If I became pure wine, thou wouldst not drink;
A curl, then from thy head I’d severed be.
If I besought in dreams to come to thee,
From my poor vision thou wouldst turn and shrink.
Thou art beyond my Hope’s consuming fire,
I may not win thee though I give my soul;
The Foot of Hope attains not to that goal,
Beyond the reach of Longing and Desire.
Thou sayest ‘Fire may oft be quenched by tears,
Will thine not cool thy lips that throb and burn?’
‘O Love! Thy Jasmine cheek unto me turn,
And thou shalt know how flaming passion sears!’
O Love of mine, thy heedlessness I know,
Thy restless soul mine eager wish hath slain;
Thou art a phantom, haunting my sick brain,
The final tear that makes my heart o’erflow.
Thy gentle tongue doth speak in hate of me;
Thy tender soul my woe doth weave and plan.
Dost thou begrudge me this my Life’s brief span?
That I am so denied thy charity?
My heart hath lost all hope of gaining thee,
Yet prays thee still to ease its grief and pain—
Look forth, my Love, that I may live again,
For sight of thee may soothe mine agony—
And yet thy hair is musk, as is the rose,
And musk inflames the wound that aches and burns;
Ah! let thy girdle with its many turns
Bind up my hurt, that I may find repose.
Thy little shoe the way of Friendship knows,
And all thy charms are in its tiny seal.
It sees sly Hindus pilfer, thieve, and steal,
And so steals hearts as down the path it goes.
Thy little shoe! It hath a wondrous seal—
Potent as that of Solomon the Wise.
Thy beauty giveth life that never dies
Unto the impress of thy rosy heel.
Thou hast the magic of the Ancient Sign
Within the meshes of thy midnight hair,
Holding the spirits of the winds in snare,
As fast it binds this helpless heart of mine.