ghazal #280, divan-e-hafez, khanlari

in the reign of the shah, forgiving of fault and defect,
hafez has drained, and the mofti has emptied, his glass.

the sufi sat in the cloister’s corner behind a barrel of wine,
until he saw the mohtaseb pass with bottles on his back.

about the state of sheik and qazi and their secret drinking,
i enquired early this morning from the seller of wine:

he said,” ‘though you are trusted, it is not to be discussed.
shut the mouth, draw the curtain and enjoy your wine!”

saqi, spring is coming, but no money for wine remains-
think about it- the heart will come to boil from grief!

love is, and poverty and youth, and spring newly arrived-
accept my excuse, and forgive my fault with generosity!

for how long, like the candle, will you wax eloquent?
shut up, o lover- the moth of desire has arrived!

please live that long for your youthful luck to receive
heaven’s blue robe when the sky’s patched coat wears out.

notes: mofti= one who can issue a fatwa, or religious edict.
mohtaseb= enforcer of religious law. qazi= judge.
saqi= wine bearer. last line= may the shah live long enough to
receive the pure blue mantle of eternity at the end of time, or
judgement day, when the tattered sphere of the moon and
the planets wears out.




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