The Lovers’ Anthem


This incredibly beautiful, and incredibly rich, ghazal of Hafez is my current favorite:

When you hear the speech of the people of the heart, do not say that it is mistake
the mistake is, my dear, not understanding this speech.
My head bows neither to this world nor the next
Praise God for these troubles that boil in my head.
I do not know who is within poor heartbroken me
For while I am silent, he roars and clamors.
My heart came out from the veil. Where are you o minstrel?
Play a tune, for my well-being depends on your scale.
I never paid any attention to the affairs of this world
In my sight, your face adorned it so beautifully.
Many nights I have not slept because of my fantasies
I have a hundred-night hangover, where is the tavern?
So defiled is the monastery by my heart’s blood that
You would have the right to wash me with wine.
The reason they hold me dear in the Magian’s house is:
The fire that never dies is ever in my heart.
What was the melody the minstrel played last night?
Though time has passed, my head is still full of that tune.
Last night, your love’s voice sang out in my heart
and the space in my breast is still full of its echoes.


چو بشنوی سخن اهل دل مگو که خطاست
سخن شناس نه‌ای جان من خطا این جاست
سرم به دنیی و عقبی فرو نمی‌آید
تبارک الله از این فتنه‌ها که در سر ماست
در اندرون من خسته دل ندانم کیست
که من خموشم و او در فغان و در غوغاست
دلم ز پرده برون شد کجایی ای مطرب
بنال هان که از این پرده کار ما به نواست
مرا به کار جهان هرگز التفات نبود
رخ تو در نظر من چنین خوشش آراست
نخفته‌ام ز خیالی که می‌پزد دل من
خمار صدشبه دارم شرابخانه کجاست
چنین که صومعه آلوده شد ز خون دلم
گرم به باده بشویید حق به دست شماست
از آن به دیر مغانم عزیز می‌دارند
که آتشی که نمیرد همیشه در دل ماست
چه ساز بود که در پرده می‌زد آن مطرب
که رفت عمر و هنوزم دماغ پر ز هواست
ندای عشق تو دیشب در اندرون دادند
فضای سینه حافظ هنوز پر ز صداست


2 thoughts on “The Lovers’ Anthem

  1. Awesome poems translated into English. If not mistaken , these are the teachings of Buddha. This brings us peach in the real world and compassion within us . Brings us joy within us. The real truth is we have to find happiness within us

  2. I’m Persian. This is a masterpiece like most of the Hafez’s poems. This poem is not translatable. The word combinations and deep sensation cannot be transferred. There’s a famous quote says: Hafez’s poems are like a bird’s songs. and translation is like a biopsy of the bird’s body. You can not find it inside it.

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