From the Garden of Heaven

We present this work in honor of Hafez Day.

Hafez
Persian
1326 – 1389

 

From the garden of Heaven a western breeze
Blows through the leaves of my garden of earth;
With a love like a huri I’ld take mine ease,
And wine! bring me wine, the giver of mirth!
To-day the beggar may boast him a king,
His banqueting-hall is the ripening field,
And his tent the shadow that soft clouds fling.

A tale of April the meadows unfold—
Ah, foolish for future credit to slave,
And to leave the cash of the present untold!
Build a fort with wine where thy heart may brave
The assault of the world; when thy fortress falls,
The relentless victor shall knead from thy dust
The bricks that repair its crumbling walls.

Trust not the word of that foe in the fight!
Shall the lamp of the synagogue lend its flame
To set thy monastic torches alight?
Drunken am I, yet place not my name
In the Book of Doom, nor pass judgment on it;
Who knows what the secret finger of Fate
Upon his own white forehead has writ!

And when the spirit of Hafiz has fled,
Follow his bier with a tribute of sighs;
Though the ocean of sin has closed o’er his head,
He may find a place in God’s Paradise.

Since I am Forgotten

Guillaume de Machaut
French
1300 – 1377

 

Since I am forgotten by you, sweet friend,
To a love life, and to happiness, I bid goodbye.
Unlucky was the day I put my love in you,
Since I am forgotten by you, sweet friend.
Yet I will keep what I have promised you,
Which is that never will I have another lover.
Since I am forgotten by you, sweet friend,
To a love life, and to happiness, I bid goodbye.

At the Court of Abu Inan

We present this work in honor of Dia de Andalucia.

Ibn al-Khatib
Arab Andalusian
1313 – 1374

 

Caliph of god!
Wish destiny increased your glory
as long as the moon shines in obscurity!
Wish the hand of Providence kept out from you
all dangers that men force cannot avoid.
In our afflictions your appearance is for us
like the moon dispersing the darkness.
In times of penury your hand replaces the rain
spreading abundance.
Without your help,
The people of Andalusian could not conserve
their habitation, neither their land.
In a word, this country doesn’t feel but a lone necessity:
to protect your Majesty.
Those who experiment your favour never were ungrateful;
they never were unaware of your profits.
And now, when they fair for their existence,
they send me to you and wait.

Since I From Love

Geoffrey Chaucer
English
1343 – 1400

 

Since I from Love escaped am so fat,
I ne’er think to be in his prison ta’en;
Since I am free, I count him not a bean.

He may answer, and saye this and that;
I do no force, I speak right as I mean;
Since I from Love escaped am so fat.

Love hath my name struck out of his slat,
And he is struck out of my bookes clean,
For ever more; there is none other mean;
Since I from Love escaped am so fat.

My Friend Has Fled

We present this work in honor of Eid al-Adha.

Hafez
Persian
1326 – 1389

 

My friend has fled! alas, my friend has fled,
And left me nought but tears and pain behind!
Like smoke above a flame caught by the wind,
So rose she from my breast and forth she sped.
Drunk with desire, I seized Love’s cup divine,
But she that held it poured the bitter wine
Of Separation into it and fled.

The hunter she, and I the helpless prey;
Wounded and sick, round me her toils she drew,
My heart into a sea of sorrow threw,
Bound up her camel loads and fled away.
Fain had I laid an ambush for her soul,
She saw and vanished, and the timid foal,
Good Fortune, slipped the rein and would not stay.

My heart was all too narrow for my woe,
And tears of blood my weeping eyes have shed,
A crimson stream across the desert sped,
Rising from out my sad heart’s overflow.
She knew not what Love’s meanest slave can tell:
“‘Tis sweet to serve!” but threw me a Farewell,
Kissing my threshold, turned, and cried “I go!”

In the clear dawn, before the east was red,
Before the rose had torn her veil in two,
A nightingale through Hafez’ garden flew,
Stayed but to fill its song with tears, and fled.