Hafiz: Versions of One Ode.


Perspective, Filters, Point of View - the Level of Being: these are the reasons people see things differently. From Hafiz' perspective his relationship, seeking, knowing, path, and experiences are expressed through his work, words, life, mind, action, breath, and heart. To touch them and his (Hafiz) perspective, you would need to attune to him. You can use these words as a vehicle to connect - initially. Then quiet the mind, and catch the breath. It, the breath, is the connecting link.

Here is a writing about Perspective, Filters, Point of View. The mystic moves to direct experience and perception. The other levels or functions are partial and are clouds, veils, and secondary. In that writing and others, more will be offered along the topic of attunement.

Many of the following examples were taken from an assemblage found on the web site thesongsofhafiz.com and are used by permission. These versions can be useful and instructive for several reasons and on several levels - including a consideration of conditioning. Use them accordingly.



Hearken Saqi!' Circulate the wine-flagon
And pass it to me also; 
For love seemed easy at first,
But difficulties came. 
How much blood boils in the hearts of lovers
Awaiting the scent of the navel of the deer
That the breeze of dawn will finally unleash
From the forelock of the Friend
And his musky curls!'
How can I enjoy ease and comfort
In the rest-house of the Beloved
When the bell for saddling the camels
Is sounding all the time?'
Dye your prayer-carpet in wine
If the "Magian Teacher" command it:
For the true traveller understands the path
And the proper procedure at the inns.'
The night is dark, the waves terrifying,
The whirlpool devastating: 
What could light-loaded land-lubbers
Know of my condition?'
Every selfish act conspired in the end
To wreck my reputation:
'That to discuss which people gather together in assemblies
Cannot remain a hidden secret.
0 Hafiz, do not absent yourself from the Friend
If you desire his presence: Remember the text
'When once you have met the Beloved
Give up the earth and all things in it'.


Translator:

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

 



LOVE'S AWAKENING 

Ho, saki, haste, the beaker bring,
Fill up, and pass it round the ring;
Love seemed at first an easy thing- 
But ah! the hard awakening.

2
So sweet perfume the morning air
Did lately from her tresses bear, 
Her twisted, musk-diffusing hair-
What heart's calamity was there! 

Within life's caravanserai
What brief security have I, 
When momently the bell doth cry,
"Bind on your loads; the hour is nigh I"

3
Let wine upon the prayer-mat flow,
An if the taverner bids so;
Whose wont is on this road to go
Its ways and manners well doth know.

4
Mark now the mad career of me,
From wilfulness to infamy;
Yet how conceal that mystery
Whereof men make festivity?

A mountain sea, moon clouded o'er,
And nigh the whirlpool's awful roar-
How can they know our labour sore
Who pass light-burthened on the shore? 

5
Hafiz, if thou wouldst win her grace,
Be never absent from thy place;
When thou dost see the well-loved face
Be lost at last to time and space. 


Translator:

Arberry, A. J. (1947).  Hafiz: Fifty poems.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.




Boy, bring the cup, and circulate the wine :
How easy at first love seemed, but now the snags begin. 

How many hearts lie bleeding, waiting the wind-loosed musk
Out of those tresses-the bright twist of black curls ? 

For what security have we here in this halting-place,
Where every moment the bell clangs "Strap up your packs" ? 

Stain your prayer-mat with wine if the Master tells you:
 That seasoned voyager knows the ways of the road. 

But travelling light, what can these land-lubbers know of it-
Black night, our fear of the waves, and the horrible whirlpool ? 

My self-willed love will sink my reputation:
The truth leaks out ; they make a ballad of it at their meetings. 

If you seek his presence, Hafiz, do not let him alone:
And when you meet his face, you can tell the world to go hang. 


Translator:

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



ARISE, oh Cup-bearer, rise! and bring
To lips that are thirsting the bowl they praise,
For it seemed that love was an easy thing,
But my feet have fallen on difficult ways.
I have prayed the wind o'er my heart to fling
The fragrance of musk in her hair that sleeps
In the night of her hair-yet no fragrance stays
The tears of my heart's blood my sad heart weeps.

