The Rhyme Maker
3: “Irem's magic garden” refers to a garden built by a Persian
king, an oasis in the desert said to rival the Garden of Eden.
Bell (translator) notes that this poems is “a
description of the poet's quest for love. In an allegory he shows
how he looked for it in vain from that image of earthly devotion, the
nightingale (“the bird of garden”); he warns men that it comes
not but by humiliation and sorrow; he questions the magic garden, but
its breezes cannot answer him; finally, he concludes that love is
not that which lies upon the lips of men, and calls upon the
Cup-bearer (“Saki”) to silence their idle talk with the wine of
Notes: Persian Wine Poetry
Arise! and fill a golden goblet up
Arise, oh Cupbearer, rise!
Forget not when dear friend
From out the street of So-and-So
From the garden of Heaven
Hast thou forgotten
not reproach at the drunkard's door
Spring, to linger in a garden fair
My friend has fled
all the sum of earthly happiness
Not one is filled with madness
Cup-bearer, set my glass afire
sweet Singer, fresh notes strew
The breath of Dawn
The rose has flushed red
The rose is not fair
secret draft of wine
What drunkenness is this
What is wrought in the forge
is my ruined life
Wind from the east
Richard Le Gallienne
the morning breaks
returns of this good day
do you think this is a time
night, as half asleep I dreaming lay
hermitage the tavern is
Saki – take the wine away
I've good news for you – the spring
more red wine
for God's love, come and fill
Abbot of the Wine-House
an unstable world
Gallons of old wine
ails thee, Saki! Wine
thus I sit with roses in my breast
last night’s wine still singing
English translations of Hafiz:
of Hafiz (unknown - 1875)
Feast Of Spring (Whinfield - 1917)
bird of gardens sang unto the rose
(c. 1320-1389), Persian poet
by Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), British writer
bird of gardens sang unto the rose,
blown in the clear dawn: “Bow down thy head!
fair as thou within this garden close,
have bloomed and died.” She laughed and said:
I am born to fade grieves not my heart;
never was it a true lover's part
vex with bitter words his love's repose.”
tavern step shall be thy hostelry,
Love's diviner breath comes but to those
suppliant on the dusty threshold lie.
thou, if thou would'st drink the wine that flows
Life's bejeweled goblet, ruby red,
thine eyelashes thine eyes shall thread
thousand tears for this temerity.
night when Irem's magic garden slept,
the hyacinth's purple tresses curled,
wind of morning through the alleys stept.
is thy cup, the mirror of the world?
where is Love, thou Throne of Djem?” I cried.
breezes knew not; but "Alas' they sighed,
happiness should sleep so long!” and wept.
on the lips of men Love's secret lies,
and unrevealed his dwelling-place.
Saki, come! the idle laughter dies
thou the feast with heavenly wine dost grace.
and wisdom, Hafiz, in a sea
thine own tears are drowned; thy misery
could not still nor hide from curious eyes.
From The Divan of Hafiz (1897)
From The Divan of Hafiz (1897)
by Gertrude Bell (1868-1926)
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