Monday, December 29, 2014

Shamsuddin Hafiz, Ghazal 152

An exhalation of Your Beauty
   shone forth in pre-eternity;
then Love manifested itself,
   and set the whole world on fire.
Your Face appeared; the Angel
   saw it, but was without love.
Moved by jealousy, he caught fire
   and struck Adam’s heart.
From that flame, reason lit its lamp;
   a bolt of jealousy flashed
   and threw the world into chaos.
The pretentious one sought
   to witness the Mystery unveiled;
the hand of the Unseen came
   and struck the undeserving heart.
Others won a favorable destiny
   and a life of plenty;
my woeful heart received
   for its part the sorrow of love.
My exalted soul yearned
   for a glimpse of Your Chin;
my hand reached up and stroked
   the curls of Your Hair.
Hafiz wrote The Book of Your Love’s Joy
   on the day he cut off all ties
   that bring gladness to the heart.

[my translation]

Sunday, December 28, 2014

From Fariduddin ‘Attar’s Book of Secrets

O friend, if you awaken from your sleep
   you will savor the most marvelous joys;
though immersed in sorrow and pain,
   this I surely know: we will find joy, at last.
As there are thorns, there are also flowers.
   As there is illness, there is also a cure.
The cure has not yet become manifest;
   when the time has come, it will be revealed.
And our tale goes even further than this:
   though pain is our lot in this world,
that World – where we will find its cure –
   no tale may describe, no lot may apportion.
Without any lingering doubt I know
   that beyond this world we will find felicity.
For every affliction we have endured here,
   for every moment of pain and sorrow,
in that World we will receive a joy in return.
   Come! Let us not tarry on the way;
to know nothing of the World beyond
   this earthly realm we live in is a tragedy.
Why, O dervish, is your heart heavy,
   when such sublime joys lie ahead of you? 
The delights conferred in that World
   surpass all other joys in their exalted purity.
If today you found one atom of that joy,
   you would burn with yearning for the next.
The Eternal World is a realm of felicity
   of which this entire earthly realm is a sign.
There, is found the station of Prophets;
   the heart and faith, the soul and beatitude
are found there; all spirits reside there;
   and in that assembly, all houris are confidants.
If you aspire to that place I have described,
   detach yourself from ‘I’, and there you are.
If in this world you die to your self,
   you will touch the doorstep of that World.

[my translation]