Hear the Tavern-keeper who counsels you:
"With wine, with red wine your prayer carpet dye!"
There was never a traveller like him but knew
The ways of the road and the hostelry.
Where shall I rest, when the still night through,
Beyond thy gateway, oh Heart of my heart,
The bells of the camels lament and cry:
"Bind up thy burden again and depart!"

The waves run high, night is clouded with fears,
And eddying whirlpools clash and roar;
How shall my drowning voice strike their ears
Whose light-freighted vessels have reached the shore?
I sought mine own; the unsparing years
Have brought me mine own, a dishonoured name.
What cloak shall cover my misery o'er
When each jesting mouth has rehearsed my shame!

Oh Hafiz, seeking an end to strife,
Hold fast in thy mind what the wise have writ:
"If at last thou attain the desire of thy life,
Cast the world aside, yea, abandon it!"


Translator:

Bell, G. (1985). The Teachings of Hafiz. London: Octagon Press.




Ho! 0 Saki, pass around and offer the bowl (of love for God):
For (the burden of) love (for God) at first (on the day of covenant) appeared easy, but (now) difficulties have occurred. 

By reason of the perfume (hope) of the musk-pod, that, at the end (of night),the breeze displayeth from that (knotted) fore-lock,-
From the twist of its musky (dark, fragrant) curl, what blood (of grief) befell the hearts (of the lovers of God) ! 

With wine, becolour the prayer-mat-if the Pir of the magians (the perfect murshid) bid thee;
For of the way and usage of the stages (to, God) not without knowledge is the holy traveller (the perfect murshid). 

In the stage (this world) of the (true) Beloved,-mine what ease and pleasure, when momently,
The (loud) bell (of the call of death) giveth voice, saying:- "Bind ye up the chattels of existence!" 

The dark night (of the world), and the fear of the wave (of grief), and the whirlpool so fearful (the time of death).
The light-burdened ones of the shore (ancestors who have passed the flood of death),-how know they our state ? 

By following my own fancy (in hastening to union with God), me (only) to ill fame all my work brought:
Secret,-how remaineth that great mystery (of love) whereof (great) assemblies speak? 

Hafiz, if thou desire the presence (union with God Most High)-from Him be not absent:
When thou visitest thy Beloved, abandon the world; and let it go. 


Translator:

Clarke, H. W. (1974).  The Divan of Hafiz.  London: Octagon Press.




0 Saki, bring around the cup of wine and then offer it to me,
for love seemed easy at first, but then grew difficult.

Flooded with their heart's blood are those who wait for the scent
that the dawn wind may spill from her dark, musky curls. 

Stain your prayer mat with wine if the Magus tells you to,
for such a traveller knows the road, and the customs of its stations.

What security is there for us here in her caravanserai
when every moment camel bells cry, "Pack up the loads!"?

The dark night, the fear of waves, the terrifying whirlpool,
how can they know of our state, those who go lightly along the shore?

In the end, my life has drawn me from self-concem to ill-repute.
How long can the secret of our assemblies stay hidden?

Hafiz, if you desire her presence, pay attention.
When you find the one you seek, abandon the world and let it go.


Translator:

Gray, E. (1995).  The Green Sea of Heaven.  Ashland: White Cloud Press.



Wine for a Breaking Heart....

Saki for God's love, come and fill my glass; Wine for a breaking heart, 0 Saki , bring!
For this strange love which seemed at first, alas! So simple and so innocent a thing,
How difficult, how difficult it is!
Because the night wind kissed the scented curl On the white brow of a capricious girl,
And, passing, gave me half the stolen kiss, Who would have thought one's heart could bleed
and break
For such a very little thing as this? Wine, Saki, wine—red wine, for pity's sake!

O Saki, would to God that 1 might die! Would that this moment I might hear the bell
That bids the traveler for the road prepare, Be the next stopping place or heaven or hell!
Strange caravan of death—no fears have I Of the dark journey, gladly would I dare
The fearful river and the whirling pools; Ah! they that dwell upon the other side,
What know they of the burdens that we bear? With lit up happy faces having died,
What know they of Love's bitter mystery, The love that makes so sad a fool of me?
A fool of Hafiz!—yea, a fool of fools.


Translator:

Richard Le Gallienne (1978).  Wine for a Breaking Heart.  The Bluemound Press.



Serve the cup around, O'Saki, for love, I say,
Seemed easy first, yet difficult in the end. 

