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Full text of "The Diwan of Zeb-un-Nissa, the first fifty ghazals rendered from the Persian by Magan Lal and Jessie Duncan Westbrook, with an introduction and notes"

Digitized by the Internet Arcinive 

in 2007 witii funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



littp://www.arcliive.org/details/diwanofzebunnissOOzebuuoft 



I wO. 



trbe TlClts^om of tbe iSast Series 

Edited by 

L. CRANMER BYNG 

S. A. KAPADIA 



THE DIWAN OF ZEB-UN-NISSA 



EDITOEIAL NOTE 

The object of the Editors of this series is a very- 
definite one. They desire above all things that, 
in their humble way, these books shall be the 
ambassadors of good-will and understanding 
between East and West — the old world of Thought 
and the new of Action. In this endeavour, and 
in their own sphere, they are but followers of 
the highest example in the land. They are 
confident that a deeper knowledge of the great 
ideals and lofty philosophy of Oriental thought 
may help to a revival of that true spirit of Charity 
which neither despises nor fears the nations of 
another creed and colour. 

L. CRANMER-BYNG. 
S. A. KAPADIA. 

northbeook society, 

21, Cbomwell Road, 
S. Kensington, S.W, 



WISDOM OF THE EAST 

THE DIWAN OF 
ZEB-UN-NISSA 



THE FIRST FIFTY GHAZALS 

RENDERED FROM THE PERSIAN BY 

MAGAN LAL 

AND 

JESSIE DUNCAN WESTBROOK 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES 




LONDON 
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W. 

1913 






All Rights Reserved 



CONTENTS 

PAOB 

Dedication 6 

Introduction 7 

Diwan-i-Makhfi — The Ghazals . . 25 

Notes 109 



Thy pleasaunce. Princess, now is desolate ; 
Where once the gleaming water- courses traced 
Their paths among the cypresses, a waste 
Stretches beyond thy ruined garden-gate; 
The rose is dead, the bulbul flown away. 
And Zeb-un-Nissa but a memory. 

But where the rapt faquirs God's praises tell. 
Where at the shrine the pious pilgrims meet. 
Thy verses, Makhfi, holy tongues repeat. 
Thy name is honoured and remembered well : 
For through thy words they win a fleeting gleam 
Of the Divine Beloved of their dream. 

So might we, even in an alien tongue. 
Bring from thy mystic garden, where, apart. 
Thou dwelt communing with thy burning heart. 
These echoes of the songs that thou hast sung. 
And catch thy vision of the Soul's Desire, 
The immortal Phoenix with its wings of fire. 

J. D. W. 



INTRODUCTION 

The Princess Zeb-un-Nissa was the eldest 
daughter of the Mogul Emperor Aurungzebe of 
India, and was born in 1639. She came of a 
distinguished line, in direct descent from Genghiz 
Khan and Tamerlane. Her Emperor-ancestors 
were famous not only for their valour and states- 
manship, but as patrons and inspirers of art and 
learning, and, moreover, they themselves possessed 
distinguished literary gifts. Baber's reminiscences 
are written in so fresh and delightful a style that 
their charm holds us to-day, and he wrote poetry 
both in Turki and Persian, even inventing a 
new style of verse. One of his sons, Mirza 
Kamran, was also a writer of Persian verse. 
Although Akbar has given the world no writings 
of his own — tradition even says that he never 
found time to learn to write — yet he surroimded 
himself with a most cultured circle ; and Abul 
Fazl, his talented minister, constantly records 
in his letters Akbar's wise sayings and noble 
sentiments. Jehangir, like Baber, wrote his 
own memoirs, and they are ranked high in Persian 

7 



8 INTRODUCTION 

literature. Shah Jehan wrote some account of 
his court and of his travels, and a record called 
the Dastur-ul-Amal, or Laws of Shah Jehan. 
Aurungzebe wrote books on Musulman law, and 
the collection of his letters, called the Ruqat 
Alamgiri, is famous. Nor was this literary talent 
confined to the men's side of the house. Baber's 
daughter, Gulbadan, wrote some history of 
her own times, and has left us an interesting 
picture of Baber himself ; and Zeb-un-Nissa's 
verses still testify to her skill as a poet. 

It is difficult to learn precisely the details of 
her life ; they were not written in any connected 
biography, for in her later days she incurred the 
wrath of her stern father, and no court chronicler 
dared to speak of her. Her mother was Dilrus 
Banu Begum, daughter of Shah Nawaz Khan. 
From her childhood she showed great intelligence, 
and she was instructed from an early age. At 
seven years old she was a Hafiz — she knew the 
Koran by heart ; and her father gave a great 
feast to celebrate the occasion. We read that 
the whole army was feasted in the great Maidan 
at Delhi, thirty thousand gold mohurs were 
given to the poor, and the public offices were 
closed for two days. She was given as teacher 
a lady named Miyabai, and learned Arabic in 
four years ; she then studied mathematics and 
astronomy, in which sciences she gained rapid 
proficiency. She began to write a commentary 



INTRODUCTION 9 

on the Koran, but this was stopped by her 
father. From her early youth she wrote verses, 
at first in Arabic ; but when an Arabian scholar 
saw her work he said : " Whoever has written 
this poem is Indian. The verses are clever and 
wise, but the idiom is Indian, although it is 
a miracle for a foreigner to know Arabian so 
welL" This piqued her desire for perfection, 
and thereafter she wTote in Persian, her mother- 
tongue. She had as tutor a scholar called 
Shah Rustum Ghazi, who encouraged and directed 
her literary tastes. She wrote at first in secret, 
but he found copies of her verses among her 
exercise-books. He prophesied her future great- 
ness, and persuaded her father to send all over 
India and Persia and Kashmir to find poets 
and to invite them to come to Delhi to form a 
fitting circle for the princess. This was the 
more wonderful as Aurungzebe himself cared 
little for poetry and used to speak against the 
poet's calling. He had forbidden the works of 
Hafiz to be read in school by boys, or in the 
palace by the Begums, but he made an exception 
in favour of Zeb-un-Nissa. 

Among the poets of her circle were Nasir Ali, 
Sayab, Shamsh Wall Ullah, Brahmin, and 
Behraaz. Nasir Ali came from Sirhind, and was 
famous for his pride and his poverty, for he 
despised the protection of the great. Zeb-un- 
Nissa admired his verses, and in a way he came 



10 INTRODUCTION 

to be regarded almost as her rival poet. Her 
coterie used to engage in a poetical tournament — 
a kind of war of wits. One would propose a 
line — sometimes it would be a question ; another 
would answer it or contradict it or qualify it 
or expand it, by a line or lines in the same metre, 
rhyming with the original line. This is called 
mushaira — a poetical concourse ; and in this 
quick repartee Zeb-un-Nissa excelled. 

She had been betrothed by the wish of Shah 
Jehan, her grandfather, to Suleiman Shikoh, 
who was her cousin and son of Dara Shikoh ; 
but Aurungzebe, who hated and feared Dara, 
was unwilling that the marriage should take 
place, and caused the young prince to be poisoned. 
She had many other suitors for her hand, but 
she demanded that she should see the princes 
and test theu* attainments before a match was 
arranged. One of those who wished to marry 
her was Mirza Farukh, son of Shah Abbas II 
of Iran ; she wrote to him to come to Delhi so 
that she might see what he was like. The 
record remains of how he came with a splendid 
retinue, and was feasted by Zeb-un-Nissa in a 
pleasure-house in her garden, while she waited 
on him with her veil upon her face. He asked 
for a certain sweetmeat in words which, by a 
play of language, also meant a kiss, and Zeb-un- 
Nissa, affronted, said : " Ask for what you 
want from our kitchen." She told her father 



INTRODUCTION 11 

that, in spite of the prince's beauty and rank, 
his bearing did not please her, and she refused 
the marriage. Mirza Farukh, however, sent her 
this verse : "I am determined never to leave 
this temple ; here will I bow my head, here 
will I prostrate myself, here wiU I serve, and 
here alone is happiness." Zeb-un-Nissa an- 
swered: "How light dost thou esteem this 
game of love, O child. Nothing dost thou 
know of the fever of longing, and the fire of 
separation, and the burning flame of love." 
And so he returned to Persia without her. 

