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The Rhyme Maker

Theme:  Wine, Women, and Song

[fourth stanza]: Saki: cup-bearer

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

My hermitage the tavern is

No! Saki – take the wine away

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)

O, I've good news for you – the spring
Hafiz (c.1320-1389), Persian poet
English verse by Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947), English writer

O, I've good news for you – the spring, the spring!
The blessed grass is green for one more year,
And all is piping sweet and busy wing;
Wild nightingales and roses everywhere.

Ah! when the money comes, I vow I'll burn
This patched old saintly dervish coat of mine,
Like the young year be young too in my turn,
And spend it all on roses and on wine.

For yesterday, in deep distress for drink,
I took it to the taverner at morn,
Asking a cup of wine for it – and think!
He said it wasn't worth a barley-corn.

See the red roses in the Saki's cheek,
And on her garden-lips the violet blows;
No one has kissed me for a whole long week –
O lovely one, grant me to pluck a rose.

My friend, before you wander in Love's street,
Do not forget to take with you a guide –
So perilous for undirected feet
The twists and turnings once you are inside.

Yet many wonders you will meet with there,
And of the many this one not the least –
That there the timid deer it is pursues
The lion, and pulls down the lordly beast.

And when in doubt of what to do or think,
HAFIZ, raise high, drain deep, the golden cup
Take counsel of the vine, HAFIZ, and drink
At once the wine and the dilemma up.

Poor HAFIZ! After all, the spring is gone,
The roses and the nightingales are going;
Yet of the roses you have plucked not one,
Nor drunk one cup of wine, for all its flowing.

Ode 207 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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