Lay Thine Hand Very Gently Upon Me, O Physician! By Ahmad Shah Abdali

Lay thine hand very gently upon me, O physician!
Behold my condition, and take pity upon me, my beloved!

My heart, for this reason, is wholly filled with anguish,
That, thro’ evil destiny, it beholdeth not its dear one near.

She is perfect and exquisite, in the excess of her beauty;
Hence my heart, distracted and disordered, raveth for her.

Tho’ the dear one, by her mouth, many favours conferreth;
Still, every one receiveth the portion, by destiny decreed.

Notwithstanding, when I make many supplications unto her,
She saith unto me, “Grieve not, poor soul! I am thine!”

But next day, when I approach her, then, O my friend!
She saith, “Who is it I wherefore hath the rude fellow come?”

Tho’ I would tear her from my heart, yet it will not be;
For she is, by nature, exceedingly generous, and noble withal.

The long sable locks hang her fair white face about—
She is gay and cheerful in disposition, and elegant in form.

Since God hath given unto the heart-ravisher the rose’s beauty,
Wherefore should not the nightingale lover weep and bewail?

O Aḥmad Shāh! the parrot-like soul weepeth and is sad:
It hath come again, O destiny! from the country of its love.

Translated By H.G. Raverty, [1868]


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