Ode 59

ZAHID*, I beg you, leave my sins alone;
They are not yours—I'll settle for my own.

Each man a sinner is, and may be you,
O white-souled Zahid, are a sinner too.

If I be good—so much the better for me;
If I be bad—so much the worse for—ME.

Go be yourself, and your own business mind;
Within the universe is something kind

To sinners, Zahid, though you know it not.
Behind the veil, behind the veil, God wot,

Maybe the earthly saint is heaven's sinner,
And he who lost on earth in heaven is winner.

It matters not, O most misguided friend,
What little church or chapel we attend,

We all are seeking just the self-same thing,
And Love begins and ends our worshipping.

The world to come is good—indeed it is!
But so, believe me, holy one, is this.

Scorn not the joys you have for those you dream—
The shadow of a willow and a stream,

A face of ivory, a breast of myrrh,
And someone singing—Zahid, O beware

Lest you let slip realities like these
For theologic unrealities.

Talk not about your work—for what know you
The value of the little thing you do:

If you are kind, thank God that it is so;
If you are good—don't let your neighbours know.

But my poor poet HAFIZ, as for you,
What on the day of judgment will you do!
Knock softly with a wine-cup on the door,
And be assured that they will let you through.