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The Rhyme Maker

Theme:  Wine Drinkers

“matins” (second stanza):  a term used by the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England to reference morning prayers.

Richard Le Gallienne, the translator of this poem of Hafiz, also has his own poems posted at
- S. H. Bass  

Special Notes:  Persian Wine Poetry

more Hafiz at
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 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

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)

Stop Button Clutter!
My hermitage the tavern is
Hafiz (c.1320-1389), Persian poet
English verse by Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947), English poet

My hermitage the tavern is –
Ah! such a pietist am I!
My abbot is the taverner –
Yea ! such a pietist am I!
And every morning thus I pray:
Give us the red wine day by day,
God grant me too the sight of her!
Thus pray I to the taverner
Each morning at the break of day –
Such, such a pietist am I!

My matins are the songs I make –
So penitent at morn am I! –
Of sorrow for the night before.
So early is my heart awake,
That, long before the harp is heard,
Long ere the open tavern door,
I waken the still sleeping bird –
So early is my heart awake! –
With sound of my repentant tears.
So sweet the sound in mine own ears
Of mine own sorrow, that ere long
My heart is healed with mine own song;
And ere the middle of the day –
So early was my heart awake! –
My sorrow is all sung away.

Beggar and king to me are one:
So very beautiful is she,
That any beggar who shall fling
Upon her doorstep in a dream
Shall surely seem to me a king.
Whatever else I do or seem,
Only one thought possesses me,
In mosque or tavern -- it is she;
Living or dead, or damned – 'tis she;
So very beautiful is she.

Better the beggar at thy feet
Than any king on any throne;
To be thy slave is very sweet;
The torture of thy tyranny
Riches and honor are to me;
Abased upon thy threshold-stone
I seem uplifted past the sun,
And none save death shall strike my tent
Of vigilant love before thy door.
Too well I know the fault is none
Of thine – 'tis mine for loving thee;
HAFIZ shall hold thee innocent
Before High God, and yet must he
Love thee for ever and more and more.

Ode 42 from Odes from the Divan of Hafiz (freely rendered from literal translations) 1905

The Internet Archive logoFREE E-BOOK
Odes from the Divan of Hafiz (1905)
English verse by Richard Le Gallienne


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