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NOTE.-Words printed in italics are not, properly speaking, represented in the Persian text, but are inserted for the Purpose of converting Oriental into Occidental forms of Phraseology.
Although I have not served thee from my youth,
And though my face is masked with sin uncouth,
In thine Eternal justice I Confide
As One who ever sought to follow Truth.
If I have never threaded the pearl of Thy service,
I have, at least, never wiped the dust of sin from my face;
this being so, I am not hopeless of Thy mercy,
for the reason that I have never said that One was Two.
Perchance within the Tavern I may see
The inmost secret of Thy Mystery,
While at the Shrine in ignorance I bow;
Burn me or Bless me; I am part of Thee.
If I tell Thee my secret thoughts in a tavern,
it is better than if I make my devotions before the Mihrab without Thee.
O Thou, the first and last of all created beings!
burn me an Thou wilt, or cherish me an Thou wilt.
Blame not the sinner; hast thou Innocence?
Lay thou aside imposture and pretence;
If thou would henceforth live a restful life
Give humble folk no reason for offence.
So far as in thee lies, reproach not drunkards,
lay thou aside pretence and imposture;
if, henceforth, thou desirest rest from this life of thine,
do not for a moment shun humble folk.
So rule thy life as ever to refrain
From strife that to thy fellow bringeth pain;
But scourge thyself, nor any mercy show,
If the Eternal Peace thou woulds't attain.
So far as in thee lies, cause no pain to anyone,
nor cause anyone to suffer from thy wrath;
if thou hast a desire for eternal peace,
fret thyself always and harass no one.
O, Queen of night, for whom my spirit yearns,
Drink of the wine of life while yet life burns!
How know'st thou that thou art not the one
To whom no moon or morrow e'er returns?
Since no one will guarantee thee a to-morrow,
make thou happy now this love-sick heart of thine;
drink wine in the moonlight, O Moon, for the moon
shall seek us long and shall not find us.
We dabble in the Qur'án now and then,
Read, and repent, yet fall from Grace again;
But in the goblet is engraved a text
That greets eternally the eyes of men.
The Qur'an, which men call the Supreme Word,
they read at intervals but not continually,
but on the lines upon the goblet a text is engraved
which they read at all times and in all places.
We are! Here is the wine! and here, close by,
The ruin'd furnace in a heap doth lie;
But when true inspiration we imbibe,
The very Elements we may defy.
We are; and the wine is, and the drinking bench; and our drunken bodies are;
careless of hopes of mercy, and of fears of punishment;
our souls, and our hearts, and our goblets, and our garments full of the lees of wine,
independent of earth and air, and fire and water.
'Twere better that thou makest but few friends.
Distance in intercourse to virtue tends;
Examine him in whom thy trust is placed,
He may be suing thee for treach'rous ends.
In this life it is best that thou shouldst make but few friends;
distant intercourse with one's fellow men is good;
that person upon whom thou leanest entirely,
when thou examinest him closely, he is thine enemy.
This jug, o'er which I pledge my love to-day,
Was once a lover too, now sad, now gay;
The handle that thou seest upon its neck
Once round another's neck in friendship lay.
This jug was once a plaintive lover as I am,
and was in pursuit of one of comely face;
this handle that thou seest upon its neck
is an arm that once lay around the neck of a friend.
Ah! woeful is the heart from passion free,
And sweet the pain of lovers' misery!
If thou hast spent a day bereft of Love,
For evermore that day is lost to thee.
Ah, woe to that heart in which there is no passion,
which is not spell-bound by heart-cheering love!
the day that thou spendest without love,
there is no day more useless to thee than that day.
To-day with Youth's effulgency I shine,
And taste the Joy of Life in Youth's own Wine
Sneer not because I find it bitter-sweet;
There lies its likeness to this life of mine.
To-day being the season of my youth,
I desire wine, for thence comes my happiness;
reproach me not, even though acrid it is pleasant;
it is acrid only in that it represents my life.
Tomorrow is beyond To-day's command,
And Sorrow lords it o'er the future land;
Thine hour is Now! Fix not thine eyes afar,
Missing the Glory ready to thy hand!
Thou hast no power to-day over the morrow,
and anxiety about the morrow is useless to thee;
waste not thou this moment if thy heart be not mad,
for the value of the remainder of this life is not manifest.
The world sighs out for Happiness, and saith
"The very desert liveth: where is Death?"
The hand of Moses blooms on many a bough,
And every breeze is sweet with Jesus' breath.
Now that there is a possibility of happiness for the world,
every living heart has yearnings towards the desert,
upon every bough is the appearance of Moses' hand,
in every breeze is the sigh of Jesus' breath.
Truth's branches bear good fruit for all who seek;
They shake in vain who shake with hands too weak.
To-day resembles Yesterday, but lo!
Creation's voice shall in To-morrow speak.
For him for whom the fruit of the branch of truth has not grown,
the reason is that he is not firm in the Road.
Every one who has shaken with his hand the unstable bough of knowledge
knows that to-day is like yesterday, and that to-morrow is like the First Day of Creation.
This, in the Dawn of Being, my behest,
My wand'ring soul for Heav'n and Hell made quest,
For Pen and Tablet; 'til the Teacher said
"Thou has them all, O Man, within thy breast!"
Already on the Day of Creation beyond the heavens my soul
searched for the Tablet and Pen and for heaven and hell;
at last the Teacher said to me with His enlightened judgment,
"Tablet and Pen, and heaven and hell, are within thyself."
But bring me Wine; for words I do not care;
I have thy lips, and all my Heav'n is there;
Bring wine to match thy cheeks; my penitence
Is full of tangles as thy clust'ring hair.
Arise and give me wine - what time is this for words?
for to-night thy little mouth fills all my needs;
give me wine, rose-coloured as thy cheeks,
for this penitence of mine is as full of tangles as thy curls.
The breath of Spring is sweet unto the Rose,
The lov'd one's face in the dark garden grows;
Speak not of Yesterday, - I know it not, -
To-day is all thy wooing lover knows.
The spring breeze blows sweetly upon the face of the rose,
in the shade of the garden plot a darling's face is sweet;
nothing thou canst say of yesterday that is past, is sweet,
be happy and do not speak of yesterday, for to-day is sweet.
How long shall I throw pebbles on the sea?
What are the Idol-worshippers to me?
Who says "Khayyám is surely doomed to Hell?"
Hast thou been there? Hath heaven rejected thee?
How long shall I throw bricks upon the surface of the sea?
I am disgusted with the idol-worshippers of the pagoda.
Khayyam! who can say that he will be a denizen of hell,
who ever went to hell, and who ever came from heaven?
The Craftsman who hath made a cup so rare
To hold his wine, will handle it with care.
For love of whom, then, made He thee and me,
For hate of whom to break and not to spare?
The elements of a cup which he has made, to contain wine,
a drinker will not permit to be scattered abroad;
all these heads and delicate feet - with his finger-tips,
for love of whom did he make them ? - for hate of whom should he break them?
Like Wind or Water, passing on its way,
Out of my life goes yet another day.
Two days there are that never trouble me -
One has not come, the other could not stay.
