Translations of the Ghazals of Hafiz
Preachers who display their piety in prayer and pulpit
behave differently when they're alone.
It puzzles me. Ask the learned ones of the assembly:
"Why do those who demand repentance do so little of it?"
It's as if they don't believe in the Day of Judgment
with all this fraud and counterfeit they do in His name.
I am the slave of the tavern-master, whose dervishes,
in needing nothing, make treasure seem like dust.
0 lord, put these nouveaux-riches back on their asses
because they flaunt their mules and Turkic slaves.
0 angel, say praises at the door of love's tavern,
for inside they ferment the essence of Adam.
Whenever his limitless beauty kills a lover
others spring up, with love, from the invisible world.
0 beggar at the cloister door, come to the monastery of the Magi,
for the water they give makes hearts rich.
Empty your house, 0 heart, so that it may become home to the beloved,
for the heart of the shallow ones is an army camp.
At dawn a clamor came from the throne of heaven.
Reason said, "It seems the angels are memorizing Hafiz's verse."
Gray, E. (1995). The Green Sea of Heaven. Ashland: White