The rose has flushed red, the bud has burst,
And drunk with joy is the nightingale
Hail, Sufis! lovers of wine, all hail!
For wine is proclaimed to a world athirst.
Like a rock your repentance seemed to you;
Behold the marvel! of what avail
Was your rock, for a goblet has cleft it in two!
Bring wine for the king and the slave at the gate
Alike for all is the banquet spread,
And drunk and sober are warmed and fed.
When the feast is done and the night grows late,
And the second door of the tavern gapes wide,
The low and. the mighty must bow the head
‘Neath the archway of Life, to meet what . . . outside?
Except thy road through affliction pass,
None may reach the halting-station of mirth
God’s treaty: Am I not Lord of the earth?
Man sealed with a sigh: Ah yes, alas!
Nor with Is nor Is Not let thy mind contend
Rest assured all perfection of mortal birth
In the great Is Not at the last shall end.
For Assaf’s pomp, and the steeds of the wind,
And the speech of birds, down the wind have fled,
And he that was lord of them all is dead;
Of his mastery nothing remains behind.
Shoot not thy feathered arrow astray!
A bow-shot’s length through the air it has sped,
And then . . . dropped down in the dusty way.
But to thee, oh Hafiz, to thee, oh Tongue
That speaks through the mouth of the slender reed,
What thanks to thee when thy verses speed
From lip to lip, and the song thou hast sung?
From: Teachings of Hafiz
Translated by Gertrude Bell 1897