Research: Iran


Literature: Poems of Iranian Poet, Hafiz
Translated to English by M. Alexandrian
Much have I pored in your great book, O master of verse!
And much essayed to transcribe your living numbers,
Puzzled at your golden mansion and lost in your chambers;
You, O sweet Hafiz! are the unrivaled poet of Perse;
Your lays marvelous sweet, your numbers succinct, terse;
Your song awakens the youth from heavy slumbers;
Your verse is as harmonious as body members;
Now the fragrant bowers of rose you nurse,
Now you perch on the dewy boughs of stately pine,
Now you hang on lovers' lips in their soft repose;
Now in the lovers mansion you drink the purple wine,
Now with sweet nightingale you sing of lovers woes,
Now with the hoary tavern-keeper you dwell and dine.
Bards like Dryden or Pope must rise from shades to sing
Your immortal lays into English and like you chatter;
Your notes are as lively as you can utter;
But they cannot find enough words, O master! to ring
The true notes of your sweet Persian, or like you wing
Their flight in your lovely gardens and must flutter,
Defeated by your divine power and for lack of matter,
Like those who tried Homer or Dante. You are the king
Of poets in Persia in tenderness and in art;
You are the sweetest warbler who revived our tongue.
You dipped your pen in the blood of your heart;
You taught our poets the art of music and song.
What dirge was sung on the sad day you did depart?
And what obsequies paid to you who adored our tongue?
Your song sweeter than the sweet nightingale did ring,
Your lyrics were sweeter than honey when you warbled,
And not a line in your heavenly book is garbled.
You are the unquestioned harbinger of Persian spring,
You are the foremast, O bard! in what you sing.
Whose tomb has survived your name though thickly marbled?
Who rose his head higher than you and was marveled?
Who can rise in the horizon that you spread your wing?
What monument, O master! can survive your rhyme?
What dedication can adorn your living page?
What power can overcome you? - Even the austere time
Has submitted to your craft and your kin knowledge;
Empires fell and rose and fell by stern time and crime
But your music rings louder and fresher, O sage!
Your lyrics mixed with incense fills the balmy air,
For by tender silks of China they are woven,
Rehearsed by every lip and echoed in the heaven.
Like Hafiz full cups of wine drain and like him bear
The pangs and pain of lovers drenched in tear!
Like him you must endure the pain to lovers given;
Like him for love forsake your life and issue even
To fly beyond the vaulted dome in the lovers' sphere.
Ere the spirit of the poet flew among the dead,
Thus he bade his pall-bearers to pray on his tomb:
"Though a sea of sin might close over Hafiz' head:
Yet he may chance to dwell in the Lord's kingdom."
Shine! O Hafiz! shine, you departed shade!
For your fame outlasts the shrines of Greece and Rome.
Arise O cup-bearer! fill the cup, O dear!
And give it yourself to me, fairest than dawn,
For love at first seemed an easy affair,
But in difficult ways I have been thrown;
In the hope of the fragrant musk that zephyr
From the open curls of my fair mistress
Into my nostrils shall blow with cheer,
How my heart bleeds from the pangs of distress?
What peace, say, O what revelries, 
The lover's habitation can impart?!
For the ringing bell of the caravan cries:
Bind up your load, bind up now and depart!
With the red wine your prayer carpet you dye,
If the hoary tavern-keeper bids and means,
For the sage guide is not ignorant, aye,
Of the ways of the roads and stopping inns!
The night is dreary dark and waves of fear
And eddying whirlpools have encumbered the road.
How shall our droning voice reach the ear
Of the travelers at the shore with their light load?
For my pride and ill deeds I have sunk
Into grievous defamation, sub-planted;
What secrets shall remain secretly hung
When at each feast it is rehearsed and chanted?
If you seek contentment, O deluded dandy!
Forget not your love, O Hafiz, never!
For the sake of the fair maid that you crave to see
Forsake the world and its cares, be a lover!
Where is the fame of noble deeds? where I drunken stay?
Say, what distance divides that and this? O say?