She enjoyed a great deal of liberty in the 
palace : she wrote to many learned men of her 
time, and held discussions with them. She 
was a great favourite with her uncle Dara Shil^oh, 
who was a scholar and wide-minded and en- 
lightened. To him she modestly attributed her 
verses when first she began to write, and many 
of the ghazals in the Diwan of Dara Shikoh are 
by her. She came out in the court, and helped 
in her father's councils, but always with the 
veil upon her face. Perhaps she liked the 
metaphor of the face hidden till the day when 
the Divine Beloved should come ; perhaps 
life behind carven lattices had a charm for her ; 
for her pen-name is Makhfi, the hidden one. 
Once Nasir Ali said this verse : "0 envy of 
the moon, lift up thy veil and let me enjoy the 
wonder of thy beauty." She answered : — 



12 INTRODUCTION 

I will not lift my veil, — 
For, if I did, who knows ? 

The bulbul might forget the rose, 
The Brahman worshipper 
Adoring Lakshmi's grace 
Might turn, forsaking her, 

To see my face ; 
My beauty might prevail. 
Think how within the flower 
Hidden as in a bower 
Her fragrant soul must be, 
And none can look on it ; 
So me the world can see 

Only within the verses I have writ — 
I will not lift the veil. 



She was deeply religious, but she was a Sufi, 
and did not share her father's cold and narrow 
orthodoxy. One day she was walking in the 
garden, and, moved by the beauty of the world 
around her, exclaimed, " Four things are necessary 
to make me happy — wine and flowers and a 
running stream and the face of the Beloved." 
Again and again she recited the couplet ; suddenly 
she came upon Aurungzebe, on a marble platform 
under a tree close by, wrapt in meditation. She 
was seized with fear, thinking he might have 
heard her profane words ; but, as if she had not 
noticed him, she went on chanting as before, 
but with the second line changed, " Four things 
are necessary for happiness — prayers and fasting 
and tears and repentance ! " 

She belonged, like her father, to the Sunni 
sect of Musulmans, and was well versed in con- 



INTRODUCTION 13 

troversial religious points. One of Aurungzebe's 
sons, Muhammad Ma'uzam, was a Shiah, and when 
sectarian disputes took place in the court the prin- 
cess was often asked to settle them. Her decision 
in one dispute is famous, for it was copied and 
sent to Iran and Turan, and many scores of 
Begums are said to have been converted to the 
Sunni cause on that occasion. At first she took 
great pleasure in the Tazia celebration- ^ .. 
gave them up at her father's wish when he uame 
to the throne, and adopted a simpler form of 
faith. 

Much of her personal allowance of four lakhs 
a year she used in encouraging men of letters, 
in providiQg for widows and orphans, and in 
sending every year pilgrims to Mecca and 
Medina. She collected a fine library and em- 
ployed skilled caligraphers to copy rare and 
valuable books for her ; and, as Kashmir paper 
and Kashmir scribes were famous for their 
excellence, she had a scriptorium also in that 
province, where work went on constantly. Her 
personal interest in the work was great, and 
every morning she went over the copies that 
had been made on the previous day. She had 
contemporary fame as a poet, and literary men 
used to send their works for her approval or 
criticism, and she rewarded them according to 
their merits. 

In personal appearance she is described as 



14 INTEODUCTION 

being tall and slim, her face round and fair in 
colour, with two moles, or beauty-spots, on her 
left cheek. Her eyes and abundant hair were 
very black, and she had thin lips and small 
teeth. In Lahore Museum is a contemporary 
portrait, which corresponds to this description. 
She did not use missia for blackening between 
the teeth, nor antimony for darkening her eye- 
lashes, though this was the fashion of her time. 
Her voice was so beautiful that when she read 
the Koran she moved her hearers to tears. In 
dress she was simple and austere ; in later life 
she always wore white, and her only ornament 
was a string of pearls round her neck. She is 
held to have invented a woman's garment, the 
angya kurti, a modification, to suit Indian 
conditions, of the dress of the women of Tur- 
kestan ; it is now worn all over India. She 
was humble in her bearing, courteous, patient, 
and philosophic in enduring trouble ; no one, 
it is said, ever saw her with a ruffled forehead. 
Her chief friend was a girl named Imami, a 
poet like herself. Zeb-un-Nissa was skilled in 
the use of arms, and several times took part 
in war. 

In the beginning of 1662 Aurungzebe was 
taken ill, and, his physicians prescribing change 
of air, he took his family and court with him 
to Lahore. At that time Akil Khan, the son of 
his vizier, was governor of that city. He was 



INTRODUCTION 16 

famous for his beauty and bravery, and was 
also a poet. He had heard of Zeb-un-Nissa, 
and knew her verses, and was anxious to see 
her. On pretence of guarding the city, he used 
to ride round the walls of the palace, hoping 
to catch a glimpse of her. One day he was 
fortunate ; he caught sight of her on the house- 
top at dawn, dressed in a robe of gulnar, the 
colour of the flower of the pomegranate. He 
said, "A vision in red appears on the roof of 
the palace." She heard and answered, com- 
pleting the couplet : " Supplications nor force 
nor gold can win her." She liked Lahore as a 
residence, and was laying out a garden there : 
one day Akil Khan heard that she had gone 
with her companions to see a marble pavilion 
which was being built in it. He disguised 
himself as a mason, and, carrying a hod, managed 
to pass the guards and enter. She was playing 
chausar with some of her girl friends, and he, 
passing near, said : "In my longing for thee 
I have become as the dust wandering round the 
earth." She understood and answered imme- 
diately : " Even if thou hadst become as the 
wind, thou shouldst not touch a tress of my 
hair." They met again and again, but some 
rumour reached the ears of Aurungzebe, who 
was at Delhi, and he hastened back. He wished 
to hush up the matter by hurrying her into 
marriage at once. Zeb-un-Nissa demanded free- 



16 INTRODUCTION 

dom of choice, and asked that portraits of her 
suitors should be sent to her ; and chose naturally 
that of Akil Khan. Aurungzebe sent for him ; 
but a disappointed rival wrote to him : "It is 
no child's play to be the lover of a daughter 
of a king. Aurungzebe knows your doings ; 
as soon as you come to Delhi, you will reap the 
fruit of your love." Akil Khan thought the 
Emperor planned revenge. So, alas for poor 
Zeb-un-Nissa ! at the critical moment her lover 
proved a coward ; he declined the marriage, 
and wrote to the king resigning his service. Zeb- 
un-Nissa was scornful and disappointed, and 
wrote : "I hear that Akil Khan has left off 
pa3dng homage to me" — or the words might 
also mean, "has resigned service " — "on account 
of some foolishness." He answered, also in 
verse, " Why should a wise man do that which 
he knows he will regret ? " (Akil also means, 
a wise man). But he came secretly to Delhi 
to see her again, perhaps regretting his fears. 
Again they met in her garden ; the Emperor 
was told and came unexpectedly, and Zeb-un- 
Nissa, taken unawares, could think of no hiding- 
place for her lover but a deg, or large cooking- 
vessel. The Emperor asked, " What is in the 
deg ? " and was answered, " Only water to be 
heated." " Put it on the fire, then," he ordered ; 
and it was done. Zeb-un-Nissa at that moment 
thought more of her reputation than of her 



INTRODUCTION 17 

lover, and came near the deg and whispered, 
" Keep silence if you are my true lover, for the 
sake of my honour.*' One of her verses says, 
" What is the fate of a lover ? It is to be cruci- 
fied for the world's pleasure." One wonders 
if she thought of Akil Khan's sacrifice of his life. 

After this she was imprisoned in the fortress 
of Salimgarh, some say because her father dis- 
trusted her on account of her friendship with 
her brother, Prince Akbar, who had revolted 
against him ; others say because of her sympathy 
with the Mahratta chieftain Sivaji. There she 
spent long years, and there she wrote much 
bitter poetry : — 

So long these fetters cling to my feet ! My 
friends have become enemies, my relations are 
strangers to me. 

What more have I to do with being anxious 
to keep my name undishonoured when friends 
seek to disgrace me ? 

Seek not relief from the prison of grief, 
Makhfi ; thy release is not politic. 

Makhfi, no hope of release hast thou until 
the Day of Judgment come. 