Like water in a great river and like wind in the desert,
another day passes out of the period of my existence;
grief has never lingered in my mind - concerning two days,
the day that has not yet come and the day that is past.
I was not asked to choose my natal morn,
I die as helplessly as I was born.
Bring wine, and I will strive to wash away
The recollection of Creation's scorn.
Seeing that my coming was not for me the Day of Creation,
and that my undesired departure hence is a purpose fixed for me,
get up and gird well thy loins, O nimble Cup-bearer,
for I will wash down the misery of the world in wine.
Khayyám, who stitch'd at Wisdom's golden tent,
Through Sorrow's white-hot furnaces was sent;
The tent-rope of his life by fate was cut,
And for a song he from the Broker went.
Khayyam, who stitched at the tents of wisdom,
fell into the furnace of sorrow and was suddenly burnt;
the shears of doom cut the tent-rope of his existence,
and the broker of hope sold him for a mere song.
Khayyám! for all thy sins pray do not deign
To mourn; thy grief can earn thee naught but pain.
Mercy was made for Sinners. Why then grieve?
For they who sin not, Mercy may not gain.
Khayyam, why mourn thus for thy sins?
from grieving thus what advantage, more or less, dost thou gain ?
Mercy was never for him who sins not,
mercy is granted for sins - why then grieve?
In cell and cloister, mosque and synagogue,
Are men whose steps the fear of Hell doth dog;
But he who carries God within his breast
Is independent of the Pedagogue.
In cell, and college, and monastery, and synagogue
are those who fear hell and those who seek after heaven
he who has knowledge of the secrets of God
sows none of such seed in his heart of hearts.
If in the Spring, she whom I love so well
Meet me by some green bank - the truth I tell -
Bringing my thirsty soul a cup of wine,
I want no better Heaven, nor fear a Hell.
If in the season of spring a being, houri-shaped,
gives me on the green bank of a field a goblet full of wine,
(though to everyone this saying may seem uncouth)
a dog is better than I am if thenceforth I pronounce the name of heaven.
Know this, that soon thou diest, and thy soul
The Book of God's Great Secret must unroll;
Be happy! knowing not whence thou hast come,
Nor whither thou shalt go. Drink out the Bowl!
Know this - that from thy soul thou shalt be separated,
thou shalt pass behind the curtain of the secrets of God.
Be happy - thou knowest not whence thou hast come:
drink wine - thou knowest not whither thou shalt go.
Falling asleep, I heard my Fate confess
That Sleep ne'er bore the Rose of Happiness.
"Sleep is the Mate of Death," she cried. "Awake!
Drink, ere Her lips bestow the last caress!"
I fell asleep, and wisdom said to me: -
“Never from sleep has the rose of happiness blossomed for anyone;
why do a thing that is the mate of death ?
Drink wine, for thou must sleep for ages."
Then inspiration from on High I sought,
Asking that Knowledge might to me be brought;
But presently my heart said,"Pray no more!
The power of Prayer is all, the Prayer is naught!"
My heart said to me: - "I have a longing for inspired knowledge;
teach me if thou art able."
I said the Alif. My heart said : - " Say no more.
If One is in the house, one letter is enough."
Behind the veil the Gods their Secrets keep,
And past that curtain none may hope to peep;
One plot of earth is all we may secure.
Drink, then! for such philosophies are cheap.
No one can pass behind the curtain that veils the secret,
the mind of no one is cognizant of what is there;
save in the heart of earth we have no haven.
Drink wine, for to such talk there is no end.
The Gods in mortal man do not confide,
And Fate from fools her mysteries doth hide;
Be thou but just towards thy fellow man,
All hope or fear thou mayest put aside.
The mystery must be kept hidden from all the ignoble,
and the secrets must be withheld from fools.
Consider thine actions towards thy fellow men:
our hopes must be concealed from all mankind.
For He, to whom all future things are known,
E'en as He made thee wrote thy record down;
And what His pen hath written, good or ill,
No strife may alter, and no grief atone.
From the beginning was written what shall be;
unhaltingly the Pen writes, and is heedless of good and bad;
on the First Day He appointed everything that must be -
our grief and our efforts are vain.
If thou could'st sit beside a rippling stream,
With her of all thy thoughts the constant theme,
Quaffing the Sunshine and the Wine of Morn,
No call to prayer, methinks, would break thy dream.
In the spring, on the bank of the river and on the bank of the field,
with a few companions and a playmate houri-shaped,
bring forth the cup, for those that drink the morning draught
are independent of the mosque and free from the synagogue.
Tired am I. The Firmament my belt;
A mighty river are the tears I've spilt;
Hell is a spark struck by my restless soul,
And Heaven the joy my tranquil heart hath felt.
The heavenly vault is the girdle of my weary body,
Jihun is a water-course worn by my filtered tears,
hell is a spark from my useless worries,
Paradise is a moment of time when I am tranquil.
Men talk of Eden's Houris and their charms;
To maids of Earth I drink and sing my psalms.
Hold fast Life's cash; if Time be in thy debt
How pleasant is the distant call to arms!
They say that the garden of Eden is pleasant to the houris:
I say that the juice of the grape is pleasant.
Hold fast this cash and let that credit go,
for the noise of drums, brother, is pleasant from afar.
Drink Wine: for 'neath the clay in silent gloom
Long shalt thou sleep, with none to share thy tomb;
Reveal this hidden secret unto none -
The wither'd tulip ne'er again will bloom.
Drink wine, for thou wilt sleep long beneath the clay
without an intimate, a friend, a comrade, or wife;
take care that thou tell'st not this hidden secret to anyone
The tulips that are withered will never bloom again.
Drink Wine: for here, and now, Eternal Life
Gives all the gain that Youth may win from Strife;
Roses and friends to share thy merriment:
Seize now that Joy with which to-day is rife!
Drink wine, for this is life eternal,
this is thy gain from the days of thy youth;
a season of roses, and wine, and drunken companions -
be happy for a moment for THIS is life!
Give me red wine my broken heart to heal,
Wine, the good friend of all that passion feel;
I find more comfort in a single draught
Than hollow Heaven bestows on those who kneel.
Give me wine which is a salve for my wounded heart,
it is the boon companion of those who have trafficked in love;
to my mind the dregs of a single draught are better
than the vault of heaven which is the hollow of the world's skull.
I drink, and spiteful folk attempt to show
That Virtue no worse enemy could know;
But if Religion stands in fear of wine,
Then let me quaff the blood of such a foe!
I drink wine, and my enemies from left and right
say: - " Do not drink wine, for it is the foe of religion."
When I knew that wine was the foe of religion,
I said: - " By Allah! let me drink the foe's blood, for that is lawful."
Wine is a melted ruby, and the cup
The mine from which we mortals dig it up;
The cup the body, and the wine the soul:
How many tears lie hidden where we sup?
Wine is a melted ruby and the cup is the mine thereof;
the cup is a body and its wine is the soul thereof;
that crystal cup that is bubbling over with wine
is a tear in which the heart's blood is hidden.
Whether my destin'd fate shall be to dwell
Midst Heaven's joys or in the fires of Hell
I know not; here with Spring, and bread, and wine,
And thee, my love, my heart says "All is well."
