Hafez | In Memory of my Grandfather

With a bit of poetic/translating license – a translation of a ghazal by Hafiz.

Ever drunken
By the gentle breezes of your braid’s curls.
Every moment, I’m left ruined
By the tricks of your bewitching eyes

After much patience, oh Lord
When can we, finally, watch a night
Where vision’s candle is kindled
At the prayer-arch of your brows?

Dear one, I’ve learned to read the tablet of vision,
On her account.
For my life is but a draft
From the tablet of your black mole *

If always you seek to adorn this world
Then call on the morning breeze
Perchance, it would lift
The veil from your face.

If you have taken to self-effacement,
Forsaking this world
Then let loose those braids,
So a thousand souls may fall from your every strand.

The East’s morning breeze and I,
Two wanderers, wretched and vain
Me, cast drunk in your eyes’ spell
And him, wasted by the scent of your braids

Oh pity all my ambitions!
In this world or the hereafter,
Nothing settles on Hafiz’ eyes
But the dust drifting at the corner of your alley.

* Still unclear on this couplet. Some understand ‘savad’ as pupil of the eye, not literacy – and suggest that tablet of the black mole is incorrect (instead it is naqsh or trace). I chose literacy because it made more sense with ‘lawh’, ‘noskhe’ (draft/copy), which convey a sense of study and insight.

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