I'm fed up of the hermit and his false attire,
Where is the orator's lecture? where the sweet song of lyre?
I'm tired of the cloister and the priest's cloak and design,
Where is the magician's tavern? where is the purple wine?
The days of union are past, its happy remembrance has fled,
Where allurements fled? where the reproof that oppressed?
What the enemy's heart sees looking at a friendly face?
How dull the extinguished lamp? How bright the sun's grace? 
Since the collyrium of my eye is the dust of your feet,
Where should I go from you, O lovely and sweet!?
Look not at the dimple of the fair, danger lurks there,
Where, O coaxing heart do you hurry?! where? O where!?
Seek not rest and sleep from Hafiz, O my dear,
What is rest? where is patience? where is sleep, where?!
Should that fair Shirazi maid win my heart with kindness,
I'd barter Samarkand and Bukhara for the mole in her face;
Give me the wine dregs, cub-bearer, for not in heaven 
You will find Rokn-abad's stream or Mossala's garden even;
Alas, for those lovely ones of this turbulent town,
They stole my heart's peace such as Turkish plunderers have done;
My imperfect poor love adds naught to my darling's fairness,
Of paint or scented locks what lacks her pretty face?
From Joseph's rising virtue I learnt, I tell you,
That love can tear Zoleikha's veil of virtue;
I'll pray for you, whether you abuse or curse me,
A soar reply befits the ruby lips of the beauty;
Hear my advice, the youth barter their lives for knowledge,
For this happy tribe lend a listening ear to the sage;
Of minstrels and wine sing; seek not secrets of fate,
For none discovered nor can solve this riddle and debate.
You sung your odes, Hafiz! pour pearls; sing sweetly and rehearse,
For firmament will scatter Pleiades' necklace over your sweet verse.
Lovers, for God's sake I am loosing my heart,
How painful when the hidden secret should fall apart?
We are ship-wrecked wretches, O fair breeze!, blow,
We may happen again to see the darling's face aglow;
World's favor for ten days is but a magic, a legend,
Look at goodness among friends as a prize, O friend!
In the assembly of wine and rose the bulbul sweetly sung,
Saqi give the morning wine, awaken the drunken throng;
Look well, the mirror is Alexander's world showing goblet,
It may show you well King Darius ravaged state;
O generous friend! for the sake of your own health,
One day ask after this poor dervish's state;
The two worlds with these maxims will find ease:
To be kind to friends and to appease enemies.
They refused me in the reputable neighborhood,
If you don't approve, change your attitude;
The bitter wine that the Sufi calls mother of wickedness,
Is much sweeter to me than the fair virgins' kiss;
In time of hardship try mirth and intoxication,
For Qaroun turned a beggar by this magic potion;
Farsi speaking belles bestow life to the train,
Saqi convey this good tiding to Pars old men.
Hafiz himself wears not such wine-stained garment,
O pious Sheikh! excuse me such a raiment.
Who will convey this message to Sultan's escort?
For king's sake drive not beggars away from the court;
For fear of the demon rival in my God I seek sanctuary,
Perhaps that illuminating comet will help me;
Should your dark eye-lash stoop and my blood aim
Think of its mischief, mistake not the dangerous game;
You burn the whole world when you unveil your face,
What you gain for this coyness that you show no kindness?
All night I entertain this hope that the breeze of dawn 
With lovers' message will cheer lovers in the painted lawn; 
O darling what tumult you inflict on lovers? what distress?
May I be your sacrifice! O show your beauteous face!
To early rising Hafiz! for God's sake give a draught,
Since his morning prayer with bounty is fraught.
Come Sufi, bright is the mirror of the cup, come and see,
That you may behold the brilliance of the wine of ruby;
Ask libertine drunkards of the mystery behind the veil,
For the pious mystic is devoid of the insight to tell.
