If life remains, I shall go back to the tavern

by Hafiz

English version by Bernard Lewis
Original Language Persian/Farsi

If life remains, I shall go back to the tavern
and do no other work than serve the revelers.
Happy day when, with streaming eyes,
I shall go again to sprinkle the tavern floor.
There is no knowledge among these folk,
Suffer me, God, to offer my jewel of self to another buyer.
If the Friend has gone, rejecting the claim of old friendship,
God forbid I should go and look for another friend.
If the turn of the heavenly wheel favor me
I shall find some other craft to bring him back.

My soul seeks wholeness, if that be permitted
by his wanton glance and bandit tresses.
See our guarded secret, a ballad sung
with drum and flute at the gate of another bazaar.
Every moment I sigh in sorrow, for fate, every hour
strikes at my wounded heart with another torment.
Yet truly I say: Hafiz is not alone in this plight;
So many others were swallowed in the desert.

-- from Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems, Translated by Bernard Lewis

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