطیفه‌ایست نهانی که عشق از او خیزد
که نام آن نه لب لعل و خط زنگاریست

جمال شخص نه چشم است و زلف و عارض و خال
هزار نکته در این کار و بار دلداریست

قلندران حقیقت به نیم جو نخرند
قبای اطلس آن کس که از هنر عاریست

بر آستان تو مشکل توان رسید آری
عروج بر فلک سروری به دشواریست

سحر کرشمه چشمت به خواب می‌دیدم
زهی مراتب خوابی که به ز بیداریست

دلش به ناله میازار و ختم کن حافظ
که رستگاری جاوید در کم آزاریست




At dawn, the nightingale complained to the breeze, saying:
“Oh the things that loving the rose’s face has done to me…”
It pulled off the veil of the rose and brushed away the tress of the hyacinth
and opened the knot of the cord of the bud’s robe
The lover nightingale cried out in all directions
But it was the breeze that was blessed from this
Blessed be the morning breeze that
remedied the pain of those who stay awake at night
No more will I complain of strangers
for any wrong to me was done my that dear one
If I coveted a favor from the sultan, it was a mistake
If I sought faithfulness from the beloved, she was cruel.
I am the slave of the generous spirit of that dear one
Who did good deeds without pretension and hypocrisy
take the good news to the winesellers’ street
That Hafez repented of pretentious abstinence




سحر بلبل حکایت با صبا کرد
که عشق روی گل با ما چه‌ها کرد
از آن رنگ رخم خون در دل افتاد
وز آن گلشن به خارم مبتلا کرد
غلام همت آن نازنینم
که کار خیر بی روی و ریا کرد
من از بیگانگان دیگر ننالم
که با من هر چه کرد آن آشنا کرد
گر از سلطان طمع کردم خطا بود
ور از دلبر وفا جستم جفا کرد
خوشش باد آن نسیم صبحگاهی
که درد شب نشینان را دوا کرد
نقاب گل کشید و زلف سنبل
گره بند قبای غنچه وا کرد
به هر سو بلبل عاشق در افغان
تنعم از میان باد صبا کرد
بشارت بر به کوی می فروشان
که حافظ توبه از زهد ریا کرد




I went to the garden one morning to pick a rose
and suddenly heard a nightingale’s song.
Like me, the poor bird had fallen in love with a rose
and in the field, raised a commotion with his cries.
And as I walked through that field and garden
I thought on that rose and nightingale.
The rose befriended beauty, and the nightingale, love
neither showed any signs of changing.
As the song of the nightingale entered my heart,
it got to the point where I could stand it no longer.
Many roses bloom in this garden, but
none plucks a rose without the pain of a thorn.
Hafez, harbor hope of deliverance from this cycle of existence
It has a thousand flaws and not one redeeming virtue.


رفتم به باغ صبحدمی تا چنم گلی
آمد به گوش ناگهم آواز بلبلی
مسکین چو من به عشق گلی گشته مبتلا
و اندر چمن فکنده ز فریاد غلغلی
می‌گشتم اندر آن چمن و باغ دم به دم
می‌کردم اندر آن گل و بلبل تاملی
گل یار حسن گشته و بلبل قرین عشق
آن را تفضلی نه و این را تبدلی
چون کرد در دلم اثر آواز عندلیب
گشتم چنان که هیچ نماندم تحملی
بس گل شکفته می‌شود این باغ را ولی
کس بی بلای خار نچیده‌ست از او گلی
حافظ مدار امید فرج از مدار كون
دارد هزار عیب و ندارد تفضلی

“Ask for wine and throw flowers. What else do you want from time?”
The rose said this at dawn, O nightingale, what do you say?
Take your seat in the rose garden so that you may kiss
the beauty and the Saqi on the lip and cheek and drink wine and smell roses
Upon whom will your smiling bud bestow its fortune
O elegant rose, for whose sake do you grow?
Each bird comes to the king’s rose garden with a tale
The nightingale with his song and Hafez with his prayer.


می خواه و گل افشان کن از دهر چه می‌جویی
این گفت سحرگه گل بلبل تو چه می‌گویی
مسند به گلستان بر تا شاهد و ساقی را
لب گیری و رخ بوسی می نوشی و گل بویی
تا غنچه خندانت دولت به که خواهد داد
ای شاخ گل رعنا از بهر که می‌رویی
هر مرغ به دستانی در گلشن شاه آمد
بلبل به نواسازی حافظ به غزل گویی





Step into that corner
where the gnats do not bite
I do not care about anyone
but you, my little dear

In the Moorish quarter
Juanola le puso el cura
Juanola pa to la vía.

I saw the flowers cry
when you entered the garden,
because the flowers would all like
to look like you.

Keep away from the people
who do not know our love,
the farther you are from the saint,
the closer to devotion.