I know not whether he who fashioned me
appointed me to dwell in heaven or in dreadful hell,
but some food, and an adored one, and wine, upon the green bank of a field -
all these three are cash to me: thine be the credit-heaven
The joy of pain that Fate's decrees allow,
The good or ill inscribed upon Man's brow;
Impute them not unto the Heavens above,
For heaven is ruled by Fate as much as thou.
The good and the bad that are in man's nature
the happiness and misery that are predestined for us -
do not impute them to the heavens, for in the way of Wisdom
those heavens are a thousandfold more helpless than thou art.
If in thy heart the seed of Love is plac'd,
No day of all thy life can run to waste;
Whether for God's approval thou dost strive,
Or on the joys of Earth hast set thy taste.
Whosoever has engrafted the leaf of love upon his heart,
not one day of his life has been wasted;
either he strives to meet with God's approbation,
or he chooses bodily comfort and raises the wine-cup.
Where'er the Rose or Tulip scents the air,
The life-blood of a King has ebb'd forth there;
And every Violet that decks the Earth
Was once a mole upon a cheek so fair.
Everywhere that there has been a rose or tulip-bed,
there has been spilled the crimson blood of a king;
every violet shoot that grows from the earth
is a mole that was once upon the cheek of a beauty.
Be wise: thou canst not see what Fate portends;
Be arm'd against the sharpened sword she sends;
Feast not upon the sweets she offers thee,
For poison with the sugar oft she blends.
Be prudent, for the means of life are uncertain;
take heed, for the sword of destiny is keen.
If fortune place almond-sweets in thy very mouth,
beware! swallow them not, for poison is mingled therein.
My empty purse on wine must cast the blame:
My kisses, love, have robbed thee of thy fame;
Some pledge themselves to faith in Heav'n or Hell:
But who hath been to Hell? From Heav'n who came?
One jar of wine and a lover's lips, on the bank of the sown field -
these have robbed me of cash, and thee of the credit.
The whole human race is pledged to heaven or hell,
but who ever went to hell, and who ever came from heaven ?
O thou, whose cheek is modell'd like the Rose,
No brighter eye far Cathay's idol shows;
Thy glance hath taught the Shah of Babylon
Each move that Life's eventful chessboard knows.
O thou, whose cheek is moulded upon the model of the wild rose,
whose face is cast in the mould of Chinese idols,
yesterday thy amorous glance gave to the Shah of Babylon
the moves of the Knight, the Castle, the Bishop, the Pawn, and the Queen.
Who cares for Balkh or Baghdad? Life is fleet;
And what though bitter be the cup, or sweet,
So it be full? This moon, when we are gone,
The circling months will day by day repeat.
Since life passes; what is Baghdad and what is Balkh?
When the cup is full, what matter if it be sweet or bitter?
Drink wine, for often, after thee and me, this moon
will pass on from the last day of the month to the first, and from the first to the last.
For, those who from the date its vintage take,
And they who all night long devotions make,
All are submerg'd, not one remains on Earth,
All are asleep: One only is awake.
Of those who draw the pure date wine
and those who spend the night in prayer,
not one is on the dry land, all are in the water.
One is awake: the others are asleep.
The voice that haunts thy peace, within thy brain
A hundred times a day sings this refrain:-
"Thou livest but a moment, and art not
Like herbs which, gathered once, spring up again."
This intellect that haunts the path of happiness
keeps saying to thee a hundred times a day: -
Understand in this single moment of thine existence, that thou art not
like those herbs which when they gather them spring up again."
The Slaves of Intellect in talk persist;
Die, arguing does this or that exist;
Fools eat dry raisins 'til their souls become
Sour grapes; but wise men on New Wine insist.
Those who are the slaves of intellect and hair-splitting,
have perished in bickerings about existence and non-existence;
go, thou ignorant one, and choose rather grape-juice,
for the ignorant from eating dry raisins have become like unripe grapes themselves.
The Universe gained nothing from my birth,
Nor will my going cause it any dearth
Of dignity or beauty. None can say
Why I should come to, or why leave, the Earth.
My coming was of no profit to the heavenly sphere,
and by my departure naught will be added to its beauty and dignity;
neither from anyone have my two ears heard
what is the object of this my coming and going.
To Love's effacement this our life we trust,
And into Fate's strong talons we are thrust;
Then rouse thyself, O sweet-faced Cupbearer,
Bring me a draught, for long shall I be dust!
We must be effaced in the way of love,
we must be destroyed in the talons of destiny
O sweet-faced Cup-bearer; sit thou not idle,
give to me water, for dust I must become.
Our happiness is but an empty sign:
One old and faithful friend we have - New Wine;
Stretch out the merry hand unto the cup,
'Tis all the Good within thy reach or mine!
Now that nothing but the mere name of our happiness remains,
the only old friend that remains is new wine;
withhold not the merry hand from the wine-cup
to-day that nothing but the cup remains within our reach.
Whate'er the Pen hath written stands for aye:
Afflictions's sword the grieving heart will slay;
Though all thy life with anguish thou art wrung,
The forward march of Fate thou canst not stay.
What the Pen has written never changes,
and grieving only results in deep affliction;
even though, all thy life, thou sufferest anguish,
not one drop becomes increased beyond what it is.
O Heart! Seek not the frail ones for awhile,
And cease with Love existence to beguile!
Frequent the house of them that beg and pray,
Perchance on thee such holy ones may smile.
O heart, for a while seek not the company of the frail ones;
cease for a while to be engrossed with the commerce of love.
Frequent the thresholds of the darvishes -
perhaps thou mayest be accepted for awhile by the accepted people.
The stars that yon great firmament adorn
Have birth and death, and yet again are born
And in the skirt of Heaven, the womb of Earth,
Are they whom God will yet bring to the morn.
Those who adorn the Heavens for a fragment of time,
come, and go, and come again as time goes on;
in the skirt of Heaven, and in the pocket of earth,
are creatures who, while God dies not, will yet be born.
The hypocrites who make Belief a law,
'Twixt Soul and Body nice distinctions draw;
But I would still maintain my faith in Wine,
Though in the goblet Death himself I saw.
Those whose beliefs are founded upon hypocrisy,
come and draw a distinction between the body and the soul;
I will put the wine jar on my head, if, when I have done so,
they place a comb upon my head, as if I were a cock.
The circling planets, that in space abound,
The brains of our most learnèd ones confound;
Hold fast the Cord, for they that make thee spin,
Themselves with giddiness will turn around!
The bodies which people this heavenly vault,
puzzled the learned.
Beware lest thou losest the end of the string of wisdom,
for even the controllers themselves become giddy.
I do not dread Extinction: far more bliss
Lies in that half of Time than lives in this;
This life was lent by God, and unto Him
I will surrender what I shall not miss.
I am not the man to dread my non-existence,
for that half seems pleasanter to me than this half;
this is a life which God has lent me,
I will surrender it when the time of surrender comes.
Life's caravan mysteriously goes by;
Seize Happiness, while yet the moments fly!
Do not, Cupbearer, for tomorrow grieve,
Bring Wine to-night, e'er Dawn lights up the sky!
This caravan of life passes by mysteriously;
mayest thou seize the moment that passes happily!
