Ode 143

SAVE the pursuit of faces like the moon,
Moonlit, moon-shaped, and moon-mysterious,
Which ever I follow, shod with flaming shoon,
I take no thought of anything at all.
Much counsel give I to my foolish heart
Touching a useful life expended thus;
But my heart takes no heed of it at all.
So take your counsel to some other mart,
Sufi, unless indeed you care to speak
About the down upon the Saki's cheek,
The fairy writing of a fairy tale;
For nothing else, indeed, that you can say
On other matters can the least avail.

I hug the wine-jar thus, and folk believe,
Seeing me bent in such a studious way,
I keep the Blessed Koran up my sleeve.
With all this smoulder of hypocrisy,
Some day I should not be surprised at all
If this old lying garment should take fire
And publicly proclaim me for a liar;
Surely it could not burn too fast for me—
The Tavern-Keeper takes no pay in prayers.

You who against the cup admonish us,
Thus making war on a divine decree,
Your very visage, dour and dolorous,
The pain of your own abstinence declares;
You do without—but how reluctantly!

Wine to the pure in heart is heart's delight,
Because its ruby no impression takes—
Saving the very face of sober truth.
As I talk on, as yonder candle bright,
I cannot keep from smiling 'mid my tears
To think of all this music my tongue makes,
This wasted eloquence she never hears.
Good Sufi, cease—you weary me in sooth!
You bid me take my eyes from off her face!
Deafen no more already deafened ears—
Take your tongue rather to some other place.

These mumbling incantations of your spleen
Are wasted—she 's herself a sorceress,
As we all know who have her beauty seen.
Talk not of reason to a heart in pain:
I love her, but she loves not me again:
That 's how the matter stands—no more, nor less.
Yea, and I glory in the skill that stole,
Most cunning fowler and swift hawk in one,
These wild birds of my body and my soul.

For God's love, to this dervish of your street
Alms of your pity grant, for doorstep none
Save yours approaches he, nor have his feet
On any other journeys ever gone.
So fresh and sweet these songs that HAFIZ sings,
They shall be young still when the world is old;
I often marvel that the King of Kings
Covers him not from head to foot with gold.