Friday, September 10, 2010



Hafiz of Shiraz

(1320 - 1389)

Original Language

English version by
Rober Bly

We have turned the face of our dawn studies toward the drunkard's road.
The harvest of our prayers we've turned toward the granary of the ecstatic soul.

The fire toward which we have turned our face is so intense
It would set fire to the straw harvest of a hundred reasonable men.

The Sultan of Pre-Eternity gave us the casket of love's grief as a gift;
Therefore we have turned our sorrow toward this dilapidated traveller's cabin that we call "the world."

From now on I will leave no doors in my heart open for love of beautiful creatures;
I have turned and set the seal of divine lips on the door of this house.

It's time to turn away from make-believe under our robes patched so many times.
The foundation for our work is an intelligence that sees through all these games.

We have turned our face to the pearl lying on the ocean floor.
So why then should we worry if this wobbly old boat keeps going or not?

We turn to the intellectuals and call them parasites of reason;
Thank God they are like true lovers faithless and without heart.

The Sufis have settled for a fantasy, and Hafez is no different.
How far out of reach our goals, and how weak our wills are!

English version by
Thomas Rain Crowe

Hey you, parrot! speaking in riddles,
Sugar wouldn't melt in your mouth!

Clear your head so your heart will be happy,
And then mimic the words of the Beloved!

To everyone who walks by, you have given mixed messages;
For God's sake, tell us something we don't know.

O Winebringer, throw some of Your best wine in our face,
For it is time to wake up!

What chord was it last night that the Minstrel played
That caused the drunk and the pious both to dance?

What drug did You put in their cups
That caused them to lose both their hats and their heads?

Not even to Alexander the Great would Your lovers give the Wine of Life;
He hadn't the power or the gold for that price.

Today, treason is the currency of the world,
But compared with Love, even alchemy has lost its flash.

Come, and listen to our stories of pain;
Even with few words, the truth is still there.

O Lord, don't tell our secrets to those who don't drink;
One cannot give a picture on the wall Your enlightened touch.

To a millionaire, money is the standard of the world;
Hafiz says: O beggars, I have exchanged all my money for these poems!

English version by
Rober Bly

The garden is breathing out the air of Paradise today,
Toward me, a friend with a sweet nature, and this wine.

It's all right for the beggar to brag that he is a King today.
His royal tent is a shadow thrown by a cloud; his throne room is a sown field.

This meadow is composing a tale of a spring day in May;
The serious man lets the future go and accepts the cash now.

Do you really believe your enemy will be faithful to you?
The candle the hermit lights goes out in the worldly church.

Make your soul strong then by feeding it the secret wine.
When we have turned to dust, this rotten world will press our dust into bricks.

My life is a black book. But don't rebuke me too much.
No person can ever read the words written on his own forehead.

When Hafez's coffin comes by, it'll be all right to follow behind.
Although he is a captive of sin, he is on his way to the Garden of Paradise.

English version by
David and Sabrineh Fideler

Where have you taken your sweet song?
Come back and play me a tune.

I never really cared for the things of this world.
It was the glow of your presence
that filled it with beauty.

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