Cup-bearer, why grieve about the to-morrow of thy patrons?
give us a cup of wine, for the night wanes.
Though old, with love for thee I am forlorn,
Or else the wine thou bringest I would scorn;
Thou hast destroy'd my early penitence:
The garment Patience sewed the Years have torn.
Being old, my love for thee led my head into a snare;
if not, how comes it that my hand holds the cup of date-wine?
My sweetheart has destroyed the penitence born of reason,
and the passing seasons have torn the garment that patience sewed.
My veil of Temperance by wine is rent,
But still with wine my soul shall be content;
How can the vintners purchase better goods
Than those which to the market they have sent?
Although wine has rent my veil,
so long as I have a soul I will not be separated from wine;
I am in perplexity concerning vintners, for they -
what will they buy that is better than what they sell?
Why wert Thou once so loving, and didst try
My soul, with softest blandishments, to buy?
To-day Thou sendest naught but dismal woe;
How have I sinn'd Once more I ask Thee, why?
So much generosity and kindness at the beginning, why was it?
and that maintenance of me with delights and blandishments, why was it?
Now Thine only endeavour is to afflict my heart;
after all, what wrong have I done - once more, why was it ?
My soul to Love for ever I commit:
My body from the Grape shall never flit;
They say, "May God repentance give thee soon;"
He gives it not, so I will none of it.
In my mind may there be desire for idols houri-like,
in my hand may there be, all the year round, the juice of the grape;
they say to me, 'May God give thee repentance!"
He himself will not give it; I will none of it; let it be far off!
Ablution in the tavern needs much wine;
The tarnish'd reputation ne'er will shine;
Be happy! for our veil of Temperance
Is torn beyond repair. Why then repine?
In the tavern thou canst not perform the Ablution save with wine,
and thou canst not purify a tarnished reputation;
be happy, for this veil of temperance of ours
is so torn that it cannot be repaired.
I was, upon the terrace, one who trod
In blind contempt upon the beaten sod.
The bruisèd clay in mystic language spake -
"Thou, too, shalt some day feel the Foot of God!"
I saw upon the terrace of a house a man, alone,
who trampled upon the clay, holding it in contempt;
that clay said to him in mystic language: -
“Be still, for like me thou wilt be much trampled upon."
The day is fair, and free from cold or heat,
And rain hath wash'd the dust from roses sweet;
The nightingale cries in the Ancient Tongue -
"Drink, pallid rose, and blush at Love's pulse-beat!"
It is a pleasant day, and the weather is neither hot nor cold;
the rain has washed the dust from the faces of the roses;
the nightingale in the Pehlevi tongue to the yellow rose
cries ever: - " Thou must drink wine!"
E'er thou art striken down by Fate above,
Drink wine, the rosy wine that speaks of Love!
Thy body hath no value; from the grave
No man will dig thee up for treasure trove!
Ere that fate makes assault upon thy head,
give orders that they bring thee rose-coloured wine;
thou art not treasure, O heedless dunce, that thee
they hide in the earth and then dig up again.
With wine my bodily defects make good:
Tincture my amber visage with its blood;
With rosy wine my last ablutions make,
And build my coffin of the Vine's sweet wood.
Take heed to stay me with the wine-cup,
and make this amber face like a ruby;
when I die, wash me with wine,
and out of the wood of the vine make the planks of my coffin.
O Shah! thy brows were crown'd by Destiny,
That saddl'd thine imperial steed for thee;
And where thy charger plants his golden hoof
Thine abject slaves a gilded footprint see.
O Shah! thy destiny appointed thee to sovereignty,
and saddled for thee the horse of empire;
when thy golden-hoofed charger moved,
setting foot upon the clay, the earth became gilded.
Imaginary Love, a vain conceit,
Like to a fire half-dead, gives little heat.
A lover true with constant fervour burns,
To him nor peace, nor food, nor sleep, is sweet.
A love that is insincere has no value;
like a fire half-dead, it gives no heat.
A true lover, throughout the month, and year, and night, and day,
takes neither rest, nor peace, nor food, nor sleep.
The tangled secrets of Eternity
Remain unsolv'd; and Time and Space are free
From Man's control; both ignorant and wise
Stand impotent before Infinity.
No one has solved the tangled secrets of eternity,
no one has set foot beyond the orbit,
since, so far as I can see, from tyro to teacher,
impotent are the hands of all men born of woman.
Restrain thy worldly tastes, and live content,
Careless alike of Good and Evil sent;
Take wine and kisses, ere it be too late,
For few such days remain to thee unspent.
Set limits to thy desire for worldly things and live content,
sever the bonds of thy dependence upon the good and bad of life,
take wine in hand and play with the curls of a loved one for quickly
all passeth away - and how many of these days remain ?
The Heavens rain down their benefits divine,
Their blossom-gifts in every garden shine;
I pour red wine into this lily-cup,
As purple clouds pour down sweet jessamine.
The heavens rain down blossoms from the clouds,
thou mayest say that they shed blossoms into the garden;
in a lily-like cup I pour rosy wine,
as the violet clouds pour down jessamine.
For wine, good men athirst will always pant
But to such trifles God no thought will grant;
He knew, before He made me, I should drink:
And, if I drink not, was He ignorant?
I drink wine, and every one drinks who like me is worthy of it;
my wine-drinking is but a small thing to Him;
God knew, on the Day of Creation, that I should drink wine;
if I do not drink wine, God's knowledge was ignorance.
Let not the Veil of Sorrow shroud thy face,
Nor in thy life let idle grief find place;
But feast on books, and love, and Nature's joys,
Ere Earth enfold thee in her last embrace.
Do not allow sorrow to embrace thee,
nor an idle grief to occupy thy days;
forsake not the book, and the lover's lips, and the green bank of the field,
ere that the earth enfold thee in its bosom.
Drink Wine, that heals all woes, and thou shalt yet
The seventy-two contentious sects forget;
Shun not that Alchemist, who in the Cup
A draught to cure a thousand ills hath set.
Drink wine, that will banish thy abundant woes,
and will banish thought of the Seventy-two Sects;
avoid not the alchemist, for, from him,
thou takest one draught, and he banishes a thousand calamities.
Is wine an evil? Tell me first who drinks,
How much he thirsts, with whom his glass he clinks?
If these conditions three be meetly fill'd,
No son of Wisdom from the grape-juice shrinks.
Even though wine is forbidden, for all that it depends upon who drinks it,
and then in what quantity, and also with whom he drinks it;
these three conditions being as they should be; say!
who drinks wine if a wise man does not do so?
Drink Wine, for thou shalt be resolv'd in Earth,
And, as a goblet, shalt find second birth;
Heedless be thou of Heav'n and Hell alike;
Be not deceiv'd! Hold fast to Wine and Mirth!
Drink wine, for thy body becomes atoms in the earth,
thine earth, after that, becomes goblets and jars;
be thou heedless of hell and heaven,
why should a wise man be deceived about such things?
The sweet Spring-breezes now the world adorn,
In hope of rain its eyes salute the morn;
The hands of Moses whiten many a spray,
The breath of Jesus moves the thrusting corn.
