ghazal #304 divan-e-hafez, khanlari

welcome, bird of fortunate strength and happy message,
happy arrival! what news of the friend- where is he?

o lord, may your timeless grace guide our caravan
by which the enemy and mistress are well engaged!

all between me and my beloved has no end-
that which has no beginning, can have no end.

since the beloved’s curls demand the sacred thread of old-
get lost, o sheik, for the dervish robe is forbidden!

the bird of my spirit that was singing from the lote tree,
your cheek’s mole, like a seed, in the end, ensnared it.

you showed my love sick heart no kindness. i said,
this is my claim: “you and this moment are mine”!

the rose brings joy without limit- show all your face!
the cypress struts terribly- for god’s sake, walk forth!

if hafez inclines toward your eyebrow- it’s fitting,
for the man of speech has a corner in the mehrab’s eye.

notes: the zorastrian sacred thread- zonnar in persian,
also means ringlets. the lote tree marks where mohammad
received the qoran. the cypress is most slender and graceful,
but not if contrasted with the beloved. the mehrab is the
niche in a mosque that indicates the direction of mecca
and the orientation of ritual prayer. the “man of speech”
“inclining” refers to the performance of ritual prayer-
but toward and to the beloved- not mecca! hafez’s poetry
has usurped the daily prayers. let’s hear it for love!




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