Even from the grave of Majnun the voice 
comes to my ears — " Leila, there is no rest 
for the victim of love even in the grave." 

1 have spent aU my life, and I have won 
nothing but sorrow, repentance, and the tears 
of unfulfilled desire : — 

B 



18 INTRODUCTION 

Long is thine exile, Makhfi, long thy yearning, 
Long shalt thou wait, thy heart witliin thee burning, 
Looking thus forward to thy home-returning. 
But now what home hast thou, unfortunate ? 
The years have passed and left it desolate. 
The dust of ages blows across its gate. 

If on the Day of Reckoning 
God say, " In due proportion I will pay 
And recompense thee for thy suffering," 
Lo, all the joys of heaven it would outweigh ; 
Were all God's blessings poured upon me, yet 

He would be in my debt. 

When her memory was becoming dim in the 
hearts of her friends, Nasir Ali alone thought of 
her, and wrote a poem to her, saying that, 
now, the world could not delight in her presence, 
and he himself had to go about the earth un- 
happy, having no one but himself to appreciate 
his verses. But she sent no answering word. 

When she was released she lived solitary in 
Delhi, and the verses she wrote there are very 
melancholy, telling of the faithlessness of the 
times : — 

Why shouldst thou, Makhfi, complain of 
friends, or even of enemies ? Fate has frowned 
upon thee from the beginning of time. 

Let no one know the secrets of thy love. On 
the way of love, Makhfi, walk alone. Even 
if Jesus seek to be thy companion, tell him thou 
desirest not his comradeship. 

Here is one of her saddest poems, expressing 
something of the tragedy of her life : — 



INTRODUCTION Id 



O idle arms. 

Never the lost Beloved have ye caressed : 
Better that ye were broken than like this 
Empty and cold eternally to rest. 

O useless eyes. 
Never the lost Beloved for all these years 
Have ye beheld : better that ye were blind 
Than dimmed thus by my unavailing tears. 

O foolish springs, 
That brmg not the Beloved to my abode ; 
Yea, all the friends of youth have gone from me. 
Each has set out on his appointed road. 

O fading rose. 
Dying unseen as hidden thou wert born ; 
So my heart's blossom fallen in the dust 
Was ne'er ordained Hia turban to adorn. 



She died in 1689 after seven days' illness, 
and was buried in her garden at Nawakot, 
near Lahore, according to the instructions she 
left. The tomb is desolate now, although once 
it was made of fine marbles, and had over its 
dome a pinnacle of gold ; it was ruined in the 
troublous times of the dissolution of the Mogul 
Empire. The great gate still stands, large 
enough for an elephant with a howdah to enter, 
and within the enclosure is a tower with four 
minarets, roofed with turquoise and straw- 
yeUow tiles. But the garden that was in its 
time very splendid, being held second only to 
that of the Shalimar of Shah Jehan, has dis- 



20 INTRODUCTION 

appeared ; and the walls rise up now from the 
waving fields of grain. 

The garden which she laid out in Lahore itself 
and which was called the Chauburgi, or four- 
towered, can still be traced by portions of the 
walls and gates remaining. Three of the turrets 
over the archway still stand, ornamented with 
tiles in patterns of cypress-trees and growing 
flowers, and the gateways have inscriptions in 
Arabic and Persian. One of these tells that she 
presented the garden to her old instructress 
Miyabai. 

In 1724, thirty-five years after her death, 
what could be found of her scattered writings 
were collected under the name of the Diwan-i- 
Makhfi, literally, the Book of the Hidden One. 
It contained four hundred and twenty-one ghazals 
and several rubais. In 1730 other ghazals were 
added. Many manuscript copies were made in 
both India and Persia ; some beautifully illu- 
minated examples are known and preserved. 

The Diwan-i'Makhfi shares the characteristics 
of other Sufic poetry — the worship of God under 
the form of the Beautiful Beloved, who is adorable 
but tyrannical, who reduces the lover to abject 
despair, but at last bestows on him a gleam of 
hope when he is at the point of death. The 
Beloved is the Hunter of the Soul, chasing 
it like a deer through the jungle of the 
world : — 



INTRODUCTION 21 

I have no peace, the quarry I, a Hunter chases me. 

It is Thy memory ; 
I turn to flee, but fall ; for over me he casts his snare, 

Thy perfumed hair. 
Who can escape Thy prison ? no mortal heart is free 

From dreams of Thee. 

The lover is the madman, who for his love 
is scorned and mocked by the unsympathetic 
world. The personified Power of Evil, the Enemy, 
lurks at the devotee's elbow, ready to distract 
him from the contemplation of God. 

The poet was evidently acquainted, not only 
with the theories of Sufism, but with the prac- 
tices of the faquirs as well. We read of the 
assembly of the devout, as in the Dargah at 
Ajmer to-day : how they greet the morning 
with floods of tears and deep sighs, how they 
beat their hearts of stone till the sparks of divine 
love fly out from them. The hatchet to strike 
the flinty heart is the symbol of the Sufic poet : 
one sees it in the portraits of Hafiz and others. 
There is also the scoffing at the orthodox who 
meet within the mosque, and the glorification 
of the more advanced soul to whom all the uni- 
verse is the temple of God, nay even God himself 
— " Where I make my prayer — at that place is 
the Kiblah." 

But the poems of Zeb-un-Nissa, in addition 
to what they share with other Sufic poetry, 
have a special Indian flavour of their own. She 
inherited the Akbar tradition of the unification 



22 INTEODUCTION 

of religions, and knew not only Islam, but Hin- 
duism and Zoroastrianism also. Her special 
triumph consists in that she weaves together 
the religious traditions and harmonizes them 
with Sufic practices. In some of her poems 
she hails the sun as the symbol of deity. Con- 
stantly she speaks of the mosque and the temple 
together or antithetically — saying that God is 
equally in both, or too great to be worshipped in 
either : — 

No Muslim I, 
But an idolater, 
I bow before the image of my Love, 
And worship her : 

No Brahman I, 
My sacred thread 
I cast away, for round my neck I wear 
Her plaited hair instead. 

Sometimes she even combines the Hindu and 
Musulman idea : 

In the mosque I seek my idol-shrine. 

On the Day of Judgment we should have had 
much difficulty in proving that we were true 
beUevers, had we not brought with us our be- 
loved Kafir idol as a witness. 

The glorification or adoration of the pir, or 
spiritual teacher, is also shown in her poems. 
He is the intermediary between God and man, 
and is sometimes symbohzed as the Morning 
Breeze, bringing from the enclosed garden the 



INTRODUCTION 23 

fragrance to those, less privileged, who can only 
stand without the gate. 

The Diimn-i-Mahhfi is widely read in India, 
and is highly esteemed. Its verse is chanted in 
the ecstatic concourses which meet at festivals 
at the tombs of celebrated saints ; so that, 
although her tomb has been despoiled of the 
splendour which befitted the resting-place of a 
Mogul princess, she has the immortality she 
perhaps would have desired. In one of her 
verses she says : — I am the daughter of a King, 
but I have taken the path of renunciation, 
and this is my glory, as my name Zeb-un-Nissa, 
being interpreted, means that I am the glory of 
womankind. 

J. D. W. 

DULWIOH VrLLAOB, 

March 1913. 



p-^l^iill^ 



In the Name op God, the Compassionate, 
THE Merciful 



THE DIWAN OF 
ZEB-UN-NISSA 



To Thee, first, 
From the clouds of Whose mercy is bom 
The rose of my garden, I look ! 
Let the praise of Thy love the beginning adorn 
Of the verse of my book. 

Athirst 
For Thy love are my body and soul ; 
Like Mansur the grains of this clod, 
My body, cry out — They are parts, Thou the 
whole, 
Themselves they are God. 

The waves 
Of Thy deluge of love o'er the boat 
Of mortality roll ; 

No Noah could lift from the deeps till it float 
Myj^love-drowned soul. 
25 



As slaves 
The powers of the darkness for me 
Will obedient fly ; 

If a word of my praise be accepted by Thee, 
Like Suleiman I. 

And now 
No more do the ready tears start 
As laments from my tongue, 
For like pearls the blood-drops that are drawn 
from my heart 
On my lashes are hung. 

