Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
From the Poems
By Hafez (c. 1325–c. 1389)
(Translated from the Persian by John Payne. 1901)

1.  Whose dwelling, Lord, by yonder heart-Enkindling taper’s lit?
  Our soul’s afire! For God’s sake, ask  Whose soul’s delight is it.
2.  I wonder in whose arms she lies  And who her housemates be,
  She who the edifice o’erthrown  Hath of my faith and wit!
3.  Whose soul’s delight is yonder wine  Of rubies of her lip?        5
  Unto whose cup for cupgiver  Did Fortune her commit?
4.  Each at her casteth spells of love;  But to whose sorceries
  Her dainty heart inclining is,  None knoweth anywhit.
5.  O Lord, yon queenlike mooncheeked maid,  Yon Venus-fronted fair,
  Whose peerless pearl is she, whose gem  Past value exquisite?        10
6.  That fair whose ruby wine, undrunk,  Hath made me drunk and mad,
  For whom doth she the goblet fill?  In whose assembly sit?
7.  Ask ye, ’fore God, to whom the bliss  Of the companionship
  Of yonder candle of delight  Hath Destiny forewrit?
8.  “Alack, for Hafiz’ heart distraught,”  Quoth I, “withouten thee!”        15
  She answered, with a covert smile,  “For whom distraught is it?”
1.  “Thy mouth and thy lip,” I asked her,  “Me blest when will they make?”
  “Thy bidding in all,” she answered,  “Shift to fulfil they make.”
2.  “Thy lips for a kiss the tribute  Of Egypt seek,” said I.
  Quoth she, “At that rate who purchase,  No bargain ill they make.”        20
3.  “To the point of thy mouth who findeth  The way?” quoth I; and she,
  “That known to the subtlety-kenners,  Not those lack-skill, They make.”
4.  Quoth I, “Be no server of idols;  Abide thou with God,” and she,
  “Their wont this and that in Love’s quarter,  The good and the ill, they make.”
5.  Quoth I, “Lo, the air of the winehouse  Doth grief from the heart away;”        25
  And she, “Happy folk, if one bosom  With gladness to thrill they make!”
6.  Quoth I, “Wine and patchcoat the canon  Allows not”; and she, “In the sect
  “Of the Magians, of one and the other  Their habitude still they make.”
7.  Quoth I, “From the sweet-lipped ones’ ruby  What profit the old?” And she,
  “The old young again with the sugar  Their kisses distil they make.”        30
8.  Quoth I, “To the nuptial chamber  When cometh the lord?” And she,
  “’Twill not be, the Moon in conjunction  With Jupiter till They make.”
1.  This my love for thee, my fair one,  On what wise shall I assain?
  Yea, how long shall I of sorrow  For thy sake all night complain?
2.  Long ago past hope of healing  Is my frenzied heart become:        35
  Peradventure, of thy tress-tip  I may fashion it a chain.
3.  Scope where shall I find and leisure,  So the full perplexity,
  Which I suffer for thy tress-tip,  Once for all I may explain?
4.  What I suffered in the season  Of estrangement from thy sight,
  ’Twere impossible one letter  Should the whole of it contain.        40
5.  On my soul to look whenever  I’m desirous, in mine eye
  Still to conjure up the image  Of thy lovely cheek I’m fain.
6.  If I knew that thine enjoyment  Should thereby to me betide,
  Heart and faith would I surrender,  Ay, and count the loss a gain.
7.  Get thee gone from us, o preacher;  Leave this idle prate of thine:        45
  None am I who unto leasing  Ear will any longer deign.
8.  Of deliverance from lewdness,  Hope, o Hafiz, is there none:
  Since ’twas thus of Fate foreordered,  Care and counsel are in vain.
1.  Enamoured am I of a fair one,  A youngling new a-blow;
  I’ve sought it with prayer from heaven,  The gladness of this woe.        50
2.  Whoremonger, amorist, toper,  I tell thee outright, I am;
  So thou, that with all these merits  Endowed I am, mayst know.
3.  Now shame of my sin-soiled cassock  Is over me come, whereon
  I, patch upon patch, devices  An hundred still did sew.
4.  Yes, well mayst thou burn, o candle,  In passion for her! For see,        55
  Upstanding in that same business,  Loin-girt, am I e’enso.
5.  The profit of my endeavour,  In this my bewilderment,
  I’ve lost: as in heart and spirit  I dwindle, in grief I grow.
6.  So haply that new-blown charmer  May me to her bosom draw,
  To the tavern, with robe (like Hafiz)  All open in front I go. 1        60
1.  Since in Irác Suléima made her station,
  I long for her with longing past relation.
2.  Hark ye, O leader of the Loved One’s camels,
  After thy charge I yearn without cessation.
3.  For lack of the Friend’s sight my heart a-bleed is:        65
  Oh out upon the days of separation!
4.  Cast reason to the Zindehroud 2 and tipple
  Wine to the young Irakis’ acclamation.
5.  Mistrel sweet-voiced, sweet-spoken, come; in Persian
  Verse, chant thou to Iraki modulation.        70
6.  The ghittern’s sound And cupbearer’s hand-clapping
  Bring back lost youth to my rememoration.
7.  Give me the wine-dregs, so that, drunk and blithesome,
  I of life’s dregs to friends may make oblation.
8.  Come, give me, cupbearer, the heavy pottle,        75
  God fill to thee the goblet of salvation!
9.  A moment with well-willers be accordant:
  Come, profit by the days of jubilation.
10.  Life’s Springtide in thy pasturage abideth;
  God keep the days of union from mutation!        80
11.  The time of union passed and we unheeding;
  And now I’m in the throes of separation.
12.  A wonder-goodly bride thou art, vine-daughter!
  But whiles thou meritest repudiation.
13.  Save a Messiah, free from worldly fetters,        85
  None with the sun may have association.
14.  Eld me forbiddeth from enjoying virgins,
  Save in the way of clips and osculation.
15.  Scorn not my tears for lack of you: how many
  A sea is made by rillets’ aggregation!        90
16.  Since union with friends Is not our portion,
  Cleave, Hafiz, to the mode of lamentation.
1.  A city 3 full of lovelings;  On every side a fair!
  Friends, if ye would be doing,  The call to love is there.
2.  The world’s eye never looked on  A fresher maid than this:        95
  Nor ever goodlier quarry  Fell into any’s snare.
3.  Who ever saw a body,  Like hers, of very soul?
  Ne’er be her skirt polluted  By dust of earthly care!
4.  Why driv’st thou from thy presence  A broken one like me?
  A kiss or an embracement’s  The utmost of my prayer.        100
5.  Pure is the wine and goodly  The season: quick, enjoy
  The time; for who to reckon  On next year’s Spring can dare?
6.  See, in the garden topers  Are; rose and tulip like,
  Each in his hand a goblet,  To a friend’s health, doth bear.
7.  Love’s knot how shall I loosen?  This mystery how solve?        105
  A pain ’tis and a sore one;  Ay, and a hard affair.
8.  Bond to some wanton’s tresses  Each heir of Hafiz is:
  In such a land untroubled  Uneath it is to fare.
Note 1. The robe open in front is the sign of the debauchee and the frenzied lover. [back]
Note 2. The River of Ispahan. [back]
Note 3. Shiraz. [back]

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