Lovers' hearts are bleeding, and sure will rend,
When zephyr spreads scent of her curls away. 

In security how can travellers stay,
When trumpets the message of departure send? 

The experienced sage, advised us to say,:
"Wash your prayer-rug in red wine, my friend". 

Those secure on the shore with peace of mind,
Don't know our storm the waves and the dark night. 

Alas, that at last my secrets I find,
Untold at street comers, even before my sight. 

Hafiz, enjoy her company and to her bind,
Suffer the dark world for the sake of future light


Translator:

Kashani, A. A.  (1984).  Odes of Hafiz: Poetical horoscope.  Lexington: Mazda Publishers.



SOME FILL WITH EACH GOOD RAIN

There are different wells within your heart.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far too deep for that.

In one well
You have just a few precious cups of water,
That "love" is literally something of yourself,
It can grow as slow as a diamond
If it is lost.

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Stranger,
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.

There are different wells within us.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far, far too deep
For that.


Translator:

Ladinsky, D. (1999).  The gift: Poems by the great sufi master.  New York: Penguin.



O Bartender

O bartender, my friend, won't you pour me some wine
I thought that love would be easy, but it just grows harder with time

It was in the night a breeze brought the scent of musk from the head of that one so fair
and ever since that night, how my poor heart aches, from just one twist of his hair

Dye your prayer mat red with wine if the master tells you to
that holy one knows the secrets of the path and he will surely guide you through

How can I be happy and free from doubt on this path to my Beloved one
At any moment the caravan bell may ring out and say "your time in this resting place is done"

Death is like a cold, dark whirlpool, a wave of suffering, just waiting to wash us away
you who rest in comfort upon the shoreline, how can you know our state?

I have followed my own whim, and now all my work has brought nothing but disgrace and shame
this whole world talks about the mystery of love, but it remains a secret just the same

O Hafiz, if you long to be with him, don't be absent from him, no
when you visit with your Beloved one, abandon the world and let it go


Translator:

Newell, J. R.  (2001) The Songs of Hafiz. Nashville: Blue Sadhana.




Servant of the Soil

I am happy and in loudest voice I say: 
I seek West Wind of truth from wine cup today. 

While frowning hypocrite sits languishing there,
with open-faced dreg-drinkers I choose to stay.

If Elder doesn't open my tavern door, 
where can I go, for whose counsel will I pray?
 
Do not reproach my rend's spirit in this world;
as I was molded, of that shape is my clay.
 
See not dervish prayer house nor tavern as path;
God walks as companion wherever I stray.
 
Dust of rendi is the elixir of joy; 
I serve the soil of that ambergris-sweet way.
 
In the joy of seeing the primrose so high,
by river with cup I stand in tulip's sway.
 
My story is madness since beloved's curls 
tossed me like a ball for her polo club's play.
 
Bring wine and to Hafez do pray: If heart
holds hypocrites' leftover crumbs, please sweep away.


Translator:

Pourafzal, H., Montgomery, R. (1998).  The spiritual wisdom of Hafiz. (pp. 174) Rochester: Inner Traditions.



Hey, here Winebringer, circulate, offer the cup this way;
For love at first seemed easy, now problems come to stay. 

Finally breeze sent muskpod's scent from that forehead:
Its twist Of musky hair makes blood clot our hearts today. 

Can wayfarers stay happy and secure in Beloved's house,
When suddenly the bell clangs to: "Lift your load! Away!" 

With wine dye your prayer-mat if the Master commands;
This experienced traveller has understanding of the way. 

The dark night and terrifying wave and fierce whirlpool:
Do those light of burden on shore know where we stay? 

By acting upon my own desires I ruined my reputation:
Can the secret stay that way when crowds tell it all day? 

Hafiz, if you desire the Divine Presence, do not be absent:
When you visit your Beloved: "Farewell" to the world say.


Translator:

Smith, P.  (1986).  Divan of Hafiz.  Melbourne: New Humanity Books.

For translations of Hafiz by Paul Smith contact the author.


Return to home page    |    Contents   
HUUU Home  |  Learning Home  |  Learning Contents  |  HUUU General Contents  |  Learning Opportunities  |  Helping Out  |  Contact