Bear thou, 
Makhfi, with patience thy pain, 
It is endless, and leave thou the night 
Of thy passions ; for then shall not Khizr attain 
Such a spring of delight. 



26 



II 



Thou Who all things mortal and divine 
Hast fashioned, and by Whom alone we live, 

May there still shine 
The torch of hope that Thou to us didst give ! 

Within us stirs the leaven of Thy love, 
As streams of water of Thy mercy run. 

Look from above 
And bless Mahmoud and all that he hath done. 

Whether it be in Mecca's holiest shrine, 
Or in the Temple pilgrim feet have trod, . 

Still Thou art mine, 
Wherever God is worshipped is my God. 

The morning I shall greet with tears and sighs, 
And from my heart that burns with holy fire 

A breath shall rise 
To burnish thus my mirror of desire. 

Give me thy tears, Makhfi, let them rain 
In quenching torrents on my burning heart; 

So hot its pain 
At every sigh I breathe the flames outstart. 

27 



Ill 



O Prophet, o'er the world 
Thy soul-compelling banner is unfurled : 

See how thy faith hath spread 
Till Iran and Arabia are led. 

Thy lips unclose 
Like petals of a newly-budded rose, 

And from them flow 
Thy words of wisdom, till not only know 

The sons of men, 
But birds within the garden sing again 

Thy words of gold. 
O thou whose beauty I with joy behold, 

Nature in truth 
Made never loveliness like to thy youth. 

Snared me it hath 
Till fain would I renunciation's path 

With patience tread. 
And follow where thy holy feet have led. 

But how can I 
My cherished joys to my poor heart deny, 

Or, even more, 
My cherished sorrows can I yield, for sore 

My heart doth bleed 
Where cruel love hath wounded it indeed. 
28 



Look thou and see 
Where from my wounds there drops continually 

A crimson flood ; 
But fragrant flowers are springing from my blood, 

And every thorn 
Wherewith my weary wandering feet are torn 

Turns to a rose. 
Makhfi, if the Kaaba keeper close 

To thee his door, 
Complain not : thou possessest even more 

A holy place ; 
For look into the Well-Beloved Face, 

Over His Eyes 
Arches more fair than Kaaba gates arise ; 

Thy heart shall bend. 
Itself an archway welcoming the Friend, 



29 



IV 



My eager heart a pang of rapture stings 

When the long- wandering wind unto me brings 
The perfume of thy presence on its wings. 

And so I wait in this my sorrow's night, 
Until thou givest to my weary sight 

Thy beauty for my longing eyes' delight. 

The world through Islam light in darkness saw 
And walked safe guided by thy Scroll of Law, 
Bowing to God in hope and holy awe — 

To God, Who sinners can forgive and lead, 
Inscrutable Himself, jet Who can read 

The hidden heart and comprehend its need. 

O Prophet, shining like a lonely gem. 
The fairest of Heaven's highest diadem, 

Look on men's need and intercede for them. 

Thou art the veil through which the light doth 
shine. 
Nay, thou thyself the very torch divine — 
Naught else behold these dazzled eyes of mine. 

30 



Here is the path of love — how dark and long 
Its winding ways, with many snares beset ! 

Yet crowds of eager pilgrims onward throng 
And fall like doves into the fowler's net. 

Now tell me what the grain that drew the dove 1 
The mole it was upon a cheek so fair. 

Tell me of what was wove the net of love ? 
The wandering curls of the Beloved's hair. 

The festival of love is holden here, 

The goblet passes ; drink thou of this wine, 

Yea, drain it to the lees, and never fear 
Intoxication that is all divine. 

How easy 'tis to sigh and to complain ! 

All the world weeps to give its woe reHef ; 
But proudly in thy heart conceal thy pain, 

And silent drink the poison of thy grief. 

Here is the source of Hght, the heavenly fount, 
Here is the vision of eternal grace ; 

Brighter than Moses thou, when from the Mount 
He came, God's radiance shining in his face. 

31 



The wine at night unto the morning lends 
Its exaltation, morning to the night 

Its dream bequeaths in turn : so never ends 
The sequence of the happy soul's delight. 

But, Makhfi, tell me where the feast is made 1 
Where are the merry-makers ? Lo, apart, 

Here in my soul the feast of God is laid, 
Within the hidden chambers of my heart. 



32 



VI 



My heart is looted of its treasure, left 
Careless and unprotected, to my shame, 
And thus I weep, feeling myself bereft, 
Knowing myself to blame. 

With mine own hands the altar-fire I lit ; 
As flame within a lamp my heart afire 
Glows even through the body casing it, 
And burns it with desire. 

Could I my fooHsh heart to ashes bum 
Then might I rest, my sorrow then might cease ; 
Unto the ocean of Thy love I turn 
To find within it peace. 

I sink within its waters, nor above 
Its surface can my weary limbs uplift, 
Deejtdrowned I within the sea of love 

Lapped by its waves must drift. 

A wilderness this lonely heart of mine 
Till love transformed it to another guise, 
And now it shines as fair as the divine 
Gardens of Paradise. 

33 



I would that I my longing might outpour, 
My grief might turn to hymns, my pain might tell 
In psalms like that sweet singer sang of yore, 
David of Israel. 

Unto the fields like pecking birds I go 
To gather up the ears of golden grain, 
But only tears, not corn, I gather — lo. 
They fall in floods like rain. 

wise one, at the feast of love be glad, 
But careful too, and guard thy cup of wine ; 
In ecstasy I drank the share I had, 
Sage, take heed of thine. 

With slumber, Makhfi, heavy are thine eyes, 
And though thy tale has not attained its close, 
So deep a languor on thy spirit lies ; 
Seek thou for it repose. 



U 



VII 



As at the coming of the spring-tide rains 
Rivers of sap through growing trees upstart, 
So runs Thy love throughout my very veins, 
Yea, to the tender tendrils of my heart. 

I beat my flinty heart till from it flies 
The spark divine of the eternal fire, 
And from the flashing gleams I see arise 
The lightning of Thy love — my heart's desire. 

Come, ye weak in faith, for help is here. 
Behold these flashes from our hearts that fly. 
Had ye the eye of faith they would appear 
Like the white light that gleamed on Sinai. 

Come to the feast of love, for it is spread ; 
Share ye the wine-cup where we drink so deep ; 
Behold the wine — the tears that we have shed. 
The wine-cups are our eyes that ever weep. 

But, as we drink, upon us falls the spell, 
The dream, the vision, and the ecstasy ; 
The wine of pain turns blood, nor can we teU 
If we exist, or if we cease to be. 

35 



Within the jungle of this world of woe 
The lion of desire stalks ravenous. 
Girded with faith let us as hunters go : 
If we resist him he will flee from us. 

Ofttimes my heart can sing and can rejoice, 
Pouring forth hymns throughout my rapturous 

days; 
Alas, that powers of evil choke my voice, 
And blast my thoughts, and burn my psalms of 

praise ! 



36 



vni 

From the glance Thou bestowed, O Beloved, 

flows beauty no words can express ; 
My life— ^it were little to offer in thanks for Thy 

bountifulness. 
How shamed were the pious assembly, how 

grieved in their hearts when they heard 
That for love of Thy fluttering tresses the utter- 
most nations were stirred. 
My heart is riven in fragments, ravaged by tearg 

of my grief. 
But to one whom Thy lashes have wounded never 

there cometh relief. 
At Thy feet, O haughty Beloved, I lay down the 

pride of my brow, 
I am near to Thy heart as Thy raiment ; why 

sayest " A stranger art thou " ? 
O Maldifi, walk boldly like Majnun in the valley 

of grief undismayed, 
Girt round with thy new dedication, the promise 

of love thou hast made. 



37 



IX 

Saki, do thy task ; 
Into this moon-like goblet pour 

The golden wine that, shining like the sun, 
From out the dusky flask 
Comes till my goblet bubbles o'er, 
As from the clouds the dawn when night is done. 

Behold my luckless heart, 

So broken, so dissolved by pain, 

It even flows in tears between my lashes ; 

And yet how can I part 

With it, while still to me remain 

Its shards — I wait till it is burnt to ashes. 

1 knew long, long ago, 

Your promises were less than naught, 
I blotted them for ever from my mind. 
Why was I born to know 

An age above all others fraught 
With love ungrateful and with fate unkind ? 

