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The Rhyme Maker

Theme:  Praising Wine

Saki = cupbearer

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

Tis an unstable world

Two Gallons of old 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!
What ails thee, Saki!
Hafiz (c.1320-1389), Persian poet
English verse by Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947), English poet

What ails thee, Saki! Wine, for God's love, bring!
Whoever saw an empty cup in spring!

Hast thou forgot this is the drinking season?
The rose is back again : what better reason
To fill the cup, and fill the cup again!
Mind you, we 'll have no drinking out of season!
But not to drink in spring is arrant treason –
So fill the cup, and fill the cup again!

What ails thee, Saki ! Wine, for God's love, bring!
Whoever saw an empty cup in spring!

'Fore heaven, with all this piety and fast,
But it is good to get a drink at last!
My very heart-strings shriveled are and shrunken;
I wonder, Saki, that they didn't crack.
O! but I 'll soon feel better when I've drunken:
Now life begins again – for spring is back.

The very Sufi who but yesterday
Enlarged upon the error of my way,
Himself so drunken is with the good spring –
I saw him to the winds his virtues fling,
And heard him all his piety unsay.

What ails thee, lover ! Where is pipe and string?
Whoever saw so long a face in spring!

Only a day or two the rose is ours,
Only a little while Musella's bowers;
Lover, make haste some smooth-cheeked girl to choose,
And in thy kissing not a moment lose :
Nothing but faces fade so fast as flowers.

Music, O minstrel ! Wine, O Saki, pour!
The rose will soon be gone, though we remain;
Soon, ah ! so soon, the merry spring be o'er –
So fill the cup, and fill the cup again!
Mark thou the Saki's cheek reflected there –
Was ever anything on earth so fair!

What ails thee, lover! Where is pipe and string?
Whoever saw so long a face in spring!

Minstrel, when you before the sultan sing,
Thy song must be of HAFIZ ' fashioning:
No other songs are worthy of a king.

Ode 491 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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