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Poems from the Divan of Hafiz, by Getrude Lowthian Bell, [1897], at


UPON a branch of the straight cypress-tree
Once more the patient nightingale doth rest:
"Oh Rose!" he cries, "evil be turned from thee!
I sing thee all men's thanks; thou blossomest
And hope springs up in every joyless heart—
Let not the nightingale lament apart,
Nor with thy proud thorns wound his faithful breast."

I will not mourn my woeful banishment,
He that has hungered for his lady's face
Shall, when she cometh, know a great content.
The Zealot seeks a heavenly dwelling-place,
Huris to welcome him in Paradise;
Here at the tavern gate my heaven lies,
I need no welcome but my lady's grace.

Better to drink red wine than tears, say I,
While the lute sings; and if one bid thee cease,
"God is the merciful!" thou shalt reply.
To some, life brings but joy and endless ease;
Ah, let them laugh although the jest be vain!
For me the source of pleasure lay in pain,
And weeping for my lady I found peace.

Hafiz, why art thou ever telling o'er
The tale of absence and of sorrow's night?
Knowest thou not that parting goes before
All meeting, and from darkness comes the light!

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