In the beginning, the light of your beauty breathed into being-
And love appeared, illuminating the whole world.
Your face appeared, and the angels saw they had no love-
They became fire out of this envy, and gave love to man.
Intellect wished to light a lamp from that flame-
The lightning of envy flashed and shook the world.
The pretender wished to come and witness the secret-
An unseen hand struck the breast of that unlawful stranger.
The others cast the lot of their fate on pleasure,
But our grieving heart cast its lot with sorrow.
The pure one lusted after your chin’s dimple,
He placed his hand on those rings of curls upon curls.
Hafez wrote the joyful book of love on that day
When his pen crossed out the causes of a happy heart.
Notes: The Poet’s sublime cosmogony! In the beginning
was the beloved of light, love and beauty; the angels could
not receive this love, and envy man who did; intellect, in
turn, was not worthy of the flame of love, but the heart was;
the “pretenders” to love are rebuked; most choose
pleasure over sacrifice; nothing inspires purity like
beauty; and joyful love is only supported by self denial.