ghazal #149 divan-e-hafez, khanlari

at dawn, when khosrow of the east planted his flag in the hills,
my friend tapped on the door of the hopeful with the hand of mercy.

with the dawn, the sun of heaven became luminous,
and then rose and laughed brightly at all vainglory.

last night, when the beloved rose among us to dance,
he loosened his curly hair to strike his lovers’ breasts.

with heart’s blood, i washed my hands at once of all virtue
when his wine-filled glance called the sober to prayer.

what sword taught his heart this practice of deceit,
that when first drawn, the watchmen of night were struck!

the poor heart fancied a horseman, who disappeared.
o lord, protect it from the love of an army of riders!

for the life and color of his cheek, what blood and soul we gave.
when hand first drew his form, the life of lovers was effaced.

by my woollen cloak, how might i secure the cruel beloved?
the one whose eyelashes like daggers pierce and enwrap me!

we regard the rolling dice of the shah’s success and prosperity-
grant the heart’s desire of hafez, who reads the fortune of the rich.

king of kings muzaffar, defender of faith and kingdom,
whose flood of generosity has mocked the spring rains,

from that hour when, by his hand, the wine cup was ennobled,
our age drinks the cup of joy to the life of wine-lovers.

victory flashed from his head-severing sword on that day
when, like the star-burning sun, he alone cut down hundreds.

by god’s grace, my heart-prayer is for his lasting life and kingdom,
even as heaven has minted this royal coin in the world of time.




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