But grasp thy joy ; who knows, 
Makhfi, what may to thee befall ? 
The firm foundations of the earth may shake, 
The breeze that blows 
May, if this empty life be all, 
The bubble of our vain existence break. 

38 



I ASK not from Heaven that it give 

Fortune or power, 
I ask but a garden apart, 

Where for the brief hour 
That we are appointed to live, 
Of earth the delight that is nearest divine 

Might be mine — 
To live in the love of the friends of my heart. 

The rapturous nightingale sings, 

Wooing the rose 
In the midst of the garden new-born : 

But only the gardener knows 
Of the labour that brings 
To the garden its beauty ; he toiled in the heat, 

And his feet 
Have been wounded by many a thorn. 

Immortal is beauty, for, see, 

Like the sun in his might, 
It illumines the worlds and all things that 
are made 

With the joy of its light ; 
For this be our thanks unto Thee, 

39 



And for the great teachers vouchsafed in our need 

To guide and to lead, 
Their presence to be our safe shelter and shade. 

Upon us Thy mercy bestow ! 

Consider how weak, 
How afflicted we are and how sorrowful ; 
then 
When we passionate seek 
For oblivion, and Thou dost know 
How time on our desolate spirit has beat 

And brought us defeat — 
save us, nor let us endure it again. 

happy the seer who knows 

Good and evil are one, 
Who has learned how self-poised he may live, 

Who is shaken by none, 
To whom spring with its rose 
And autumn are equal : — not him canst thou 
teach 
Or, careless one, preach 
To him ; thou indeed hast no counsel to give. 

If perilous love doth thee lead. 

If thou enter his track. 
In the desert like Majnun thou dwell'st 
evermore, 

Thou shalt never look back ; 
Nor even take heed 



40 



To thy life if thou lose it or keep it, and pain 

Shalt disdain, 
Nor seek on the limitless ocean of love for a shore. 

Makhfi, as out of the nest 
The fledgling birds fall 
And fluttering, helpless, are caught in the 
snares, 
So see after all ' 
Thou art caught like the rest. 
For, flying too boldly, thy feeble wings fail, 

And thou dost bewail 
Thy fate, thus enmeshed in the net of thy cares. 



41 



XI 



Awake, arise, my soul, for it is spring ; 

Let the narcissus, with its scent divine, 
Cast its bewitchment, let the Saki bring 

His idol, for indeed he worships wine. 

To the forbidden path turn not aside, 
And, tyrannous Beloved, let thine eye 

Look on thy victims trampled in thy pride, 
Who for a glance from thee would gladly die. 

Some pay their worship at the Kaaba shrine, 
Some pray within the Temple courts apart. 

But, Makhfi, think what secret joy is thine, 
To bear thine idol ever in thy heart. 



42 



XII 



Feiends had I, many friends, who shared with me 

Days glad and sad, 
But mine they are no more, I am cut free 

From all I had. 

Dust falls within the cup of Kaikobad 

And King Jamshid, 
Nor recks the world if they were sad or glad, 

Or what they did. 

Only to-day have we, and through the sand, 

With feet that tire, 
We march, but never reach the promised land 

Of heart's desire. 

I follow on where Wisdom's feet have led, 

And firmly hold, 
The while this hard and thorny path I tread, 

Her garment's fold. 

How many hearts, Love, thy sword hath slain, 

And yet will slay ! 
They bless thee, nor to God 'will they complain 

At Judgment Day. 

43 



When in the mosque to seek thine idol there 

Thou wendest, may 
Thy steps fall gently, Makhfi, lest thou scare 

The birds away. 



44 



XIII 

Why should I argue that on Sinai 

Celestial radiance glows ? 
I cannot reason ; though the world deny, 

My heart enlightened knows. 

My heart is hot within me, yea, has burst 

In flames of love the while 
So fierce that like a drop to slake my thirarti 

Were all the floods of Nile. 

So deep in sin am I — I cannot wend 

Where holy pilgrims fare 
To Mecca, even if Abraham, God's friend, 

Should come to lead me there. 

I tire of wisdom's kingdom which is mine, 

I tire of reason's sway : 
Passion of love, carry me to thine, 

A hundred miles away. 

Lo, when I come unto the water's side 

The obedient waves retire. 
My flaming heart exultantly shall guid© 

Like Moses' torch of fire. 

45 



Though evil days are mine, of joy bereft, 

With pain that never ends, 
Fate, do with me your worst, there still is left 

The Friend beyond all friends. 

Tell me, O Makhfi, is it I who sin ? 

Is this my sin I bear ? 
Is it the body's or the soul's within 

That lived and sinned elsewhere ? 



46 



XIV 

FOOLISH heart, 
Thy carelessness how can I comprehend ? 
Hast thou no strength, no will, to tear apart 
The barrier that divides me from my Friend ? 

See how the buddmg flower, 
Emerging fair from out her torn green dresa, 
Is beauteous in the garden for her hour. 
As Yusuf in his youthful loveliness. 

Go, breeze of spring, 
Haste to tell Yakub, blinded by his tears. 
The tidings that shall end his sorrowing 
And lift the darkness from his troubled years. 

Treading love's path so long, 
Under such heavy burdens did I bow. 
At last my chastened heart has grown so strong, 
No task, no pain, can bend my spirit now. 

fortunate. 
More blessed than Alexander's lot is mine. 
Come to me, ye thirsty : this my fate — 
To know the giver of celestial wine. 

47 



I have wiped clean my heart 
From actions, yea, and from desires as well, 
And yearn alone for peace, to have no part 
At Judgment Day, either in Heaven or Hell. 



48 



XV 



Behold the fire renewed within my heart, 
My sighs have lashed it with their breath until 
the flames outstart ; 
Nor may this feeble cage, my body, stay 
The fluttering of this bird, my soul, that longs to 
fly away. 
The rocks would melt, and into tears would 
flow, 
Could they but hear the never-ending murmur 
of my woe ; 
For in the dark foreboding of my heart 
There sounds the warning bell that calls the 
caravan to start : 
Love, I have bewailed for all these years 
Thy tyranny, but none has heard my voice 
except my tears. 
Behold how poor I am, but yet so proud, 
I would not sit at Hatim's table with the eager 
crowd : 
See, I have watched throughout the lonely 
night 
Of separation, when there never came my heart's 
delight, 

D 49 



And in my desolation tears of blood 
Gushed from my stricken, widowed heart in 
never-ending flood : 
Yet to me, purged by grief, does hope arise. 
My withered chaplets change to fragrant flowers 
of Paradise. 
Love holds me in these cruel fetters bound, 
My faithfulness to Thee : beside Thy feet, a 
beaten hound, 
I crouch and fawn for crumbs of love from Thee. 
Makhfi, if thy sighs could reach the bosom of 
the sea, 
Even within the cold and lightless deep 
Caught from thy heart a quenchless flame should 
leap. 



60 



XVI 

Love, I am thy thrall. 
As on the tulip's burning petal glows 
A spot yet more intense, of deeper dye, 
So in my heart a flower of passion blows ; 
See the dark stain of its intensity. 

Deeper than all. 

This is my pride — 
That I the rose of all the world have sought, 
And,' still unwearied in the eager quest, 
Fainted nor failed have I, and murmured not ; 
Thus is my head exalted o'er the rest, 

My turban glorified. 

blessed pain, 

O precious grief I keep, and sweet unrest, 
Desire that dies not, longing past control ! 
My heart is torn to pieces in my breast. 
And for the shining diamond of the soul 

1 pine in vain. 

Behold the light 
That from Thy torch of mercy comes to bless 
The garden of my heart, Beloved One, 
With the white radiance of its loveliness, 
Till my wall's shadow shall outvie the sun, 

And seem more bright. 

51 



I humbly sit apart ; 
The Kaaba courts the true believers tread, 
I dwell outside, nor mix my praise with theirs ; 
Yet every fibre of my sacred thread 
More precious is to God than all their prayers — 

He sees the heart. 

Makhfi sorrowing, 
Look from the valley of despair and pain ; 
The breath of love like morning zephyr blows, 
Pearls from thine eyelids fall like gentle rain 
Upon the garden, summoning the rose, 

Calling the spring. 



