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 in
The very street that you lived on.  
   Light of my eyes it was to see
   the dust that at your doorway shone.
A lily and a rose we were, 
with a rapport so true and pure   
   That what I uttered with my tongue
   and what lay in your heart, were one.
Then when the heart interpreted      
the teachings Elder Wisdom gave, 
   Love's glossary shed light on all
   enigmas of the lexicon.  
I swore within my heart that I   
Would never be without my Friend. 
   But now my heart and I have strived
   and failed, what is there 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. 
   The tears of blood began to run. 
Much though I wondered as I wandered 
why pain of parting had to come, 
   The judge of Reason reached no reason
   and lost all judgement thereupon.
Indeed the turquoise signet ring1 
of Bu Ishaq, beloved king, 
   Flashed splendorously. But his reign  
   of fortune was a transient one. 
Hafez, see how the partridge struts
and cackles in his every cluck. 
   The falcon-claws he flouts are Laws 
   of Fate that he will not outrun2.


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


Yād bād ān ki sar-i kūy-i toam manzil būd
Dīdarā rawšanī az xāk-i darat hāsil būd
Rāst čun sawsan o gul az asar-i suhbat-i pāk
Bar zabān būd marā ān či turā dar dil būd
Dil ču az pīr-i xirad naql-i ma'ānī mēkard
Išq mēguft ba šarh ān či bar ō muškil būd
Dar dilam būd ki bēdōst nabāšam hargiz
Či tawān kard ki sa'y-i man o dil bātil būd
Dōš bar yād-i harīfān ba xarābāt šudam  
Xumm-i may dīdam xūn dar dil o pā dar gil būd
Bas bigaštam, ki bipursam sabab-i dard-i firāq
Muftī-i aql dar īn mas'ala lāya'qil būd
Rāstī, xātam-i fērōza-i Bū-Ishāqī
Xwaš diraxšīd walē dawlat-i musta'jil būd.
Dīdī ān qahqaha-i kabk-i xurāmān, Hāfiz,
Ki zi sarpanja-i šāhīn-i qazā ɣāfil būd.


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

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

  3. Stupidest website in the world,rather use wiki


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