Now is the time when by the spring-breezes the world is adorned,
and in hope of rain it opens its eyes,
the hands of Moses appear like froth upon the bough,
the breath of Jesus comes forth from the earth.
Lo! every drop the cupbearer shall spill,
The fire of anguish in some eye may still;
Praise be to God! Thou knowest that in Wine
Is that which frees thy heart from every ill.
Every draught that the Cup-bearer scatters upon the earth
quenches the fire of anguish in some afflicted eye.
Praise be to God! thou realizest that wine
is a juice that frees thy heart from a hundred pains.
Each morn the dew begems the tulip's face,
The violet's bended crest is full of grace;
But, fairest of them all, the rosebud sweet,
With modest blush her skirt doth closely lace.
Every morning the dew bedecks the faces of the tulips,
the crests of the violets in the garden are bent downwards;
verily, most pleasing to me is the rosebud
which gathers its skirts close around itself.
Friends, when ye meet together, ne'er forget;
The one, whom o'er the cup ye oft have met;
And, when ye drink a draught of wholesome wine,
At my turn, upside down a goblet set!
Friends, when ye hold a meeting together,
it behoves ye warmly to remember your friend;
when ye drink wholesome wine together,
and my turn comes, turn a goblet upside down.
Friends, when ye keep a tryst, and meet your host,
And merrymake with those ye love the most,
When the Mugh Wine the cupbearer takes round,
Drink to a certain Helpless One a toast!
Friends, when with consent ye make a tryst together,
and take delight in one another's charms,
when the Cup-bearer takes round in his hand the Mugh wine,
remember a certain helpless one in your benediction.
One draught outweighs a hundred hearts and creeds,
And he who drinks no Eastern Empire needs;
Save ruby wine, there is not on the Earth
One bitter thing that so much sweetness breeds.
One cup of wine is worth a hundred hearts and religions,
one draught of wine is worth the empire of China,
saving ruby wine there is not, on the face of earth,
any acrid thing that is worth a thousand sweet souls.
If thou desirest Him, put all from thee:
No earthly love must in thy bosom be;
Whatever is, will hinder thine advance:
How canst thou fare thus burden'd? Be thou free!
If thou desirest Him, be separated from wife and children,
bravely move thine abode from thy relations and friends;
whatever is, is an hindrance on the road for thee,
how canst thou journey with these hindrances ? - remove them!
Bring me that Ruby in its crystal mine:
Bring me the friend that good men call divine.
Thou knowest that this temporary world
Is but a passing zephyr. Bring me Wine!
Bring me that ruby in a clear glass,
bring me that companion and intimate of all excellent people:
since thou knowest that the duration of this earthly world
is a wind that quickly passes by, - bring me wine.
Bring physic to this heart with sorrow drear,
Bring wine, musk-scented, rosy-tinted, clear.
Dost thou not know of Sorrow's antidote?
Wine to thy lips, and Music to thine ear.
Arise! bring physic to this oppressed heart,
bring that musk-scented and rose-coloured wine;
if thou desirest the elements of sorrow's antidote,
bring ruby wine and the silk stringed lute.
In the Bazaar I saw, but yesterday,
A potter rudely pounding the fresh clay;
The clay in mystic language made complaint -
"I too was once like thee: thy hand then stay!"
I saw a potter in the bazaar yesterday,
he was violently pounding the fresh clay,
and that clay said to him, in mystic language,
I was once like thee - so treat me well."
Drink of that Wine which is Eternal Life!
With its Sunshine the joys of youth are rife:
Like fire it burns, but ah! what happiness
It bears to hearts that break in Sorrow's strife!
Drink of that wine that is eternal life,
it is the stock-in-trade of youthful pleasure, drink!
it burns like fire, but sorrows
it makes like the water of life - drink!
Scout the Traditions: bid the Law begone:
The morsel that thou hast withhold from none:
By word nor deed afflict a single heart:
I'll guarantee thee future worlds. Drink on!
Follow not the Traditions, and leave alone the Commands,
withhold not from anyone the morsel that thou possessest:
neither slander, nor afflict the heart of anyone,
I guarantee you the world beyond - bring wine!
Wine is rose-red, perchance the Rose's tears
Lie in the cup, or it a ruby bears:
A ruby melted in her essence sweet,
As moonlight melting when the Sun appears.
Wine is rose-red, and the cup is filled with the water of roses, - maybe,
in the crystal casket is a pure ruby, - maybe,
a melted ruby is in the water, - maybe,
moonlight is the veil of the sun, - maybe.
We break each vow: upon ourselves once more
Of fame and fair repute we shut the door;
Reproach me not with folly, for, in truth,
The Wine of Love hath caught me, as of yore.
Every vow we make, we break again,
we shut once more upon ourselves the door of fame and fair repute;
blame me not if I act as a fool,
for once more am I drunken with the wine of love.
To speak plain language, parable to shame,
We are the pieces, Heaven plays the game:
A childish game upon the board of Life,
Then back into the Box from whence we came.
To speak plain language, and not in parables,
we are the pieces and heaven plays the game,
we are played together in a baby-game upon the chessboard of existence,
and one by one we return to the box of non-existence.
O heart! truth absolute thou canst not see,
Then why abase theyself in misery?
Bow down to Fate, and wrestle not with Time!
The pen will not rewrite one word for thee.
Oh, heart ! since in this world truth itself is hyperbole,
why art thou so disquieted with this trouble and abasement ?
resign thy body to destiny, and adapt thyself to the times,
for, what the Pen has written, it will not re-write for thy sake.
But still the Rose's face the shadows fret,
Still doth my heart the wine-desire beget;
Sleep not, my love, it is not time to sleep,
But bring me wine, for daylight lingers yet!
On the face of the rose there is still a cloud-shadow,
in my nature and heart there is still a desire for wine;
sleep not, what right hast thou to sleep yet ?
give me wine, sweetheart, for it is still daylight.
Fling dust at heaven, that every offering spurns;
Drink wine, and love while thy desire yet burns;
What time is this to worship or to pray?
Of all that have departed, none returns.
Go! throw dust upon the face of the heavens,
drink wine, and consort with the fair of face;
what time is this for worship? and what time is this for supplication ?
since, of all those that have departed, not one has returned ?
Fill up the cup! the day breaks white like snow;
Learn colour from the Wine's deep ruby glow;
Two fragrant aloe-logs will cheer us all;
Make this a lute, that on the embers throw.
Fill the cup! for the day breaks white like snow,
learn colour from the wine that is ruby;
take two fragrant aloe logs, and brighten the assembly,
make one into a lute, and burn the other.
Our old debauch we come not to revive,
Again we have renounc'd the Pray'r-times five;
Where'er the goblet is, there shall we be,
Our necks extended, each a flask alive.
We have returned to our wonted debauch,
we have renounced - the Five Prayers!
wherever the goblet is, there thou mayst see us,
our necks stretched out like that of the bottle.
To the jar's mouth my eager lip I press'd,
For Life's Elixir making anxious quest;
It join'd its lip to mine, and whisper'd low -
"Drink wine: thou shalt not wake from thy last rest!"
In great desire I pressed my lips to the lip of the jar,
to enquire from it how long life might be attained;
It joined its lip to mine and whispered: -
Drink wine, for, to this world, thou returnest not."
