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from Poems From The Divan of Hafiz (1897)
translation by Gertrude Bell (1868-1926)

The Rhyme Maker
Hafiz
Hafiz
c.1320-1389


Themes:  Bad Times


NOTES
This poem is about hope . . .the coming of Spring . . . after bad times.

Our poet refers to a well-known story in his day in which King Solomon engenders the loyalty (fidelity) of the Queen of Sheba by sending a message to her via a Lapwing, a rather large bird known for its loud cry and vast wingspan. The Queen responded by sending back a rose.


** Saki = cupbearer.  the saki's kiss = wine

*** The Tartars were the bitter enemy of Persia in Hafiz's day.  In Persian, the word for greed also means “narrowed eyed”.  Having only one robe was a sign of poverty.

- S. H. Bass

Special Notes:  Persian Wine Poetry
                                     Hafiz


more Hafiz at
vintagewinepoems.com
 
translations by Gertrude Bell
A flower-tinted cheek
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
Lay not reproach at the drunkard's door

Mirth, Spring, to linger in a garden fair

My friend has fled
Not all the sum of earthly happiness

Not one is filled with madness
Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire

Singer, sweet Singer, fresh notes strew

The bird of gardens sang unto the rose
The breath of Dawn
The rose has flushed red
The rose is not fair
The secret draft of wine

What is wrought in the forge
Where is my ruined life

Wind from the east

translations by Richard Le Gallienne 
Comrades, the morning breaks
Happy returns of this good day

Heavens! do you think this is a time

Last night, as half asleep I dreaming lay

My hermitage the tavern is

No! Saki – take the wine away

O, I've good news for you – the spring

Once more red wine

Saki, for God's love, come and fill

The Abbot of the Wine-House

Tis an unstable world

Two Gallons of old wine

What ails thee, Saki! Wine

When thus I sit with roses in my breast

With last night’s wine still singing


More English translations of Hafiz:
Song of Hafiz (unknown - 1875)
The Feast Of Spring (Whinfield - 1917)


What drunkenness is this that brings me hope
Hafiz (c. 1320-1389), Persian poet
translation by Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), British writer

What drunkenness is this that brings me hope
Who was the Cup-bearer, and whence the wine?
That minstrel singing with full voice divine,
What lay was his? for 'mid the woven rope
Of song, he brought word from my Friend to me
Set to his melody.

The wind itself bore joy to Solomon; *
The Lapwing flew from Sheba's garden close,
Bringing good tidings of its queen and rose.
Take thou the cup and go where meadows span
The plain, whither the bird with tuneful throat
Has brought Spring's sweeter note.

Welcome, oh rose, and full-blown eglantine!
The violets their scented gladness fling,
Jasmine breathes – purity art sorrowing
Like an unopened bud, oh heart of mine?
The wind of dawn that sets closed blossoms free
Brings its warm airs to thee.

Saki, thy kiss shall still my bitter cry!
Lift up your grief-bowed heads, all ye that weep,
The Healer brings joy's wine-cup oh, drink deep!
Disciple of the Tavern-priest am I;
The pious Sheik may promise future bliss,
He brings me where joy is.

The greedy glances of a Tartar horde***
To me seemed kind – my foeman spared me not
Though one poor robe was all that I had got.
But Heaven served Hafiz, as a slave his lord,
And when he fled through regions desolate,
Heaven brought him to thy gate.


#19 from Poems From The Divan of Hafiz (1897)



Poems From The Divan of Hafiz (1897)
translation by Gertrude Bell (1868-1926)

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