Hafez- “For years my heart asked of me” Ghazal 143

One of my favorite poems from my favorite poet, rendered into excellent English verse-quite a feat.

سالها دل طلب جام جم از ما می کرد   آنچه خود داشت ز بیگانه تمنا می کرد

“For years my heart inquired of me‚”



Read the translator’s notes

For years my heart inquired of me
                   Where Jamshid’s sacred cup might be,
And what was in its own possession
                   It asked from strangers, constantly;
Begging the pearl that’s slipped its shell
                   From lost souls wandering by the sea.
Last night I took my troubles to
                   The Magian sage whose keen eyes see
A hundred answers in the wine
                   Whose cup he, laughing, showed to me.
I questioned him, “When was this cup
                   That shows the world’s reality
Handed to you?” He said, “The day
                   Heaven’s vault of lapis lazuli
Was raised, and marvelous things took place
                   By Intellect’s divine decree,
And Moses’ miracles were made
                   And Sameri’s apostasy.”
He added then, “That friend they hanged
                   High on the looming gallows tree—
His sin was that he spoke of things
                   Which should be pondered secretly,
The page of truth his heart enclosed
                   Was annotated publicly.
But if the Holy Ghost once more
                   Should lend his aid to us we’d see
Others perform what Jesus did—
                   Since in his heartsick anguish he
Was unaware that God was there
                   And called His name out ceaselessly.”
I asked him next, “And beauties’ curls
                   That tumble down so sinuously,
What is their meaning? Whence do they come?”
                   “Hafez,” the sage replied to me,
“It’s your distracted, lovelorn heart
                   That asks these questions constantly.”

Source: Poetry (April 2008).

Original Persian:


سال‌ها دل طلب جام جم از ما می‌کرد

وان چه خود داشت ز بیگانه تمنا می‌کرد


گوهری کز صدف کون و مکان بیرون است

طلب از گمشدگان لب دریا می‌کرد


مشکل خویش بر پیر مغان بردم دوش

کو به تایید نظر حل معما می‌کرد


دیدمش خرم و خندان قدح باده به دست

و اندر آن آینه صد گونه تماشا می‌کرد


گفتم این جام جهان بین به تو کی داد حکیم

گفت آن روز که این گنبد مینا می‌کرد


بی دلی در همه احوال خدا با او بود

او نمی‌دیدش و از دور خدا را می‌کرد


این همه شعبده خویش که می‌کرد این جا

سامری پیش عصا و ید بیضا می‌کرد


گفت آن یار کز او گشت سر دار بلند

جرمش این بود که اسرار هویدا می‌کرد


فیض روح القدس ار باز مدد فرماید

دیگران هم بکنند آن چه مسیحا می‌کرد


گفتمش سلسله زلف بتان از پی چیست

گفت حافظ گله‌ای از دل شیدا می‌کرد

From: http://hafez.mastaneh.ir/ghazal/ghazal-143/

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3 thoughts on “Hafez- “For years my heart asked of me” Ghazal 143

  1. Hi Mr. Davis
    Thank you so much for this translation. Destet derd ne kone! 🙂

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