I Asked

by Amir Khusrow Dehlawi

English version by Mahmood Jalal
Original Language Persian/Farsi

I asked, 'What's bright as the Moon?'
'My beautiful face,' was the answer.
I said, 'What's sweet as sugar?'
'My speech,' was the answer.

'What is the way of Lovers?' I asked
'The way of loyalty,' was the answer.
I said, 'Don't be so cruel to me.'
'It's my job to behave thus,' was the answer.

'What is death for Lovers?'
'Separation from me,' was the answer.
'What is the cure for life's ills?'
'To gaze upon my face,' was the answer.

'What is spring, what autumn?'
'Only my changing beauty,' was the answer.
'Who is the envy of the gazelle?'
'My swift gait,' was the answer.

'Are you a fairy or a houri?'
'I am the Lord of Beauty,' was the answer.
'Khusrow is helpless,' I said.
'He is my devotee,' was the answer.

-- from Islamic Mystical Poetry: Sufi Verse from the Early Mystics to Rumi, Translated by Mahmood Jamal

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/ Photo by Ryan Vaarsi /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I said, 'Don't be so cruel to me.'
'It's my job to behave thus,' was the answer.


Ah, the trials of lovers...

'I am the Lord of Beauty,' was the answer.

--

I thought you might like to hear some of Amir Khusrow Dehlawi's songs performed, so I posted a couple of YouTube videos on the Poetry Chaikhana Blog: Amir Khusrow Dehlawi Qawwals. I hope you enjoy them!



Recommended Books: Amir Khusrow Dehlawi

Islamic Mystical Poetry: Sufi Verse from the Early Mystics to Rumi





I Asked