Ghazal #1 of Hafez’s Divan


This first Ghazal of Hafiz’s Divan is as mysterious as it is beautiful and wise:




O Saqi, come pass the cup ’round and fill it up
        for love seemed easy at first, but then came difficulties
Longing for the sweet scent the morning wind unlocks from her locks
        many a heart filled with blood for the curls of her musky tress
Stain the prayer mat with wine if the Magian Pīr tells you to
        for the traveler knows the rules of the road’s stations
What assurance of joy can I have in the beloved’s home/station?
        when every moment the caravan’s bells cry, “pack up and go!”
Dark night, fearful waves, and whirlpools so terrifying
         how can those lightly-burdened on the shore know our plight?
All my work for my own sake gave me a bad name in the end
         how can the secret told at gatherings remain hidden?
Hafez, if you still desire presence, do not be absent from Him/It.
          When you meet the one you love, leave the world, forget it.





الا یا ایها الساقی ادر کاسا و ناولها
که عشق آسان نمود اول ولی افتاد مشکل‌ها
به بوی نافه‌ای کاخر صبا زان طره بگشاید
ز تاب جعد مشکینش چه خون افتاد در دل‌ها
مرا در منزل جانان چه امن عیش چون هر دم
جرس فریاد می‌دارد که بربندید محمل‌ها
به می سجاده رنگین کن گرت پیر مغان گوید
که سالک بی‌خبر نبود ز راه و رسم منزل‌ها
شب تاریک و بیم موج و گردابی چنین هایل
کجا دانند حال ما سبکباران ساحل‌ها
همه کارم ز خود کامی به بدنامی کشید آخر
نهان کی ماند آن رازی کز او سازند محفل‌ها
حضوری گر همی‌خواهی از او غایب مشو حافظ
متی ما تلق من تهوی دع الدنیا و اهملها



Great Poetic Translation by A.Z. Foreman:

Come wineboy, bring the cup around and pour the spirit free.
Love, at first sight, looked easy. But it soon got hard for me.
In pining for the musk-sweet scent dawn wind bears from her hair
Such tearful blood wells in the hearts of lovers everywhere.
No chance of rest or pleasure at love’s station in my heart.
Life’s bells already ring outside: make ready to depart.
Stain prayer-mats with wine if the wine-seller tells you to.
Pilgrims must know the way, its every stage, and what to do.
The dread of waves, the dark of night, the maelstrom’s monstrous roar…
How can they know my plight, who stay so carefree on the shore?
All my pursuits for my own pleasure ruined my good name.
When gossip-parties learn your secret, it becomes your shame.
Hafiz! If you so wish to be with Him, then do not hide.
That day you meet the One you yearn for, cast this world aside.






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