Hafiz: Ghazal 203 "In Memoriam" (From Persian)

This poem is a lament for Abu Ishaq, the last of the Injuids, a patron whom Hafiz had loved a great deal. After barely a decade of rule in Shiraz, Abu Ishaq was toppled and executed by the Muzaffarid Mubariz al-Din Muhammad. Whereas Abu Ishaq was a sybarite who loved poetry, wine and the funner things of life, Mubariz al-Din was a pietistic killjoy who closed the wine-taverns and attempted to enforce religious orthodoxy in a way that many in Shiraz, including Hafiz, found profoundly unpleasant. 

Ghazal 203: In Memoriam
By Hafiz
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Persian

Be it remembered: I lived on
the very street that you lived on.  
   Light of my eyes it was to me
   when dust of your dear doorway shone.
A lily and a rose were you  
and I, our talks so pure and true  
   That what I uttered with my tongue
   and what lay in your heart, were one.
When our hearts joined in dialectic 
with words of ancient mystics' truth, 
   Love's commentary would shed light
   on each hapax legomenon.  
I told my heart, I told myself: 
"I'll never be without my Friend" 
   But when my self and heart have tried
   and come to naught, what's to be done? 
Last night for old time's sake I passed 
our drinking spot, and saw a cask 
   Corked in the mud, wine spilt like blood. 
   And my clayed feet could not go on. 
Much as I wandered, as I wondered 
and asked why parting's pain had come, 
   The judge of Reason found no reasons
   and lost all judgement thereupon.
Although the turquoise signet ring1 
of Bu-Ishaq the splendorous king 
   Shone brilliantly, that dynasty
   was all too swiftly felled and gone. 
Hafez, see how the partridge struts
cackling away with every cluck. 
   The falcon-claws he flouts are Laws 
   of Fate by which he'll be undone2.

Notes:

1- Turquoise was highly prized by Persians as a bringer of good luck. To wear it was said to protect one against evil and bring one prosperity. However it was also said that rulers should not wear turquoise because their glory would be subsumed in that of the stone. 

2 - according to historians, Abu Ishaq's carefree indulgence and pleasure-seeking even as the Muzaffarid army was advancing on Shiraz, was the former's undoing. 



The Original:


یاد باد آن که سر کوی توام منزل بود دیده را روشنی از خاک درت حاصل بود
راست چون سوسن و گل از اثر صحبت پاک بر زبان بود مرا آن چه تو را در دل بود
دل چو از پیر خرد نقل معانی می‌کرد عشق می‌گفت به شرح آن چه بر او مشکل بود
در دلم بود که بی دوست نباشم هرگز چه توان کرد که سعی من و دل باطل بود
دوش بر یاد حریفان به خرابات شدم خم می دیدم خون در دل و پا در گل بود
بس بگشتم که بپرسم سبب درد فراق مفتی عقل در این مسله لایعقل بود
راستی خاتم فیروزۀ بواسحاقی خوش درخشید ولی دولت مستعجل بود
دیدی آن قهقهۀ کبک خرامان حافظ 
که ز سرپنجۀ شاهین قضا غافل بود

4 comments:

  1. Friendship of this sort is the headiest wine, and the most sorely missed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are the only one on the web who has it in polish plus your cute

    ReplyDelete
  3. Stupidest website in the world,rather use wiki

    ReplyDelete

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