And the day you were born
all the flowers bloomed
and at the baptismal font
nightingales sang.



Lerelere lele…aay

Métete en aquel rincón
donde las mosquitas no te coman
cuenta yo no le doy a nadie
primita de tu persona.

De la morería
Juanola le puso el cura
Juanola pa to la vía.

Al verte las flores lloran
cuando entras tu al jardín,
porque las flores quisieran
toítas parecerse a ti.

Retírate que la gente
no conozca nuestro amor,
contra más lejos esté el santo
más cerca la devoción.

Y el día que tú naciste
nacieron toítas las flores
y en la pila de bautismo
cantaron los ruiseñores.


Remove yourself, Hafez!

illumintob baysonqor




Come! For last night, the tavern’s unseen voice told me
to be pleased with the divine decree and not to flee from destiny
Between Lover and Beloved there is no barrier
You yourself are your own veil, Hafez. Remove yourself!




بیا که هاتف میخانه دوش با من گفت
که در مقام رضا باش و از قضا مگریز
میان عاشق و معشوق هیچ حائل نیست
تو خود حجاب خودی حافظ از میان برخیز


Layla-and-Majnun-Faint-on-Meeting (1)


When the bubble fills its head with the air of arrogance
It blows its head off as it rises to the top of the wine
You are the obstacle on the road, Hafez, get out of the way!
Blessed is he who walks on this road without obstacle.



حباب را چو فتد باد نخوت اندر سر
کلاه داریش اندر سر شراب رود
حجاب راه تویی حافظ از میان برخیز
خوشا کسی که در این راه بی‌حجاب رود




Full poems

My heart is bound to that wild, coquettish gypsy
   who breaks promises, and kills, and is false
May a thousand robes of of virtue and cloaks of chastity
   be sacrificed for the patched frock of the moon-faced
Angels do not know what love is, O Saqi
   ask for a cup and pour rose water on Adam’s dust
I am the slave of those words that kindle fire
   not those words that pour cold water on the flames
I came to your door poor and tired. Have mercy!
   I have no excuse save my love for you
Don’t be proud of your cleverness, for as it is said,
   there are many reasons for the command that deposes as king
Tie a cup to my shroud, so that on the morn of resurrection
   I can wash away the terror of the day from my heart with wine
Come! For last night, the tavern’s unseen voice told me
   to be pleased with the divine decree and not to flee from destiny
Between Lover and Beloved there is no barrier
You yourself are your own veil, Hafez. Remove yourself from in between.


دلم رمیده لولی‌وشیست شورانگیز
دروغ وعده و قتال وضع و رنگ آمیز
فدای پیرهن چاک ماه رویان باد
هزار جامه تقوا و خرقه پرهیز
خیال خال تو با خود به خاک خواهم برد
که تا ز خال تو خاکم شود عبیرآمیز
فرشته عشق نداند که چیست ای ساقی
بخواه جام و گلابی به خاک آدم ریز
غلام آن كلماتم كه آتش انگيزد
نه آب سرد زند در سخن به آتش تيز
فقیر و خسته به درگاهت آمدم رحمی
که جز ولای توام نیست هیچ دست آویز
مباش غره به بازى خود كه در خبرست
هزار تعبيه در حكم پادشاه انگيز
پياله بر كفنم بند تا سحرگه حشر
به مى ز دل ببرم هول روز رستاخيز
بیا که هاتف میخانه دوش با من گفت
که در مقام رضا باش و از قضا مگریز
میان عاشق و معشوق هیچ حائل نیست
تو خود حجاب خودی حافظ از میان برخیز





When I touch the tip of her tress, it upsets her
and If I apologize, she blames me
Like the new moon, with the corner of her eyebrow
she entices helpless bystanders and then hides behind a veil
On the night of wine, she ruins me with wakefulness
And if I complain by day, she goes to sleep
O heart, the way of love is full of trouble and tumult
He who hurries along this road stumbles
Do not trade begging at the beloved’s door for sovereignty
Does anyone go form the shade of this door to the sun?
When the blackness of hair is finished
it whiteness does not decrease even if a hundred choices are made
When the bubble fills its head with the air of arrogance
It blows its head off as it rises to the top of the wine
You are the obstacle on the road, Hafez, get out of the way!
Blessed is he who walks on this road without obstacle.



