Hafez: If that Shirazi Turk …

One of the most beautiful ghazals of Hafez is this ghazal. In this post first comes the original poem and then its translation by Herman Bicknell. Finally I add my own translation of the ghazal.

Original Persian Ghazal

اگر آن ترک شیرازی به دست آرد دل ما را *** به خال هندویش بخشم سمرقند و بخارا را

بده ساقی می باقی، که در جنت نخواهی یافت *** کنار آب رکن آباد و گلگشت مصلی را

فغان! کاین لولیان شوخ شیرین کار شهر آشوب *** چنان بردند صبر از دل که ترکان خوان یغما را

ز عشق نا تمام ما جمال یار مستغی است *** به آب و رنگ و خال و خط چه حاجت روی زیبا را

من از آن حسن روز افزون که حافظ داشت دانستم *** که عشق از پرده عصمت برون آرد زلیخا را

بدم گفتی و خرسندم عفاک الله! نکو گفتی *** جواب تلخ می زیبد لب لعل شکر خا را

نصیحت گوش کن جانا که از جان دوستر دارند *** جوانان سعادتمند پند پیر دانا را

غزل گفتی و در سفتی بیا و خوش بخوان حافظ

که بر نظم تو افشاند فلک عقد ثریا را

Herman Bicknell translation for this poem

If that Shirazian Turk would deign to take my heart within his hand
To make his Indian mole, I'd give Bukhara and Samarkand
Saki, present the wine unspent: in Jannah thou shalt never gaze
On Ruknabad water-marge, or on Musalla's bloomy way
Alast that these bold Lulian, whose blandishments the town embroil,
Should have borne off my heart's content, as do the Turks their trays of spoil
My loved one's beauty has no need of an imperfect love like mine
By paint or powder, mole or streak, can a fair face more brightly shine
Of minstrels and of wine discourse, care a little how skies revolve
By wisdom no one has solved yet and shall not this enigma solve.
I, from those daily-growing charms which Joseph possessed, forsaw
That, from the screen of chastity, Love would Zulaikha's footstep draw.
Thou mockest me, yet pleased am I! God pardon thee, thy words were meet:
A bitter answer answer well becomes those rubies which sugar-sweet
O soul, give ear to my advice! For one is in youth-time sage
Deems his own soul of lighter worth than the monition of old age
Thy lay is versed, thy pearls are pierced, come Hafez, sing it us and please
That Heaven upon thy poetry may fling her clustered Pleiades

My Translation

If that Shirazi Turk would succeed in winning my heart
I'll give up Samarkand and Bukhara, solely for her indian mole
Serve remained wine, Saki, cause you can't find in the paradise
Such a place as Ruknabad stream and Musall's gardens
Oh! these gypsies who are sweet and set the city to chaos
They drained heart from patience, as Turks take the pillages
My sweetheart's beauty doesn't need my imperfect love
How a beautiful face is in need of paint and powder and mole?
Talk about minstrels and wine, don't seek universe's secret
That is that, no one solved and will solve this enigma by logic
I knew beforehand from ever-improving charm that Joseph possessed 
That love finally would bring Zulaikha out of her innocence
You talked to me badly, God forgive you, you said it well
Bitter answer is proper for that red colored sugar-sweet lips
My soul, listen to advices, for blissful youths like more
That wise old's advises more than their own sweet lives
Hafez! you told Ghazals and pierced pearls, come sing fine
For your harmony in your poetry, Heaven weds Soraya!

  • Samarkan and Bukhara: two cities in centeral asia
  • Saki: one that serves wine or Mei

One thought on “Hafez: If that Shirazi Turk …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.