The bird of gardens sang unto the rose,
New blown in the clear dawn: ‘Bow down thy head!
As fair as thou within this garden close,
Many have bloomed and died.’ She laughed and said
‘That I am born to fade grieves not my heart
But never was it a true lover’s part
To vex with bitter words his love’s repose.’
The tavern step shall be thy hostelry,
For Love’s diviner breath comes but to those
That suppliant on the dusty threshold lie.
And thou, if thou would’st drink the wine that flows
From Life’s bejewelled goblet, ruby red,
Upon thine eyelashes thine eyes shall thread
A thousand tears for this temerity.
Last night when Irem’s magic garden slept,
Stirring the hyacinth’s purple tresses curled,
The wind of morning through the alleys stept.
‘Where is thy cup, the mirror of the world?
Ah, where is Love, thou Throne of Djem?’ I cried.
The breezes knew not; but ‘Alas,’ they sighed,
‘That happiness should sleep so long!’ and wept.
Not on the lips of men Love’s secret lies,
Remote and unrevealed his dwelling-place.
Oh Saki, come! the idle laughter dies
When thou the feast with heavenly wine dost grace.
Patience and wisdom, Hafiz, in a sea
Of thine own tears are drowned; thy misery
They could not still nor hide from curious eyes.
Translated by: Gertrude Bell