چو دست بر سر زلفش زنم به تاب رود
ور آشتی طلبم با سر عتاب رود
چو ماه نو ره بیچارگان نظاره
زند به گوشه ابرو و در نقاب رود
شب شراب خرابم کند به بیداری
وگر به روز شکایت کنم به خواب رود
طریق عشق پرآشوب و فتنه است ای دل
بیفتد آن که در این راه با شتاب رود
گدایی در جانان به سلطنت مفروش
کسی ز سایه این در به آفتاب رود
سواد نامه موی سیاه چون طی شد
بیاض کم نشود گر صد انتخاب رود
حباب را چو فتد باد نخوت اندر سر
کلاه داریش اندر سر شراب رود
حجاب راه تویی حافظ از میان برخیز
خوشا کسی که در این راه بی‌حجاب رود


Persian Visual Poems

Hafez’s poetry and Persian Miniatures come to life:



Love’s minstel has wonderful harmony and melody
Every song in his repertoire has a path to a place
May the world never be empty of the cry of lovers
Because it has a sweet and joyful voice
Although our dreg-draining Pir has neither gold nor force,
He has a sin-forgiving and fault-concealing God
My heart was honoured like this sugar-worshipping fly
Since he became Your desire, he has the splendor of the Huma
It is not far from justice, if the king asks around
about his neighbor the beggar
I showed my bloody tears to the physicians, they said:
“It’s love’s pain and the burning of the liver has the cure”
Avoid the tyranny of glances, for in Love’s way
 Each act has a recompense, and every deed, a reward
That idol of a Christian wine-seller said well:
“Enjoy the happiness on the face of a pure one”
O Great King!  Hafiz, a member of your court, recites the fatiha
And desires a prayer from your tongue


          مطرب عشق عجب ساز و نوایی دارد
 نقش هر نغمه که زد راه به جایی دارد
                    عالم از ناله عشاق مبادا خالی
که خوش آهنگ و فرح بخش صدايى دارد
     پیر دردی کش ما گر چه ندارد زر و زور
 خوش عطابخش و خطاپوش خدایی دارد
             محترم دار دلم کاین مگس قندپرست
 تا هواخواه تو شد فر همایی دارد
             از عدالت نبود دور گرش پرسد حال
 پادشاهی که به همسایه گدایی دارد
               اشک خونین بنمودم به طبیبان گفتند
 درد عشق است و جگرسوز دوایی دارد
         ستم از غمزه میاموز که در مذهب عشق
 هر عمل اجری و هر کرده جزایی دارد
           نغز گفت آن بت ترسابچه باده فروش
 شادی روی کسی خور که صفایی دارد
 خسروا حافظ درگاه نشین فاتحه خواند
 و از زبان تو تمنای دعایی دارد



The Peacock
Until your hair falls through the fingers of the breeze
My yearning heart lies torn apart with grief
 Black as sorcery, your magic eyes
Render this existence an illusion
 The dusky mole encircled by your curls
Is like the ink-drop falling in the curve of the jeem (ج)
 And wafting tresses in the perfect garden of your face,
Drop like a peacock falling into paradise
My soul searches for the comfort of a glance
Light as the dust arising from your path
Unlike the dust, this earthly body stumbles,
Falling at your threshold, falling fast
Your shadow falls across my frame
Like the breath of Jesus over withered bones
And those who turn to the Ka’aba as their sanctuary
Now with the knowledge of your lips, tumble at the tavern door
 O precious love, the suffering of your absence and lost Hafez
Fell and fused together with the ancient past



تا سر زلف تو در دست نسیم افتادست
دل سودازده از غصه دو نیم افتادست
چشم جادوی تو خود عین سواد سحر است
لیکن این هست که این نسخه سقیم افتادست
در خم زلف تو آن خال سیه دانی چیست
نقطه دوده که در حلقه جیم افتادست
زلف مشکین تو در گلشن فردوس عذار
چیست طاووس که در باغ نعیم افتادست
دل من در هوس روی تو ای مونس جان
خاک راهیست که در دست نسیم افتادست
همچو گرد این تن خاکی نتواند برخاست
از سر کوی تو زان رو که عظیم افتادست
سایه قد تو بر قالبم ای عیسی دم
عکس روحیست که بر عظم رمیم افتادست
آن که جز کعبه مقامش نبد از یاد لبت
بر در میکده دیدم که مقیم افتادست
حافظ گمشده را با غمت ای یار عزیز
اتحادیست که در عهد قدیم افتادست



The Fish
When my beloved offers the cup
Graven idols are crushed
 And those who gaze into that intoxicating eye
Cry out for the police
 I plunge into the ocean like a fish
Craving the beloved’s hook
 I fall pleading at those feet
In hope of a helping hand.
 Happy is the heart who like Hafez
Is drunk with the wine of pre-eternity


یارم چو قدح به دست گیرد
بازار بتان شکست گیرد
هر کس که بدید چشم او گفت
کو محتسبی که مست گیرد
در بحر فتاده‌ام چو ماهی
تا یار مرا به شست گیرد
در پاش فتاده‌ام به زاری
آیا بود آن که دست گیرد
خرم دل آن که همچو حافظ
جامی ز می الست گیرد



translations modified from Jila Peacock’s Ten Poems form Hafez. Sylph Editions, 2006