52 



XVII 

The wine of my delight has lost its taste ; 
The earth of my existence turns a waste, 
No wholesome grass grows there, but only weed ; 
My flaming spring of life has passed indeed. 
I searched for joy, but never found the end ; 
My empty hands, outstretched, can greet no friend ; 
And if God's pardon never come to me, 
Then less than withered grass my prayers must be. 

But, Makhfi, look with a discerning eye — 
Deeper than thy despair thy bliss may lie ; 
Though on the path of love thy feet may tire, 
New strength shall come to thee, and new desire. 



63 



XVIII 

Tybannical L6ve, that goads me and gives me 

no rest, 
As proud as thine arrogant self is this heart in 

my breast, 

It will keep in its pain 
Its faithfulness, though it be trampled beneath 

thy disdain. 

This mirror, my heart, is . broken against my 

desire ; 
Heaven, give me not of your pity, nay, rather 

admire 

My soul that is proud ; 
My head, though I beat it in sorrow, has never 

been bowed. 

Think not that with joy and with ease I pursue 

my desire ; 
With heart that is weary, with footsteps that 

lag and that tire, 

I follow my quest, 
To attain through the difficult way to the kingdom 

of rest. 

54 



Yet, Makhfi, look up from thy desolate region of 

night, 
And see how the army of sorrow has taken to 

flight ; 

Dawn comes, and despair 
Has vanished before the miraculous arrows of 

prayer. 



55 



XIX 

Desolate one, when 
Shalt thou the shining garden see again ? 
Keep thou within thee, holy and apart, 

The garden of thy heart ; 

As the long-prisoned bird. 
Forgetting that it ever flew, and heard 
Songs of the wild, and pinions wide unfurled, 

Makes of the cage its world. 

No fear indeed thou hast, 
O heart within the net of love held fast, 
Of separation's bitter agony — 

Thy love is one with thee. 

Sadly we wait and tire, 
And sight of the Beloved Face desire 
In vain, till in our hearts the hope is born 

Of Resurrection morn. 

O heart, thine be no less 
Than the ascetic Brahman's faithfulness. 
The knotted veins his wasted body bears 

As sacred thread he wears. 
56 



What is a lover's fate ? 
What shalUbefall to him unfortunate ? 
The world shall cry, to please its idle whim, 

" Crucify him ! '• 

Why dost thou then complain 
That on thy feet there drags this heavy chain ? 
Nay, it befits thee well such weights to wear ; 

Much hast thou learned to bear. 

As, far upon the hills, 
Despairing Ferhad, weary of life's ills, 
Welcomed kind Death, and wept, so for relief 

Weep thou and salve thy grief ! 

And see the thorny waste 
Whereon thy bruised feet their pathway traced, 
This wilderness, touched by thy blood that flows, 

Blooms fragrant as the rose. 

Love, shall I repine 
The noose of death around my neck to twine 
At thy behest ? Nay, if thy glory gain, 

Proud am I in my pain. 

O Makhfi, if thy fate 
Be that, without the garden, desolate 
Thou dwell — reck not of it; life is a dream, 

And we, that seem 
To live and move and love, no more at all 

Than shadows on a wall. 



57 



XX 



Safely the kings had kept their regal seat, 
Nor ever known the poison of defeat, 
Had not the Turks the invading army led. 
And the crown toppled from each kingly head : 
So were we not, Master, led by thee 
Vain were our struggles, scant our victory ! 

How strong thou hast become, O moth, how 

great, 
Worshipping thus the flame ! this is thy fate — 
Vainly to love and die, yet thou canst bear 
The burning sparks and ever scorn despair : 
Thou knowest, fluttering nearer to the fire. 
In death thou shalt be one with thy desire. 

O cruel Love, — when on the Judgment Day 
Thy tyranny God shall in full repay, 
And all the blameless blood that thou hast shed 
Shall be revenged upon thy haughty head : 

Black shall the place of judging be, no less 

Than Kerbela's accursed wilderness. 

Haply indeed, O Judge, wilt thou be kind, 
And pity in thy heart for sinners find ; 

58 



Think of the memory of their disgrace, 
How dark humiliation stains their face, 
The shame that stings and goads them to repent — 
Will these not be sufficient punishment ? 

Within the desert of the world astray, 

How many weary wanderers lose their way ! 

But Love with beckoning hand appears, to 
bless, 

Finds them a pathway through the wilderness, 
And though, like Majnun, in the wild they roam, 
Leads them through toils and tribulations home. 



69 



XXI 

Unto the garden of attainment ne'er 

Our pathway led, 
And never were our eyes anhungered fed 
With vision of Thy blessed countenance, 

Never a glance 
Attained we of that face for ever fair. 



Wheref or my tears fell down in floods like rain, 

And as I sighed 
I thought of my desires unsatisfied, 
And memory summoned up with vain regret 

The garden where we met, 
But meet no more, I tell my heart with pain. 



What have I then to do with high estate ? 

Fortune I lay aside 
An<J all wherein the world has taken pride : 
Yet in this day of my humility 

Precious to me 
As wine of kings I hold my cup of fate. 
60 



Despair not, sorrow-laden Makhfi, though 

No grass appears 
Withm this desert watered by thy tears. 
Why with their arguing do learned men 

Question God's mercy, when 
His works His infinite compassion show ! 



ei 



XXII 

Green is my garden, watered by my tears, 
And through my soul the perfume of the rose 
Kindling my heart with its enchantment flows ; 

Saki, bring the cup, for there appears 

Gleaming within the garden through the night 
A radiance fair our feasting to illume ; 
What is this glamour shining through the 
gloom ? 
My heart's blood, glowing, yields the heavenly 
light. 

0, I have drunk my cup of cherished grief, 
And love the torment of my wounded heart ; 
As the scars heal I tear their lips apart, 

And in my pain find rapturous relief. 

Why should I then permit the winds of care 
To ruffle thus my soul, as airs of spring 
Through the Beloved's tresses wantoning ? 

For I have risen to fortune from despair. 

fear not, if within the house of prayer 
The feeble camphor candle fails and dies ; 
From out the flaming furnace of my sighs 

Will rise another light, more fierce, more fair. 

62 



The perfumed winds that with the dawn arise, 
Have they not, Makhfi, caught thy soul away 
And drenched it with delight, so all the day 

There cling about thee airs of Paradise ? 



63 



XXIII 

For my love's madness all the world on me 
Hath heaped its scorn ; so from its ways I flee, 
To find a refuge from its cruelty. 

A hermitage, with peace my soul to bless, 
Here in a corner of the wilderness, 
Unseen by secular eyes shall I possess. 

Who is the man who boasts to be Love's slave, 
And yet this petty life of his would save ? 
Poor Love, whose votaries are not more 
brave ! 

When I was young I asked, and Love gainsaid ; 
What slips, what wanderings, on Love's road I 
made, 
LTntil I summoned Wisdom to my aid I 

The mirror of my heart I burnish bright 
Until, reflected fair for my delight, 

The Self's eternal beauty greets my sight. 

Like Yaqub blinded by his agony. 

No face in all the world is aught to me ; 
What use have eyes except to look on Thee ? 
64 



XXIV 

How long, burning heart, 
Canst thou keep hidden ! see how flames outstart, 

And vapour from thy sighs 
Will darken e'en the stars within the skies. 

Driven by my love I must 
Wander like Majnun, where the desert dust 

Falls on his weary head, 
Eternally for Leila doomed to shed 

His unavailing tears. 
The soul by Love enlightened never fears 

The unseeing world that says 
He must be mad who treads within Love's ways ; 

But joyful he and wise, 
For Love has given new vision to his eyes. 

See, Makhfi, cruel Love, 
How in his haughtiness he rides above 

The hearts of men, how red 
His sword with lovers' blood that he has shed ! 



66 



XXV 

When I behold the garden in the spring, 
Rejoicing like a nightingale I sing ; 
And if the cruel gardener, with his guile, 
Try to ensnare me — like a rose I smile. 

The morning breeze that from the garden flies 
Can give no joy, no gladness, to my eyes ; 
For, useless breeze, never to me he brings 
The fragrance of Thy garments on his wings. 

But here before the garden door I wait ; 
Why should I deem myself unfortunate ? 
For by Thy holy threshold shall I stay. 
And with my lashes sweep its dust away. 

