WHAT drunkenness is this that brings me hope–
Who was the Cup-bearer, and whence the wine?
That minstrel singing with full voice divine,
What lay was his? for ‘mid the woven rope
Of song, he brought word from my Friend to me
Set to his melody.
The wind itself bore joy to Solomon;
The Lapwing flew from Sheba’s garden close,
Bringing good tidings of its queen and rose.
Take thou the cup and go where meadows span
The plain, whither the bird with tuneful throat
Has brought Spring’s sweeter note.
Welcome, oh rose, and full-blown eglantine!
The violets their scented gladness fling,
Jasmin breathes purity-art sorrowing
Like an unopened bud, oh heart of mine?
The wind of dawn that sets closed blossoms free
Brings its warm airs to thee.
Saki, thy kiss shall still my bitter cry!
Lift up your grief-bowed heads, all ye that weep,
The Healer brings joy’s wine-cup–oh, drink deep!
Disciple of the Tavern-priest am I;
The pious Sheikh may promise future bliss,
He brings me where joy is.
The greedy glances of a Tartar horde
To me seemed kind–my foeman spared me not
Though one poor robe was all that I had got.
But Heaven served Hafiz, as a slave his lord,
And when he fled through regions desolate,
Heaven brought him to thy gate.
From: Teachings of Hafiz
Translated by Gertrude Bell 1897