Ode 268

IN the Heart's Market-Place go stand, my song,
And cry ye “Oyez! oyez!” to all that pass,
Making this proclamation to the throng:
“All ye that dwell in the Beloved's Street,
All ye lost souls whose lives to her belong,
All ye that beat your bosoms and cry ‘alas!’
All ye that follow her little wandering feet,
All ye that kiss the dust where they have trod—
Hearken ye all! Yea, for the love of God!

“There now is lost to us this many a day
The Daughter of the Vine, and none can tell
The way she took; all of her own desire
Hath she forsaken us, and gone astray
On some abandoned foray of sudden fire—
We needs must find her, or in heaven or hell!

“Her robe is red as rubies, as wine is red;
She wears a crown of bubbles on her head;
And she steals all the wisdom from the brain,
And all the manhood from the hearts of men;
Sleep not, lest she should take you unawares!
Whoso shall bring to HAFIZ back again
That bitter-sweet, wine-ruddied cheek of hers,
Will be rewarded with his very soul.

“A shrew is she, and hath a wicked tongue,
A wanton and a lover of the bowl,
A roysterer, a wanderer by night,
A loose-lipped wench of loud and ribald song,
Foul in her speech, lascivious of limb;
Yet very dear is she in HAFIZ' sight,
And, if ye find her, bring her straight to him.”