North and South and West are quaking,
Thrones are cracking, empires shaking;
Let us free toward the East
Where as patriarchs we’ll feast:
There in loving, drinking, singing
Youth from Khidr’s well is springing.
Seeing rightly, seeing purely,
There I’ll penetrate most surely,
To the origin of nations,
When on earth the generation
Heard God’s words with human senses,
Heedless of their formal tenses.
When to fathers they gave honours
And rejected foreign manners;
I’ll rejoice in youth’s demotion:
Wider faith, narrower notion–
Words weighed then as value’s token
Since the word was one that’s spoken.
With the herdsmen I’ll go questing,
In oasis freshness resting,
Roam in caravans wide ranging
Coffee, shawls, and musk exchanging;
Every track my footstep traes
Through the sands to market-places.
On the mountain’s desolation
Hafiz, you give consolation
When our guide, afraid of capture
High upon his mule in rapture
Sings, to set the stars a-blazing,
Startled thieves with dread amazing.
You at wells and inns I’ll ponder,
Holy Hafiz, thinking fonder
When my love unveiled caresses,
Strewing fragrant amber tresses.
Yes, the poet’s whispered yearning
Even starts the Huris burning.
If your envy this despises,
Of belittles precious prizes,
Think awhile that poet’s diction
Is no commonplace of fiction,
Hovering soft in heaven’s portal
Life it seeks that is immortal.
Loeper, in his very elucidating foreword to the Divan, notes that we find in it only the expression of the active, living side of the Orient; it shows forth the submission to God, but not the Fatalism of the East. The urge in it is all towards joy, towards life, towards love, out of the depths of a serene and composed spirit. From out the narrow room and narrow local surroundings of his home the poet takes his Hegira into the open world, into the freedom of Nature.