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The Rhyme Maker

Theme:  Bad Times

Saki (2nd stanza) = 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

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

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)

'Tis an unstable world
Hafiz (c.1320-1389), Persian poet
English verse by Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947), English poet

'Tis an unstable world: all fades and glides
And surely melts and vanishes away;
Even as the hollow wind we come and go,
Like the obliterating ebb and flow
Of wreck-encumbered shingle-shifting tides,
Forgotten as the iridescent spray.
Hope is a fairy palace built on sand,
And life's own tree is rooted in the wind;
Only this friend I hold here in my hand,
When all the rest have gone, remains behind –
Only the cup abides.

Saki, the servant of that man am I
Who kneels to nobody beneath the blue,
But, firm in spirit, lets the world go by.
Come, fill the cup – I have strange news for you!
How shall I utter what last night befell
Here in this reeking tavern unto me,
Drunk and adream and foolish with old wine.
The Angel of the World Invisible
Stood at my side, in glory like the sun:
"Thou kingly falcon”, said the shape divine,
"Not in this world is nest or rest for thee,
This little planet packed with so great woes,
This star of tears, this country of sad eyes –
What is it, royal HAFIZ, thou hast done
That thou so drear a habitation chose!
Thy place is with the angel Gabriel,
High up within the boughs of Sidra's tree,
Upon the frontiers of Paradise.

"Hark! how thy name makes sweet the empty sky
Over the brink of heaven the angels lean –
'HAFIZ, forsake the world,' I hear them sing;
'Bride of a thousand bridegrooms hath she been,
This ancient painted woman; the same lie
Hath she told all, nor yet in anything
Hath she kept faith; expect not constancy,
Enamored nightingale, from such a rose.' "

So spake the angel to HAFIZ – even to me –
Here in the tavern at the evening's close.

Ode 32 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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