Ode 100 of Hafiz

Adapted from Richard LeGallienne

Just now, without a sign he went away;
Weary he seemed of me — he put on

His garments hurriedly, took up
His workman’s burdens, and was gone.

Gone is he, yet no single kiss
Upon his red lips did I lay,

The glance I stole but briefly – one light
My dim eyes shone upon his face,
And he has gone away.

I strive by many a magic charm
To bring him back; yea, I rehearse

The Koran's wizard chapters, I
Blow upon every verse my obverse spell.

"Never," said he, "will I forsake
My friend and my companion";

True love I gave him in exchange —
Not coin enough — Secretly is he gone
To a place where he has laid up kisses.

"Who loveth me, himself must lose";
So many a time to me he spake;
As though in promise, a proferred trade.

Thus not alone I lose myself,
But him too for his sake.
The dark well of nullness consumes us both.

Proudly he walked the meadows green,
A newly opened rose his face;

Alas! 't was never mine to walk
The meadows of his grace.

Yea, HAFIZ, 't was not even thine
His parting face to look upon,

Nor might thou say farewell to him;
And, HAFIZ, he is gone.

Note: Richard LeGallienne translated a volume of the Odes and Divans of Hafiz in 1903. Published in the terrible shadow of the Oscar Wilde trials, this version of Hafiz concealed the fact that most of Hafiz's fierce love poems were addressed to beautiful young men. I took one of LeGallienne's version, changed the pronouns, and embellished a little in my own manner. The drunk-with-beauty rapture of Hafiz takes on a new dimension when we restore him to his proper frame of mind.


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