Khwaja Shamshuddin Mohammed Hafiz was born in Shiraz, Iran in 1325.
A being, formed like thee, of clay,
Destroys thy peace from day to day;
Excites thy waking hours with pain;
Consumes thy sleep with visions vain.
Thy mind is rapt, thy sense betrayed;
Thy head upon her foot is laid.
The teeming earth, the glowing sky,
Is nothing to her faintest sigh.
Thine eye sees only her; thy heart
Feels only her in every part.
Careless of censure, restless, lost,
By ceaseless wild emotions tossed;
If she demand thy soul, ’tis given—
She is thy life, thy death, thy heaven.
Since a vain passion, based on air,
Subdues thee with a power so rare,
How canst thou marvel those who stray
Tow’rd the true path are led away,
‘Till, scarce the goal they can descry,
Whelmed in adoring mystery?
Life they regard not; for they live
In Him whose hands all being give:
The world they quit for Him, who made
Its wondrous light, its wondrous shade:
For Him all pleasures they resign,
And love Him with a love divine!
On the cupbearer gazing still,
The cup they break, the wine they spill.
From endless time their ears have rung
With words, by angel voices sung;
“Art thou not bound to God?” they cry;
And the blest “Yes” whole hosts reply.
They seem unmoved, but ceaseless thought
Works in their minds, with wisdom fraught.
Their feet are earth, but souls of flame
Dwell in each unregarded frame.
Such power by steady faith they gain,
One yell would rend the rocks in twain;
One word that cities could o’erthrow,
And spread abroad despair and woe.
Like winds, unseen, they rove all ways;
Silent, like stone, they echo praise:
So rapt, so blest, so filled are they,
They know not night—they see not day!
So fair He seems, all things who made,
The forms He makes to them are shade;
And, if a beauteous shape they view,
‘Tis his reflection shining through.
The wise cast not the pearl away,
Charmed with the shell, whose hues are gay;
To him pure love is only known,
Who leaves both worlds for God alone.