Here is good counsel, give thine ear to me,
Wear not the garment of hypocrisy;
The Future is unending, Life is short,
Sell not for it the whole Eternity.
I will give thee counsel if thou wilt give ear to me,
for the sake of God do not wear the garment of hypocrisy,
the hereafter will fill all hours, and the world is but a moment,
do not sell the kingdom of eternity for the sake of one moment.
Khayyám, though drunk, lift up thy cheerful voice,
Be happy with the darling of thy choice;
If in the end of things thou must be naught,
Imagine thou art nothing now. Rejoice!
Khayyam, if thou art drunk with wine, be happy,
if thou reposest with one tulip-cheeked, be happy,
since the end of all things is that thou wilt be naught;
whilst thou art, imagine that thou art not, - be happy!
Within the potter's shop, ere this day broke,
I saw a host of pots - some mute, some spoke;
And suddenly one pot, agressive, cried,
"Who makes, or buys, or sells, us earthen folk?"
I went last night into the workshop of a potter,
I saw two thousand pots, some speaking, and some silent;
suddenly one of the pots cried out aggressively: -
"Where are the pot maker, and the pot buyer and the pot seller ?”
Of this good spirit, that men call Pure Wine,
They say, "Twill heal that broken heart of thine."
Haste then, and bring me three o'erbrimming cups,
Impute no evil to a gift divine.
Of this spirit, that they call pure wine,
they say: - " It is a remedy for a ruined heart";
set quickly before me two or three heavily filled cups,
why do they call a good water "wicked water " ?
Regard my virtues singly, bid them live,
But pass my crimes, by tens, through Memory's sieve;
Bear not resentment, God must be the judge;
By great Muhammad's Tomb, I say, "Forgive!"
Regard my virtues one by one, and forgive my crimes ten by ten,
pardon every crime that is past, its reckoning is with God!
let not the wind and air fan the flame of thy rancour,
by Muhammad's tomb! forgive me.
Wine in the goblet is a spirit rare,
Within the jar a tender soul is there;
No earthly thing may be the friend of wine
Except the cup, which, though of clay, is fair.
Verily wine in the goblet is a delicate spirit,
in the body of the jar, a delicate soul reposes,
nothing heavy is worthy to be the friend of wine
save the wine-cup, for that is, at the same time, heavy and, delicate.
Where doth the past begin, the future end?
Rejoice to-day, Wine is thy only friend!
Nor theory nor practice is of use,
But Wine unties each knot that Fate may send.
Where is the limit to eternity to come, and where to eternity past ?
now is the time of joy, there is no substitute for wine:
both theory and practice have passed beyond my ken,
but wine unties the knot of every difficulty.
This vault of Heaven, 'neath which like fools we sit,
Is but a magic-lantern, dimly lit:
The sun the flame, the Universe the lamp,
We are the figures that revolve in it.
This vault of heaven, beneath which we stand bewildered,
we know to be a sort of magic-lantern:
know thou that the sun is the lamp-flame and the universe is the lamp,
we are like figures that revolve in it.
I do not always o'er the flesh prevail,
I suffer for the sin: must I bewail?
Upon Thy generous pardon I rely,
Because I grieve that Thou should'st see me frail.
I do not always prevail over my nature, - but what can 1 do?
and I suffer for my actions, - but what can I do?
I verily believe that Thou wilt generously pardon me
on account of my shame that Thou hast seen what I have done, - but what can I do?
Let me arise, and in pure wine drink deep,
And bid my cheeks their ripe-fruit colour keep
Then will I throw in meddling Reason's face
Sufficient wine to make her fall asleep.
Let me arise and seek pure wine,
make thou the colour of my cheek like that of the jujube fruit,
as for this meddling intellect, a fist-full of wine
will I throw in its face, to make it sleep.
How long shall we be slaves, untying knots?
Who cares if Fate long life, or short, allots?
Pour out a cup of wine, before we all
Become, within the workshop, earthen pots.
How long shall we continue slaves to every-day problems ?
what matter whether we live one year, or one day, in this world ?
Pour out a cup of wine, before that we
become pots in the workshop of the potters.
Since our abode in this world is so short,
Sans Wine and Love this Life were sorry sport.
Creeds, old or new, how long will ye discuss?
Shall I, when dead, bestow on Time a thought?
Since our abode in this monastery is not permanent
without the Cup-bearer and the beloved, it is painful to support life;
how long of ancient creeds or new, O philosopher ?
when I have left it what matter if the world be old or new?
A hundred sins there are in loving Thee,
Loving Thee not incurs grave penalty.
If I keep lifelong faith unto thy Scourge,
Give me the credit when Thou judgest me!
In loving Thee I incur reproaches for a hundred sins,
And if I fail in this obligation I pay a penalty:
if my life remain faithful to Thy cruelty,
please God, I shall have less than that to bear till the Judgment Day.
I am all artifice. Since Time is swift,
In joy and wine I see no need for thrift;
They say, "May God to thee grant penitence."
He gives it not, nor would I take the gift.
The world being fleeting, I practise naught but artifice,
I hold only with cheerfulness and sparkling wine;
they say to me: - " May God grant thee penitence."
He himself does not give it, and if He gives it, I will none of it.
Though to the Mosque I come with pious air,
By Allah! think not I have come for prayer;
I stole a mat once from a worshipper -
That sin worn out, again I here repair.
Although I have come with an air of supplication to the mosque,
by Allah! I have not come to pray;
I came one day and stole a prayer-mat -
that sin wears out, and I come again and again.
When Fate hath trampl'd me beneath her feet,
And torn me from the hope of Life so sweet,
Make nothing but a goblet of my clay;
When full of wine my heart once more may beat.
When 1 am abased beneath the foot of destiny
and am rooted up from the hope of life,
take heed that thou makest nothing but a goblet of my clay,
haply when it is full of wine I may revive.
I know not which the bait, or which the snare
"Twixt Mosque and Cup I'm drawn, now here, now there;
And yet the Cup, my Darling One, and I,
Are better ripe in wine, than green in prayer.
My heart does not distinguish between the bait and the trap,
one counsel urges it towards the mosque, another towards the cup;
nevertheless the wine-cup, and the loved one, and I continually together,
are better, cooked, in a tavern, than raw, in a monastery.
"Tis morn! The breath of wine let us inhale;
Break on a stone this cup of honour frail!
Let us cease striving for our Ancient Hope,
That lute and love may yet our hearts regale.
It is morning: let us for a moment inhale rose-coloured wine,
and shatter against a stone this vessel of reputation and honour;
let us cease to strive after what has long been our hope,
and play with long ringlets and the handle of the lute.
We chose dry bread and privacy, before
The luxury that wealth may have in store.
We have bought poverty with heart and soul,
And poverty hath but enrich'd us more.
We have preferred a corner and two loaves to the world,
and we have put away greed of its estate and magnificence;
we have bought poverty, with our heart and soul -
in poverty we have discerned great riches.
I know, though outwardly, of Life and Death;
And, inwardly, of all above, beneath;
But let me boast not, for I nothing know
Beyond the inspiration of Wine's breath.
