Ode 144

THE face of my Beloved is a rose,
Her hair a hanging garden thickly set
With curled and scented hyacinths in rows;
Her cheek incarnadines the Judas-tree;
Fair as a sunrise in the golden net
Of gossamered dawn, it glitters blindingly
Into my foolish Zoroaster eyes.
Dainty as lily dust, the delicate down
In dimpled corners soft as shadows lies.
O Idol, Saint, Flower, Spirit, Miracle!
Thy beauty is an everlasting crown;
God give thee everlasting life as well.

When first I fell in love with this dear girl,
Methought that I had drawn up from the sea,
Of all its rocking pearls, the heart's own pearl;
I knew so little of the sea of Love,
This sea of blood that since has swallowed me;
Nor of the ambushed arrow of her eye,
Which none escapes, knew I the mortal sting.
In a like case were all the great gone by:
Yea, Kaikobad and Kaikhosru* no less
On beauty's doorstep laid a foolish head;
And all the mighty and immortal folk—
Poet, and conqueror, and sage, and king—
Once wore, as we do, the Beloved's yoke.

Drink not with others and with me refuse!
'Fore God, the Tavern-Master shall decide
If 't is a proper way my love to use—
That thou with all the others drink thy fill,
But only bring thy aching head to me.
O love, go not away; with me abide;
Plant thou that stately cypress that is thee
Here by the running music of this rill
That wells forever from my sorrowing eyes,
A Ruknabad of unavailing sighs.

Trust not the rose, however sweet her smiles;
The beauty of the world is in her face,
But all her hollow heart is filled with wiles.
Ah! Nightingale, take warning by the case
Of those old dusty lovers, long since dead,
Whose ashes from her labyrinthine hair
Upon the gossip wind at morn is shed;
Lose not another singer in that snare.

She bade the East Wind tell not foe nor friend;
But unto HAFIZ straight it brought the tale,
Which I by that same flutter-flower send—
A nightingale unto the nightingale.