His ingenuity never sleeps:—
“Ah, could I hide me in my song,
To kiss thy lips from which it flows!”—
and plays in a thousand pretty courtesies:—
“Fair fall thy soft heart!
A good work wilt thou do?
Oh, pray for the dead
Whom thine eyelashes slew!”
And what a nest has he found for his bonny bird to take up her abode in!—
“They strew in the path of kings
Jewels and gems of price;
But for thy head I will pluck down stars,
And pave thy way with eyes.
“I have sought for thee a costlier
Than Mahmoud’s palace high,
And thou, returning, find thy home
In the apple of Love’s eye.”
Nor shall Death snatch her from his pursuit:—
“If my darling should depart
And search the skies for prouder friends,
God forbid my angry heart
In other love should seek amends!
“When the blue horizon’s hoop
Me a little pinches here,
On the instant I will die
And go find thee in the sphere.”
Then we have all degrees of passionate abandonment:—
“I know this perilous love-lane
No whither the traveller leads,
Yet my fancy the sweet scent of
Thy tangled tresses feeds.
“In the midnight of thy locks,
I renounce the day;
In the ring of thy rose-lips,
My heart forgets to pray.”
And sometimes his love rises to a religious sentiment:—
“Plunge in yon angry waves,
Renouncing doubt and care;
The flowing of the seven broad seas
Shall never wet thy hair.
“Is Allah’s face on thee
Bending with love benign,
And thou not less on Allah’s eye
O fairest! turnest thine.”
We add to these fragments of Hafiz a few specimens from other poets.
“In Farsistan the violet spreads
Its leaves to the rival sky,—
I ask, How far is the Tigris flood,
And the vine that grows thereby?
“Except the amber morning wind,
Not one saluted me here;
There is no man in all Bagdad
To offer the exile cheer.
“I know that thou, O morning wind,
O’er Kerman’s meadow blowest,
And thou, heart-warming nightingale,
My father’s orchard knowest.
“Oh, why did partial Fortune
From that bright land banish me?
So long as I wait in Bagdad,
The Tigris is all I see.
“The merchant hath stuffs of price,
And gems from the sea-washed strand,
And princes offer me grace
To stay in the Syrian land:
“But what is gold for but for gifts?
And dark without love is the day;
And all that I see in Bagdad
Is the Tigris to float me away.”