This bird, my heart, is taken in Thy net 
And flutters unavailingly ; but yet. 
Thy captive though it be, how canst Thou keep 
Prisoned the sighs that from my bosom leap ? 

O rare and precious Phoenix of the soul. 
Vainly I sought for thee ; beyond control 
My heart has yearned for thee ; ever thy wings 
Have hung above my soul's imaginings. 



Thou Enemy, that hold'st me from my quest, 
If even in the sea thou enterest 
When from my anger thou dost seek to flee, 
My burning soul will find and conquer thee. 

bulbul, glad within the garden sing, 
'Tis Makhfi who has won for thee the spring 
That blossoms in thy heart ; but in her own 
The barren winds of lonely autumn moan. 



67 



XXVI 

Love, tell me what is Thy nature, that out of 

my kmgdom of pride, 
Thou canst ravish my soul and canst hold it, 

and keep it enslaved at Thy side ; 
Who knows of Thy infinite wisdom, who knows 

what Thy lovers have borne 
When madmen the world has proclaimed them 

and cast them derision and scorn ? 



To drink of my blood I am thirsting, to shed it 

abroad like a sea. 
To sacrifice all am I seeking, to die as a victim 

for Thee. 
My heart through the anguish of loving has 

swooned 'neath the load of its grief. 
Come thou with thy magic, music, and give 

to my spirit reHef . 

Like Ayub I sit in the ashes o'erwhelmed by the 

wrath of the skies, 
Yet out of the night of my sorrow shall hope 

like the morning arise : 

68 



To the desolate mountains, like Ferhad, by sorrow 

and longing possessed, 
I have wandered with pain and with yearning, 

with hope and despair in my breast. 

Yet, Makhfi, unveiled is thy secret, abroad all 

thy passion is told : 
Who saw not the beauty of Yusuf when he in 

the market was sold ? 



69 



XXVII 

I HAVE no need for wine : 
To me the languorous and magic scent 
Breathed by the flowers within the garden, lent 
Intoxication that is more divine. 

Forgive me then, I pray, 
That I no wine in the assembly quaffed, 
For I have drunk of a diviner draught. 
Its fragrance ever haunts me, night and day. 

My heart a bird doth seem 
That never joyfully can soar and sing. 
For, shut within its cage of sorrowing. 
It sees the garden only in a dream. 

Shall I not then complain 
When every atom of my body cries 
Against your tyranny, cruel skies. 
That yield me days so dark and full of pain ? 

Grant me, Fate, this boon, 
Give me a little day of joy, of spring, 
When even in its cage my heart might sing 
Glad as a bird : Death comes, thou knowest, soon. 

70 



Although I seem so poor, 
Pity me not for empty-handedness ; 
My haughty eagle soul I still possess, 
And I have had the courage to endure. 

How many, many years 
Within the prison walls of lonely grief 
Shall I remain and never know reHef, 
Like Yaqub, blinded by my useless tears ? 

Though my proud soul 
Tom from its saddle low into the dust 
May be by cruel hands of fato downthrust, 
I know my feet will somehow reach the goal. 

As through life's desert fare 
Love's pilgrims, Makhfi, may it be thy pride 
Unto Love's realm their caravan to guide, 
Thy footsteps be the bell to lead it there. 



71 



XXVIII 

How uselessly and long I struggled hard 
With thee, mine Enemy, nor from the fight 

Aught have I won ; my trait'rous heart I guard, 
And turn away for ever from thy sight. 

What wonder if the fire within me rise 
Into a flame outleaping fierce and swift. 

And that the heavy vapour of my sighs 

Unto the darkened eyes of Heaven should drift ! 

Think not, though at the feast no more I sit, 
That I have done with joy : there still remains 

The dream that once was mine — I cherish it, 
Like wine its memory courses in my veins. 

What though within this valley of Despair 
From sorrow I can never find surcease, 

May I be given, in answer to my prayer. 

One day at least of rest, one night of peace ! 

So sad my fate that, though I long and toil 
Until my forces flag and faint and tire, 

I cannot burnish off the stains that soil. 
The rust that dims my mirror of desire. 
72 



Though poor I am indeed, yet weak am I 
And cannot dare with my irresolute will 

The purse that holds my treasure to untie, 
Its golden harvest in my lap to spill. 

And yet, O Makhfi, if with eyes made clear, 
Freed from the world's illusion, thou shalt see, 

Lo, the faquir's torn garments shall appear 
More regal than the robes of majesty. 



73 



XXIX 

Impatient were my hands, and in their haate 
Never could they untie the knot of fate, 
So vain it is to wail my life laid waste, 
My hours unfortunate. 

And strange it is that even in my heart 
The sweet tormenting flame of my desire 
Is quenched ; impatiently I pulled apart 
The brands and killed the fire. 

And never did the blossoms of success 
Within my hope's enchanted garden bloom, 
And my fair beacon-light of happiness 
Is sunk in gloom. 

Faithless Beloved, many friends are Thine; 
So many love and have been loved by Thee, 
They give their hearts, what carest Thou for mine ? 
What need hast Thou of me ? 



74 



XXX 

RIVAL, snatch not from my lips away 
The cup that holds the wine of my delight; 
The mirror of my joy turns cold and grey, 

Darkened before my sight. 

As through the gloom the radiant sun above 
Comes brightening the world, and shades depart, 
So do I burnish with the oil of love 
The rust from off my heart. 

1 vainly stretch imploring hands that long 
To touch Hope's gleaming garment as she flies ; 
Though my desire may fail, yet Hope is strong 

And keen, and never dies. 

When on the cup that held the drink divine 
Of last night's feast the light of morning falls. 
The joy of night, the magic of the wine, 
The goblet's sight recalls. 

Like thee, O Ferhad, in my loneliness 
Toiling upon the mountains I have been. 
But never drank the sherbet of success, 
Sweet as thy lips, Shirin. 

75 



Mortals we are, and, fashioned thus of earth, 
Vain, Makhfi, is this world in which we trust. 
Dust is the rank of kings, the pride of birth, 
Yea, thou thyself art dust. 



76 



XXXI 

Down in the dust and sunken in disgrace 
My honour lies for all the world to see, 

But why should I bear shame upon my face ? 
What is the honour of the world to me ? 

Although the times on my unhappy head 

Have heaped the burdens I can hardly bear, 

I have not wept ; I smile in pride instead ; 
Upon my brow are graved no lines of care. 

For many years hath sorrow dwelt with me. 
Yet I repine not, and so fiercely wage 

My war against despair, it turns to flee — 
I am the Rustum of this later age. 

Though callous Fate upon me vengeance wreak, 
O breezes blowing from the heavens above 

Bring unto me what I, like Yaqub, seek — 
The perfume of the garments of my Love. 



77 



XXXII 

Hasten, O Saki, bring 
The wine that it may grant its quickening 
To my dead heart, and to the withered flowers 

Come like the showers 
That give the resurrection of the spring. 

What weary days 
Are these, that never in the perfumed ways 
The bulbul sings among the cypress trees ; 

Only the morning breeze 
Finds entrance there, and with the roses plays. 

Masiha, thou canst heal, 
Thou wise Physician, hear our heart's appeal ! 
Give us the bitter draught to cure our grief, 

And grant relief ; 
Blame not the shrinking from thy cup we feel. 

Glimmer not, pearly dawn. 
Let not the veil of night be yet withdrawn ; 
I long to send, with arrows of my sighs. 

Unto the skies 
My eager prayers before the night be gone. 

78 



I craved release 
From griefs that burn and pains that never 

cease, 
But all my cries to Heaven were empty breath ; 

Not even Death 
Coming at last, could give my spirit peace. 

If, on the Judgment Day, 
Grieving for my transgressions, I shall pray 
For mercy for the evil I have done, 

SeK-Existent One, 
Grant that my tears shall wash the sin away. 

Makhfi, for thy fate 
Be not thou fearful nor disconsolate ; 
Higher, upon the Day of Reckoning, 

Faquir than khig. 
There shall be then none lowly and none great. 



79 



XXXIII 

Cast not, Beloved, on me 
Such angry looks from thy narcissus eyes, 
Already conquered by their sorcery 
Before thy feet my heart a captive lies. 

