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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    Love and Romance


Notes

Stanza 5:  Shah Shudja . . . was not always on the best of terms with Hafiz, partly because he was jealous of the latter's fame as a poet, and partly because Hafiz had been the protege of Shah Shudja's former rival, Abu Ishac.  Accordingly, the King looked about for some means of doing the poet an injury, nor was it long before he found what he sought.  He accused Hafiz of denying the Resurrection, basing the accusation upon the last couplet of this poem (the last three lines of the present translation) and cited him before the Ulema as an infidel.  But Hafiz was too many for him.

Before the day on which he was to answer the charge against himself, he inserted another couplet into the ode, in which he stated that the dangerous lines did not express his own opinion, but that of a heretical Christian.  He came off with flying colors; for not only was he entirely cleared, but it was also acknowledged that he had dealt a good blow on behalf of the Muhammadan religion, since he had shown up one of the errors of the infidel.
- Gertrude Bell, translator


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

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 drunkenness is this
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)


Not one is filled with madness like to mine
Hafiz (c. 1320-1389), Persian poet
translation by Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), British writer

Not one is filled with madness like to mine
In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.

From out mine eyes unto my garment's hem
A river flows; perchance my cypress-tree
Beside that stream may rear her lofty stem,
Watering her roots with tears. Ah, bring to me
The wine vessel! since my Love's cheek is hid,
A flood of grief comes from my heart unbid,
And turns mine eyes into a bitter sea!

Nay, by the hand that sells me wine, I vow
No more the brimming cup shall touch my lips,
Until my mistress with her radiant brow
Adorns my feast – until Love's secret slips
From her, as from the candle's tongue of flame,
Though I, the singed moth, for very shame,
Dare not extol Love's light without eclipse.

Red wine I worship, and I worship her! –
Speak not to me of anything beside,
For naught but these on earth or heaven I care.
What though the proud narcissus flowers defied
Thy shining eyes to prove themselves more bright,
Yet heed them not! those that are clear of sight
Follow not them to whom all light's denied.

Before the tavern door a Christian sang
To sound of pipe and drum, what time the earth
Awaited the white dawn, and gaily rang
Upon mine ear those harbingers of mirth:
"If the True Faith be such as thou dost say,
Alas! my Hafiz, that this sweet To-day
Should bring unknown To-morrow to the birth!"


#24 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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