The Simorgh can't be hunted, undo your trap, unbind,
For here your trap will catch nothing but the wind;
Strive for present pleasure, when water was amiss
Ravished Adam had to abandon the house of bliss;
In the feast of time try two wine cups and be gone,
Desire not alas to taste perpetual union;
Youth left but you didn't pluck a single rose in the mead,
Show art and good name now aged with a white head;
Many are the things I must do at your domain,
O sir! look at your slave with mercy again.
Hafiz is the disciple of the win goblet, go, O breeze!
And convey my obedience to the lord of revelries!
Saqi arise and give me the cup of mirth, 
Bury the grief of time beneath the dark earth;
Lay the balmy wine on my palm and I will tear apart
The deceptive blue garment of the Sufi upstart;
Although wise men consider me of ill fame, 
Neither reputation I seek nor a good name;
Gives me several cups; till when swell with pride?
Let dust fall on the head of this useless appetite;
The smoke of the sigh of my burning chest aglow
Burnt those immature and bewildered crew;
I can't find one to trust and bare my ravished heart,
Neither to the elite nor to the common can I confide;
I content myself with the gorgeous mistress
Who steals from my heart all comfort and calmness;
He who saw that cypress-like silvery bodied maiden,
Shall no more look at the cypress in the garden.
Be patient, Hafiz! with hardships of day and night,
One day you will find contentment and delight.
Again the glory of youth has cheered the garden,
Glad tidings from the rose reaches the sweet bulbul again;
O breeze! should you reach the youth in the meadows,
Convey my greeting to the cypress, the sweet basil and rose;
If such the magic young wine-seller would show her splendor,
I'll make my eye-lash to sweep the wine-house door;
O you that draw over the moon the ambergris-scented ball! 
Make not me distraught, or bewildered with gall;
This crowd that laughs at those suffering throng, I dread Will ruin their faith in the end intoxicated;
Be friend to men of God, for in Noah's ark, the navigator,
A small dust didn't buy deluge for a drop of water;
Tell him whose last sleeping spot is a handful of sod; why?
"Why do you need to exalt your turrets to the sky?"
Go out of the firmament; seek no bread in this sphere;
For in the end this dark cup will slay the guest I fear;
My moon of Kanan! Egypt's throne is yours, avail
It is time that you should bid farewell to the jail.
Hafiz! drink wine, be libertine, be merry, be discreet,
But make not the Quran like others the snare of deceit.
Saqi brighten our cup with the wine's glowing fire,
Fair minstrel tell them the world is bent on my desire;
I saw my darling's face in the purple goblet shine,
O you who are ignorant of the pleasures of wine!
None shall die whose hearts are enlightened with love,
Our life is lasting, such is recorded above;
The allurements of the fair cypress shall cease
When our enchantress begins to dance and tease!
O zephyr! when you blow to the lovers den with rage,
Remember, and to lovers you convey this message:
"Why do you insist my name repeatedly to chant?
My name will be remembered when you cease your cant."
Intoxication has pleased my lovely mistress,
This why they tied my girdle to drunkenness;
I fear the honest bread earned by the Sheikh can't fare
With the forbidden wine that I drank with my fair.
Hafiz! a drop of tear from your eye you shed, 
Perhaps the bird of unity shall aim at my net;
The green sea of heaven and its fair nocturnal queen,
Are both drowned in the abundance of Ghavamoddin.
The curve of your arching brow, boldly drawn to shoot,
Aimed like the bow to murder wretched me beneath your foot;
Earth and heaven were naught when the seed of love was cast,
The birth of love is ancient, not new, it will lost.
Once Narcissus cast a glance to charm lovers in the fold,
But your cunning eyes made a thousand chaos in the world;
Drunk with wine, sweating, to garden you went, O lovely!
The sweat in your face pours fire on the ruby love-tree;
To the feast of crimson roses drunk with wine I sped,
For I thought your mouth resembled a rose-bed;
The violet decked her curling locks when Zephyr came,
And spoke of your fair tress and put herself to shame;
Ashamed of that one who likened it to your face,
The lily cast the blown dust into her mouth to disgrace.
I'd not seen such chastity from the minstrel and wine,
The news made me long for young magicians and repine;
Now with ruby wine I wash my cloak, O accursed!
