How fares my life? to play the enemy
And ask not where he dwells that was thy friend?
Thou art the breath of mercy passing o’er
The whole wide world, and the offender I
Ah, let the rift my tears have channelled end,
Question the past no more!
If thou would’st know the secret of Love’s fire,
It shall be manifest unto thine eyes:
Question the torch flame burning steadfastly,
But ask no more the sweet wind’s wayward choir.
Ask me of faith and love that never dies;
Darius, Alexander’s sovereignty,
I sing of these no more.
Ask not the monk to give thee Truth’s pure gold,
He hides no riches ‘neath his lying guise;
And ask not him to teach thee alchemy
Whose treasure-house is bare, his hearth-stone cold.
Ask to what goal the wandering dervish hies,
They knew not his desire who counselled thee:
Question his rags no more!
And in their learned books thou’lt seek in vain
The key to Love’s locked gateway; Heart grown wise
In pain and sorrow, ask no remedy!
But when the time of roses comes again,
Take what it gives, oh Hafiz, ere it flies,
And ask not why the hour has brought it thee,
And wherefore ask no more!
Poems from the Divan of Hafiz, by Getrude Lowthian Bell,