Translations of the Ghazals of Hafiz



The only wise course for me now
Is to depart bag and baggage for the tavern
And sit there happily.
I must grasp the wine-cup
And avoid the society of the hypocrites;
I must wash my heart clean
Of all contact with worldlings.
Let me have no friends or companions
But a wine-flask and a book,
That I may avoid all association
With the deceitful denizens of the world.
If I lift my skirt above the dust of the world
I shall tower above all in total independence,
Like a lofty cypress.
When I see the face of the cup-bearer
And the glowing wine
I feel ashamed that I once boasted of piety
And the soiled habit of a monk.
My narrow frame is not equal to the weight
Of the burden of grief at his absence;
My poor heart cannot support such a load.
Take me for a reveller in the wine-house
Or an ascetic of the city --
I am only the wares you see, or worse.
I am the servant of the Asaf of the age;
Do not vex my heart,
For if I breathe a word of complaint
He will call down the vengeance of heaven.
The dust of maltreatment
Lies upon my heart;
God forbid that it should contaminate
This mirror brimming with love.




Alston, A. J.  (1996).  In search of Hafiz. (pp. 160-161) London: Shanti Sadan.



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