I know the outwardness of existence and of non-existence,
I know the inwardness of all that is high and low;
nevertheless let me be modest about my own knowledge
if I recognise any degree higher than drunkenness.
A teacher once we sought, when young, to find
Wisdom that for a while contents the mind;
And from the whole discourse what did we learn? -
We come like water and depart like wind.
For a while, when young, we frequented a teacher,
for a while we were contented with our proficiency;
behold the foundation of the discourse: - what happened to us?
we came in like water and we depart like wind.
To him who understands Life's mystery,
Its joy or sorrow all the same must be;
Since good and ill alike must end, who cares
Whether it be all pain or remedy?
To him who understands the mysteries of the world,
the joy and sorrow of the world is all the same;
since the good and the bad of the world will come to an end;
what matter, since it must end ? an thou wilt, be all pain, or, an thou wilt, all remedy.
So far as in thee lies, feast evermore,
And cast both prayer and fasting from thy door.
From Omar Khayyám hear the word of truth, -
"Rob on the road, and drink - but feed the poor."
So far as in thee lies, follow the example of the profligate,
destroy the foundations of prayer and fasting:
hear thou the Word of Truth from Omar Khayyam,
Drink wine, rob on the highway, and be benevolent."
This world one choice alone for men hath blest,
'Tis either Death, or Life by pain opprest;
How happy he to whom Death quickly comes,
And he who ne'er is born hath perfect rest.
Since the harvest for the human race, in this wilderness,
is naught but to suffer affliction or to give up the ghost,
light-hearted is he who passes quickly from this world,
and he who never came into the world is at rest.
O Dervish! rend thy figur'd veil apart,
Rather than sacrifice to it thy heart!
Take on thy back the rug of poverty, -
A Sultan's equal 'neath that rug thou art!
Darvish! rend from thy body the figured veil,
rather than sacrifice thy body for the sake of that veil;
go and throw upon thy shoulders the old rug of poverty -
beneath that rug thou art equal to a sultan.
Behold the evils Heav'n doth here display,
The world bereft of friends that pass away;
Gain for thyself a moment's happiness,
Nor Past nor Future seek, - behold To-day!
Behold the evil conduct of this vault of heaven,
behold the world - empty by the passing away of friends;
as far as thou art able live for thyself for one moment,
look not for to-morrow, seek not yesterday, behold the present!
'Tis better here with Love and Wine to sit
Than to become the zealous hypocrite;
If all who love or drink are doom'd to Hell,
On whom shall Heaven bestow a benefit?
To drink wine and consort with a company of the beautiful
is better than practising the hypocrisy of the zealot:
if the lover and the drunkard are doomed to hell,
then no one will see the face of heaven.
No happy heart with sorrow should consume,
No joyful life mid test and trial fume;
None can foretell the future; wine, and love,
And rest we need, so these let us resume.
One cannot consume one's happy heart with sorrow,
nor consume the pleasure of one's life upon the touchstone;
no one is to be found who knows what is to be;
wine, and a loved one, and to repose according to one's desire, - these things are necessary.
The Heavens, that they may destroy us both,
On our pure souls to war are nothing loth;
Sit down, my Idol, on the grass, for soon
My dust and thine shall aid its vernal growth.
This heavenly vault, for the sake of my destruction and thine,
wages war upon my pure soul and thine;
sit upon the green sward, O my Idol! for it will not be long
ere that green sward shall grow from my dust and thine.
What profits in our birth, and what our death?
Where is the Woof our life's frail Warp beneath?
The World's great fire burns many such to dust;
Where is the smoke of them within its breath?
What profits it, our coming and going?
and where is the woof for the warp of the stuff of our life?
How many delicate bodies the world
burns away to dust! and where is the smoke of them?
Flee from all study, and thy fingers twine
In those soft curls of her thou callest thine;
Ere Fate shall spill thy blood, hasten to pour
Into the cup the red blood of the vine.
Flee from the study of all sciences - 'tis better thus,
and twine thy fingers in the curly locks of a loved one - 'tis better thus,
ere that fate shall spill thy blood;
pour thou the blood of the bottle into the cup - 'tis better thus.
This beard of mine hath brush'd the Tavern door.
The good and ill of Earth or Heav'n no more
I seek; though both the worlds should fall apart,
Here, like a drunkard, will I lie and snore.
Ah! 1 have brushed the tavern doorway with my moustaches,
I have bidden farewell to the good and evil of both worlds;
though both the worlds should fall like balls in my street,
seek me, - ye will find me sleeping like a drunkard.
To everything save wine deny thy lips;
And wine is best when Beauty pours and sips;
Drinking, and Beggary, and Sin are best;
From Pole to Pole all pleasure these eclipse.
From everything save wine abstinence is best,
and that wine is best when served by drunken beauties in a pavilion,
drinking, and Kalendarism, and erring, are best,
one draught of wine from Mah to Mahi is best.
This heavenly vault is like a fallen bowl,
'Neath which the captive wise in sorrow roll;
Revenge thyself! as do the cup and jar,
When wine is spilt between them cheek by jowl.
This heavenly vault is like a bowl, fallen upside down,
under which all the wise have fallen captive,
choose thou the manner of friendship of the goblet and the jar,
they are lip to lip, and blood has fallen between them.
The Rose's skirt is tatter'd by the breeze,
But Nightingales still woo her in the trees;
Sit in her fragrant bower, for oft the wind
Hath strewn and turn'd to dust such flowers as these.
See, the skirt of the rose has been torn by the breeze,
the nightingale rejoices in the beauty of the rose;
sit in the shade of the rose, for, by the wind, many roses
have been scattered to earth and have become dust.
How long shall I, or poor or wealthy, grieve?
How long, or sad or merry, shall i live?
Fill up the bowl! this very breath I draw,
The winds may ne'er from me again receive.
How long shall I grieve about what I have or have not,
and whether 1 shall pass this life light-heartedly or not?
Fill up the wine-cup, for I do not know
that I shall breathe out this breath that I am drawing in.
Bear not the sorrow of this world of strife!
Wake not remembrance, for with Death 'tis rife!
Love her of fairly birth and glowing breast!
Drown not in water all the joys of Life!
Submit not to the sorrow of this iniquitous world,
remind us not of sorrow for those who have passed away,
give thine heart only to one jasmine-bosomed and fairy-born,
be not without wine, and cast not thy life to the winds.
Though sixty years thou countest, scorn to die;
Where'er thou walkest, to the wine-flask hie;
Until thy hollow skull be made a bowl,
Hold fast the jar, nor let the cup go by.
Though thy life pass sixty years, do not give up;
wherever thou directest thy steps, walk not save when drunk;
before they make the hollow of thy skull into a jar,
lower not the jar from thy shoulder, neither relinquish the cup.
Old wine is better than a kingdom new;
Walk not, save towards the wine of rosy hue.
The cup is worth a hundred Persian thrones,
Its cover worth the crown of Kai-Khosrú.
One draught of old wine is better than a new kingdom,
avoid any way save that of wine - 'tis better so;
the cup is a hundred times better than the kingdom of Feridun,
the tile that covers the jar is better than the crown of Kai Khosru.