This was my destined fate, alas, from the first!
Perhaps Hafiz shall find relief from wine at dusk,
For by eternal fate he fell into wine-seller's cask! 
The world is obedient to my wish now that its wheel
Makes me to sit with Ghavamoddin and stretch my heel!
From the flame of burning chest my heart burnt in torment,
A fire blazes out of this house that consumes the lodgment;
Apart from the heart-ravisher my body melted,
For love of darling's fiery face, my heart burnt, pelted; 
He who saw the moon-like one's locks on your chain
His trouble-stricken heart ached from me from chagrin; 
Behold a burning heart, from my warm tears' salted,
Last night from love's yearning it consumed and melted;
It is the friend, not the stranger who grieves for my woe,
When I abandon myself the stranger's heart is aglow;
The tavern's wine tears away my hermit's garment,
The fire of the wine-house burns my reason's lodgment;
When the cup of my heart from my repentance consumed,
My liver like the wine cask without wine and cup consumed; 
Complain not, come back, for the pupil of my eyes rent
My religious cloak thankful of your return to my lodgment.
Cease idle talk, Hafiz! drink wine for a while, cease to bewail,
For last night we couldn't sleep and the candle burnt with the tale.
O breath of dawn where is my lady's place of rest? Where?
Where the flit fair slayer of love dwells, O where?!
Dark is the night, in front of vale of faith, be flit!
Where is Mount Sinai's fire, where is the time to meet?
Whoever came to this world is stamped with ruin, O neighbor!
In wine-seller's shop you must ask who is sober!
He brings glad tidings who knows the things hidden,
Many subtle points are there, who guards the hidden?
Each string of my hair plays thousand games with you,
See where we lurk and where the idle boaster is due!
Ask from the curling tresses of the fair, ask O men!,
What pain presses this sad heart, ask again and again!
I am out of sense, where is the sable curls, where?
My heart beats apart, where is her arching brows? Where?
The wine, minstrel and rose are here, not the fair,
One can't feast without the darling, where is the dear?!
Hafiz! grieve not of autumnal blast, it withers at morn,
Be sensible, tell me, what rose is free of pricking thorn?
Fasting month is past, Fitr is come, hearts beat with glee,
We must ask for wine, for wine boils in the inn you see!, 
The remorse of the dull boasters of faith, they break,
The time of dalliance and revelry has arrived, awake!
Why chide him who drinks wine with such vehemence?
It is no fault to drink deep and to loose your sense;
To drink in open without fraud or mock diffidence
Is better than to fast by cunning and by pretense;
We neither befriend falsehood nor court discord,
Thus says the lord of mystery, thus speaks the lord.
Better to discard God's commandments and harm none,
And approve not what is unfair or not well done; 
What if I and you drink cupfuls in dainty mood,
Wine is the blood of the grape, not of human blood.
What fault is there to drink when no wrong must disgrace,
And if one does amiss; what then? who is faultless?
When you hear the talk of people of heart say not you're at fault,
O heart-ravisher! you can't discern the learned, here lies the fault;
Neither to this world nor the next I would bow my head,
Blessed be God for such tumult lies not in my head;
I know not who lurks in my broken heart or by its door
That I am silent yet he am full of clamor and uproar;
My heart's secret has been exposed, Saqi where is your cot?
Sing a doleful note for my problem lies in the true note;
Had she not displayed her charming face to this world,
I would never be interested in the business of this world;
I haven't slept from a dream that ripens in my head,
A hundred nights I've been wine sick, where is the wine-house's gate?
So stained is the monastery from my heart's blood and blight,
That if you wash me in the wine, your action must be right;
They hold me dear in the Magian's cloister. Why?
Because a fire has been lit in my heart that never will die;
What dainty melody last night the deft minstrel played?
My life has expired but sill full of that music is my head.
Last night with music they announced my love to you. Devote 
Hafiz' breast from desire still echoes with that lovely note.


Research: Classic Poems


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