The Rhyme Maker
Women, and Song
stanza: Magian Elder = the tavern-keeper, adopted by the
Persian free-thinking poets as their 'Elder' and spiritual director
in mockery of the Sufis and other religious orders. Wine being
prohibited by the Mohammedan law, the taverns appear to have been, on
the installation of Islam as the state religion of Persia,
clandestinely established in out-of-the-way places, such as ruins
(hence the common name kherabat, ruins, for tavern) of old buildings,
and especially in the deserted temples of the Magians or Zoroastrian
fire-worshipers (hence "Temple" ' or "Convent of the
Magians" = wine-house) and the sectaries of the old religion,
being unbound by the prohibitions of the new faith, seem to have
commonly acted as vintners and wine-sellers; hence the expressions
'Cup of the Magians,' 'Wine of the Magians,' etc"
Payne, translator of Hafiz
in Odes from the Divan
Richard Le Gallienne, the translator of this poem of
Hafiz, also has his own poems posted at vintagewinepoems.com.
- S. H. Bass
Notes: Persian Wine Poetry
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
not reproach at the drunkard's door
Spring, to linger in a garden fair
My friend has fled
all the sum of earthly happiness
Not one is filled with madness
Cup-bearer, set my glass afire
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
secret draft of wine
What drunkenness is this
What is wrought in the forge
is my ruined life
Wind from the east
Richard Le Gallienne
the morning breaks
returns of this good day
do you think this is a time
night, as half asleep I dreaming lay
hermitage the tavern is
Saki – take the wine away
I've good news for you – the spring
more red wine
for God's love, come and fill
Abbot of the Wine-House
an unstable world
Gallons of old wine
ails thee, Saki! Wine
last night’s wine still singing
English translations of Hafiz:
of Hafiz (unknown - 1875)
Feast Of Spring (Whinfield - 1917)
thus I sit with roses in my breast
Hafiz (c.1320-1389), Persian poet
verse by Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947), English poet
thus I sit with roses in my breast,
in my hand, and the Beloved kind;
ask no more the world can take the rest.
the Sultan's self is, to my mind,
such a planetary night as this,
with me a veritable slave.
need of candles where my loved one is!
not the moon of her bright cheek at full?
eyes would fill with light the very grave.
need of perfumes ! the Beloved's hair
such a fragrance to the feasting sense
all this vinous tavern smells of myrrh
musk and ambergris and frankincense.
this our order of the Magian creed
lawful is, but, were thy face away --
rose that hath a cypress for thy stem! –
should on no account be drunk to-day.
is yon sound of ghittern and of reed,
head is all a-humming with soft strings,
my heart full with the sad sound of them.
not of other sweetness, love, to me,
vulgar sweets and sugars of the world,
only hope of sweetness is in thee,
on that lip indifferently curled –
alike to beggars and to kings.
blame him not if, for relief,
sanctuary of his ruined heart,
the precious treasure of his grief,
the kindly tavern HAFIZ brings;
talk of shame to HAFIZ – for his part,
ashamed is HAFIZ of his shame;
which the world accounts a spotless name
indeed, would be ashamed to bear.
call him, and adulterer!
on! what else! he will not say thee nay.
Shiraz then so innocent a place
none but HAFIZ ever goes astray
the wine-cup and a pretty face?
the Censor, he who takes such care
us poor fools he 's always running after
and wine the very same as we;
sure he also loves good wine and laughter.
Sufi, go thy ways, let HAFIZ be!
the never-ending fast is done,
the great feast comes in with minstrelsy :
shall we sit, until the rising sun
on rose and jasmine – I and she.
34 from Odes
Divan of Hafiz (freely rendered from literal translations)
Divan of Hafiz (1905)
English verse by Richard Le Gallienne