ghazal #312 divan-e-hafez, khanlari

for years i was a follower of the rend‘s way,
until desire by wisdom’s decree was imprisoned.

not by myself did i take the path to the anqa-
i arrived at this stage with solomon’s bird.

unusual was the manner of my search for desire-
i attained composure in those disheveled curls!

o treasure of desire, protect my wounded heart,
for i have ruined this body longing for you!

i repented that i would not kiss the saqi’s lips;
now i bite my lip that i listened to such drivel!

sobriety and drunkenness is not in my hands or yours;
what the sultan beyond time said “do”, i have done!

by timeless grace i fancy the gardens of ferdows,
‘though indeed i have been keeper of the wine house gate.

this old head that the company of joseph caresses,
is recompense for the world’s pain i’ve suffered.

no hafez in the mehrab’s heaven has enjoyed
the joy i have by my command of the qoran!

if i take the throne because of this divan- no wonder!
years of servitude i gave to the owner of this divan.

notes: rend= one who gives it all away for love.
anqa= simorq, or mythical bird of magical unity.
solomon’s bird= his messenger, the hoopoe.
saqi= wine bearer. ferdows= paradise. mehrab=
niche indicating orientation of ritual prayer.
no hafez= “no one who (like me) has memorized the
qoran. divan= collection of poetry.




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