Hafez – Become A Lover

Don’t tell the mysteries of drunkenness and love
To a pedant. Let him pass away on his own,
With his ignorance and self-centerdness still inside.

If you feel weak, feeble, and powerless, well,
So does the breeze. Being sick on the Path is a hundred
Times better than a healthy mind in a healthy body.

As long as you see yourself as learned and intellectual,
You’ll lodge with the idiots; moreover, if you
Can stop seeing yourself at all, you will be free.

If you are living in your dear one’s castle, don’t even think
About the heavens above; because if you do
You’ll drop like a stone to the filth-covered street.

Become a lover; if you don’t, one day the affairs of the world
Will come to an end, and you’ll never have had even
one glimpse of the purpose of the workings of space and time.

On the spiritual road, being uncooked and raw
Is a mark of unbelief; it’s best to move along the path
Of fortune with nimbleness and springy knees.

In a nook safe from blame, how can we stay
Secluded when your dark eye reminds us
Always of the joy and mysteries of drunkenness?

Long ago I had a premonition of these riots
That have now occurred, when with a proud turn
Of the head you refused to sit quietly with us.

Although the thorn hurts your spirit, the rose asks pardon
For this wound; the sourness of wine is more easily tolerated
When one remembers the sweet flavor of drunkenness.

Hafez, your love is going to turn you over to the rough hand
Of the hurricane. Why did you imagine that, like a lightning
Bolt, you could free yourself from this storm?

— Hafez, The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door, translated by Robert Bly and Leonard Lewisohn

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