Water

Sohrab Sepehri
Persian
1928 – 1980

 

Let’s not soil the water:
Perhaps a pigeon is drinking down there
Or a thrush dipping its wing by a far thicket
Or a pitcher being filled in a village.

Let’s not soil the water.
This stream is perhaps running to a white aspen
To sooth a lonely heart.
A dervish may have dipped his dry bread there.

A lovely lady has come to the stream.
Let’s not soil the water.
Beauty is doubled.

Sweet water!
Clear stream!
People are so affable there!
May their streams bubble!
And their cows produce abundant milk!
Never have I visited their village.
Their hedges must bear God’s footprints.
There, moonshine illuminates the expanse of speech.
No doubt, the fences are low in yonder village.
And its inhabitants know what peonies are.
No doubt, blue is blue there.

A bud blossoms! People know it.
What a glorious village it must be!
May its alleyways overflow with music!
The people living by the stream understand water.
They did not soil it
Nor should we.

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