Ode 149

THE Well-Beloved is very hard to please:
How to content her Heaven only knows!
Sometimes if playfully I touch her hair,
Thus with my hand, off in a tiff she goes;
Then, when I humbly seek to make my peace,
Her tongue 's so sharp we almost come to blows;
At my wit's end am I to humour her,
So full is she of contrarieties.

Sometimes she lets a smile slip through her veil,
As the young moon sometimes an instant shows,
Scimitar-like, slashing a rift of cloud;
Then, like the moon, back in her cloud she goes.
Some nights so wakeful she, nought can prevail
On her to leave her wine and come to bed,
Though I for lack of sleep snore meekly, bowed
Over my empty cup with nodding head;
Yet in the day, let me begin a tale—
And instant fast asleep the baggage goes.

Love's is no easy way, be sure, to tread;
This soft and perfumed pathway of the rose
Is sown full thick with thorns for lovers' feet;
Well may he tremble who that journey goes.

Proudly the bubble rides upon the wine,
Buoyed up and boasting it of bubbles first;
Ah! learn this from its effervescent shine—
'T is that same foolish puffing makes it burst.
So boast not of your beauty that groweth old;
Boasting is for the young and wonderful—
The strong gold sun on the young head of gold.

When the black scroll of your black hair turns white,
'T will not grow black again because you pull
The white hairs out—'t is winter when it snows;
And, like the snows on yonder mountain's height,
These snows melt not for any kiss of spring;
This winter goes not when the winter goes.

Your right to beg at the Beloved's door
Sell not to be a king upon a throne;
Its shadow is worth all the shining suns.
HAFIZ, if difficult the path you chose,
Its veil of mazy darkness is your own;
Happy the man for whom Love's highway runs
Clear in his sight, and unobstructed goes.