O Sákí! they whose soul from them have fled,
In self-content have bow'd their sleepy head;
Go thou and drink, but hear the truth from me,
For 'tis but wind, whatever they have said.
Those, O Saki, who have gone before us,
have fallen asleep, O Saki, in the dust of self-esteem;
go thou and drink wine, and hear the truth from me,
whatever they have said, O Saki, is but wind.
My wine, O Lord, Thou spillest on the sward,
On me the door of happiness hast barr'd;
Thy Hand hath broken my poor jug of wine,
But, by my life, Thy ways are strange, O Lord!
Rabbi, thou hast broken my jug of wine;
Rabbi, thou hast shut upon me the door of happiness;
thou hast spilled my pure wine upon the earth;
may I perish! but thou art strange, O Rabbi!
To each base creature, something Thou hast given;
By Thy cool streams the face of earth is riven;
The pure man, for a crust, will stake his all:
Thou should'st give readily, for such, a Heaven.
O heaven! thou givest something to every base creature,
thou suppliest baths, and millstreams, and canals;
the pure man plays hazard for his night's provisions:
wouldst thou give a fig for such a heaven?
O Heart! the Fount of Truth thou dost not gain,
To thee Philosophy makes nothing plain;
Build thyself here a Heaven with wine and cup,
For thou may'st ne'er another Heaven attain.
O heart ! at the mysterious secret thou arrivest not,
at the conceits of the ingenious philosophers thou arrivest not;
make thyself a heaven here with wine and cup,
for at that place where heaven is, thou mayst arrive, or mayst not.
Creation's smoke seems evermore thy meat,
How long with sophistry thyself wilt cheat?
Thou want'st no stock-in-trade to waste away,
Nor capital. All profits thou dost eat.
Thou eatest always smoke from the kitchen of the world;
how long wilt thou suffer miseries concerning what is or is not?
thou desirest not a stock in trade, for its source weakens,
and who will consume the capital, seeing that thou consumest all the profit ?
O Soul! if thou this dust aside canst fling,
And soar through space upon unfetter'd wing,
Infinity thy sphere - count it thy shame
That to this earth contented thou dost cling.
O soul! if thou canst purify thyself from the dust of the body,
thou, naked spirit, canst soar in the heavens,
the Empyrean is thy sphere, - let it be thy shame,
that thou comest and art a dweller within the confines of earth.
Last night I smote the winecup on a stone;
For such mad folly how may I atone?
The shatter'd cup, in mystic language, said,
"I was like thee, my fate shall be thine own."
I smote the glass wine-cup upon a stone last night,
my head was turned that I did so base a thing;
the cup said to me in mystic language,
"I was like thee, and thou also wilt be like me."
O Heart's Desire! from cup and flask seek aid;
Be merry midst the river's flowery glade;
Malicious Heav'n of many joyous folk
A hundred times hath cups and flagons made.
Grasp the wine-cup and the flagon, O heart's desire!
pleasantly, pleasantly, and cheerfully, wander in the garden by the river brink;
many are the excellent folk whom malicious heaven
has made a hundred times into cups, and a hundred times into flagons.
In every step I take Thou sett'st a snare,
Saying, "Thus will I entrap thee, so beware!"
And, while all things are under Thy command,
That I a rebel am Thou dost declare.
In a thousand places on the road I walk, Thou placest snares,
Thou sayest, "I will catch thee if thou placest step in them";
in no smallest thing is the world independent of Thee,
Thou orderest all things, and callest me rebellious.
Give me a scroll of verse, a little wine,
With half a loaf to fill thy needs and mine,
And with the desert sand our resting place,
For ne'er a Sultan's kingdom would we pine.
I desire a little ruby wine and a book of verses,
just enough to keep me alive and half a loaf is needful;
and then, that I and thou, should sit in a desolate place
is better than the kingdom of a sultan.
Live happily, place not in grief thy trust,
Amidst injustice show that thou art just;
If all the world must come to nothingness,
Be free, and deem thyself already dust.
Do not give way so much to vain grief, - live happily,
and, in the way of injustice, set thou an example of justice,
since the final end of this world is nothingness ;
suppose thyself to be nothing, and be free.
Where'er on earth my wand'ring gaze I place,
A garden lav'd by Kausar's stream I trace;
Heaven in the desert, Hell hath disappear'd,
And Paradise is in her Angel face.
Gaze as I may on all sides,
in the garden flows a stream from the river Kausar,
the desert becomes like heaven, thou mayst say hell has disappeared,
sit thou then in heaven with one heavenly-faced.
Be happy! yesterday thy joy or pain
Was fix'd, and yesterday may none regain;
Live happy! for yestr'een, unsought, the Fates
What thou wilt do to-morrow did ordain.
Be happy! they settled thy reward yesterday,
and beyond the reach of all thy longings is yesterday;
live happily, for without any importunity on thy part yesterday,
they appointed with certainty what thou wilt do to-morrow, - yesterday !
Pour out this pure red wine of tulip hue,
And with the jar's clear blood the cup imbue.
Beside the wine-cup, there is not to-day
One friend of mine with heart so warm and true.
Pour out the red wine of pure tulip colour,
draw the pure blood from the throat of the jar,
for to-day, beside the wine-cup, there is not, for me,
one friend who possesses a pure heart.
Heaven in my ear this secret did confess,
"From me all Fate's decrees thou may'st possess."
Were mine the hand that made myself revolve,
I would have sav'd myself much giddiness.
To the ear of my heart Heaven whispered secretly: -
“The commands that are decreed thou mayst learn from me:
had I a hand in my own revolutions,
wine would have saved me from giddiness."
Let Fortune but provide me bread of wheat,
A gourd of wine a bone of mutton sweet,
Then in the desert if we twain might sit,
Joys such as ours no Sultan could defeat.
If a loaf of wheaten-bread be forthcoming,
a gourd of wine and a thigh-bone of mutton,
and then, if thou and I be sitting in the wilderness, -
that would be a joy to which no sultan can set bounds.
Whene'er thy hand may reach two cups of wine,
Let wine's own light in each assembly shine;
For He who made the world cares less than naught
For thy moustaches, or for beards like mine.
If henceforth two measures of wine come to thy hand,
drink thou wine in every assembly and congregation,
for He who made the world does not occupy Himself
about moustaches like thine, or a beard like mine.
Had I the power, I ne'er had borne Life's thrall,
Nor willingly would lie beneath the Pall
Far better, were it not? if in this world
I ne'er had come, or gone, or liv'd at all.
Had 1 charge of the matter I would not have come,
and likewise could I control my going, where should I go ?
were it not better than that, that in this world
I had neither come, nor gone, nor lived?
Ramazán's end draws near, Shawwál doth break,
The time with flowers and joy to merry-make;
Now porters with their loads stand back to back
Laden with wine. - Up, bottles, and awake!
The month of Ramazan passes and Shawwal comes,
the season of increase, and joy, and story-tellers comes;
now comes that time when " Bottles upon the shoulder!”
they say, - for the porters come and are back to back.
Written by the humble slave Mahmud Yerbudaki who is in need of mercies of Eternal God. Finished with victory in the district of Shiraz, in the year of the Hijrah, the last decade of Safar, Eight hundred and sixty-five.
May god protect him from evils.
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