Translations of the Ghazals of Hafiz


WHAT good in being a solitary, secret drinker ?
We're all drunkards together-let's leave it at that. 

Unravel the heart's tangles, and leave the spheres alone
You won't solve Fate's paradox by parallax. 

Don't be surprised at Fortune's turns and twists:
That wheel has spun a thousand yarns before. 

Respect the cup you hold--the clay it's made from
Was the skulls of buried kings--Bahman or Kobad. 

For who can tell where Kai or Kaus are now,
Or Jamshid's throne, gone on a puff of wind? 

Farhad dropped tears of blood for Shirin's lips,
And still I see the tulip blossoming there. 

I think the tulip knows how Fortune cheats,
So clasps a petalled wine-glass till it fades. 

Come, let's get drunk, even if it is our ruin
For sometimes under ruins one finds treasure. 

The breeze of Musalla, the waters of Ruknabad,
They keep me still from wandering far from home. 

Like Hafiz, drink your wine to the sound of harp-strings
For the heart's joy is strung on a strand of silk. 



Avery, P., Heath-Stubbs, J.  (1952).  Hafiz of Shiraz: Thirty poems. (pp. 45) London: John Murray.




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