Those Who Painted My Portrait

Nef’î
Turkish
1572 – 1635

 

Those who painted my portrait painted me
With cup in hand
When they saw I was drunk on the wine of love,
They drew me as a drunkard

If the zâhid were wise, he wouldn’t ask me
to give up pleasure
What a shame! They have portrayed me as crazy,
and him as sane!

What you see in the eye of the lover
in not the shadow of her eyelash
They have drawn the darkness of her cheek-down
onto the white of the weeping eye

I am that lover whose fame in humility
has taken the entire city
Those who wrote the story of Mejnûn
have written it in vain!

Oh Nef’î, from the way you speak we see
Yyur heart is burning
When they write your verse, their pens
shall burst in flame!

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