Ode 176

COMFORT thee, heart—this much at least is true:
Nothing forever lasts, and this thy pain,
Even as thy joy is gone, will leave thee too;
Nothing remain
Of all this grief that is so near and new.

Though as the wayside dust to her art thou,
Cherish not envy of thy rival's state:
'T will some day be with him as with thee now;
None to be great
More than a moment the high gods allow.

The brightest candle only shines till day
Puts out the stars and candles of the night;
Be happy, little moth; burn whilst thou may:
Her little light,
Ere thou art ashes, will have quenched its ray.

The Angel Gabriel and the lute's soft strings
Alike have told me—nothing will abide:
In Jamshid's hall, at his high banquetings,
Aloud they cried:
“Jamshid himself must die, though king of kings!”

What though thy lot be bitter as the sea,
Make no complaint; or, be thy fortune fair,
Give thou no thanks—soon both alike will be;
And wherefore care
What on life's page is writ—for who shall see?

In gold upon the mansion of the sky
The stars write this last word for us below:
“The good deeds of kind hearts will never die;
All else will go
With the spent candle and the butterfly.”

HAFIZ, rejoice—look where at yonder door
Stands the strange angel with his falchion drawn;
Death is he now—his name was Life before:
They fear not dawn
Whom his hand smites, and their hearts ache no more.