Knotted within my heart, 
The very chords that answered to thy touch. 
My heart-strings at thy presence thrill and start, 
For I have sighed and have lamented much. 

ye who sleep in peace, 
You know not of the troubles Love can send, 
The days whose tribulations never cease, 
The weary nights that drag without an end. 

Where, then, does Mecca lie ? 
Here is the Kiblah where I make my prayer : 
TeU me the physic for my malady — 
The anodyne for grief is everywhere. 

Love, where dost thou lead. 
Upon what travel fares our caravan ? 
By Hedjaz desert shall thy footsteps speed, 
The longest journey since the world began. 

80 



So poor, indeed, my fate, 
Never to me did Love his secrets tell 
As to those others, high and fortunate, 
Who near his inmost shrine for ever dwell. 



81 



XXXIV 

Why should we but in the assembly pray ? 

Only when friends are gathered call for wine ? 
Lo, I have done with this hypocrisy, 

And ever pray and drink the cup divine. 

The fountain of my spirit has run dry, 
So that in tears no more my sorrow flows, 

Mute is the heart that wailed continually, 
Silent the bulbul in the garden-close. 

Here, as we tread the pilgrim's way, we find 
The torch of inspiration like a fire. 

Men see it not, so dull they are and blind, 
They yearn not for the garments of desire. 

To each was given on the Creation-day 
His fitting portion, his appointed share. 

Why should' st thou then demand from destiny 
More joy than others have, less pain to bear ? 

Makhfi, for thy counsel all have come. 

Their secrets thou hast kept concealed, apart, 

But why should'st thou, who for their sakes art 
dumb. 
Tell shamelessly the secrets of thy heart ? 

82 



XXXV 

How long upon this soul that dwells in pain 
Thy vengeance, Tormentor, shalt thou pour ? 
Could I the Land of Love in peace attain, 
Thy poisoned sting should torture me no more. 

No unguent salves these wounds upon my heart, 
The diamond lancet's healing pang I crave, 
So keen my pain I tear my scars apart. 
Come with thy kindly cruelty, and save ! 

From out my keeping has my heart been reft, 
Why, let it go then : wherefore should I weep ? 
Over the empty hut a faquir left 
No watchman comes his careful guard to keep. 

Hearken, the time of parting sounds for thee. 
How long, O Makhfi, wavering like the fire, 
A Kafir shall thy restless spirit be. 
Blown like a flame, tormented by desire ? 



83 



XXXVI 

How hard to read, O Soul, 
The riddle of life here and life beyond ! 
As hard as in the pearl to pierce a hole 
Without the needle-point of diamond. 

Chide not that 'mongst the flowers 
The bulbul doth ecstatically sing; 
His passion, yea and his delight, are ours, 
Along the garden paths meandering. 

We, by our pain made brave. 
Seek not despair nor hope ; neither outlast 
Their little day. We take but what Fate gave. 
Not as Zuleikha, brooding o'er the past. 

careless ones, in vain 
The treasure of your life has passed away. 
Heedless that nothing of your years remain, 
You talk like children of another day. 

How vain the tears you weep ! 
Your sorrow fruitless, your remorse too late ; 
The threshold with your lashes wherefore sweep, 
When, Makhfi, see, the shrine is desolate ? 

84 



XXXVII 

When thou unveil'st thy shining countenance, 

Burnt are my lashes by thy lightning glance, 

And all the night I passionately weep 

While o'er my heart tempests of longing sweep ; 

And if I see it not, desiring it, 

My heart is darkened like a lamp unlit. 

I have no hope, no comfort, anywhere. 
Caught by the fluttering tresses of thy hair. 

No flower can open in my garden bed 
Until my heart's blood dyes its petals red. 

Sing softly of thy love, or silent be, 

Makhfi, lest the Hunter secretly 

Shall come and hear thy voice, and capture thee. 



^ 



XXXVIII 

The love of Thee the bulbul sings, 
The moth that burns its silken wings 
Thy love has drawn into the fire, 
And, see, the wine of Thy desire — 
On every goblet's lip it clings. 

No ease, no respite anywhere 
Is now for me, for in Thy snare 

Blindly or willingly I fall. 

No liberty have I at all, 
Bound by the fetters of Thy hair. 

So many tears mine eyes have shed, 
Such streams of blood my heart has bled, 
That now mine eyes can weep no more, 
Nor can the failing fountains pour, 
For dry the source from which they fed. 

Thou, Makhfi, in the burning fire 
Of love and unassuaged desire 

Tossing in wild remorse, shalt dwell ; 

Love's secrets weakly didst thou tell. 
So thou shalt pay with penance dire. 

86 



XXXIX 

Not fierce enough, moth, the flame to burn 

those yearning wings of thine. 
Not bright enough the torch of love within our 

palace halls to shine. 
Mine eyes have scattered pearls of tears, no 

consolation did they gain; 
The matchless jewel of my soul is given away, 

and all in vain ; 
Long is my bitter tale of grief, of separation 

from my Friend, 
Unfinished is it even yet, although my life has 

reached its end : 
Useless, Saki, is thy cup, no wine of comfort 

flows for me 
Who drink alone the wine of blood ; to others 

give thy remedy : 
Tale after tale of love is told, linked all together 

like a chain. 
The fetters hold my heavy heart, of liberty I 

dream in vain : 
Under the angry storms of death my boat of 

life has foundered deep. 
My house is fallen, round its dust winds of anni- 
hilation sweep. 

87 



Yet, Makhfi, if within thy heart the flame of 

heavenly love arise, 
Thy lonely desert shall be fair as garden groves 

of Paradise. 



88 



XL 

If from the spot upon my heart the veil 
Should fall, and all the world should know my 

tale, 
How would the roses burn with envious light 

Knowing themselves less bright ! 

Though all the day the leaping fire of sighs 
May from my fast-consuming heart arise, 
Winds of mischance so blow and scatter it, 
My torch is not yet lit. 

I leave the world, and to the woods I fly, 
But in the forest hunted still am I ; 
I seek the silence of the lake and hill^ 
But Love pursues me still. 

The malady of Love has turned my brain, 
For all my life I have abode with pain ; 
Then why should I from sorrow seek to flee ? 
Sorrow is kin to me. 

Here in the dwelling of unhappiness, 
My silent, desolate sorrow I possess; 

For how can shining love with me remain 
Within this house of pain ? 

a9 



Behold the pages of my book of life ! 
Blotted its record, black with sin and strife, 
As if the woe of all the world should be 
Ever pursuing me. 

O Makhfi, from this goblet thou shalt gain 
No exaltation, no surcease from pain ; 

For tears of blood that flow from eyes grown 
dim 
Fill it unto the brim. 



90 



XLI 

Thou bringest never, long-lost happiness, 

To still my heart's distress 

The remedy I crave. Why to the crowd 

Should I thus voice aloud 

My sadness, drawing scorn upon my name, 

Telling the world my shame ? 

If in the close-hung darkness of the night 

There shine no thread of light, 

What matter ? Though no torches flame for me. 

My sorrowing heart can see 

Illumined by the fire of grief it bears. 

Why tangled in the cares 

Of worldly hopes, heart unsatisfied. 

Restless wilt thou abide. 

Seeking those things that thou shalt never gain ? 

Help askest thou in vain 

From useless friends, and far into the skies 

Peace like the Phoenix flies. 

Behold, no herb of sweet content has grown ; 

For we have only sown 

In far-off springs the seeds of our disgrace. 

How could we bear to face 

The direful Judgment Day, did we not bring 

Our idol, witnessing 

91 



That by this Kafir worship which we give 

We true believers live ? 

Upon the sea of bliss our boat is set, 

But comfort comes not yet ; 

Over the soul waves of the tempest rise 

Menacing to the skies. 

So weary, Makhfi, are thine eyes with tears, 
Darkened the world appears, 
Nor can they tell, by grief and watching worn. 
The rosebud from the thorn. 



XLII 

Self-Existent, give 
Unto Thy faithful ones their heart's desire, 
And visit not with Thy consuming fire 
O'er-burdened souls, too sorrowful to live. 

No longer can I bear 
The separation and the bitter grief ; 
Afflicted am I — grant my soul relief ! 
Weary and broken — look on my despair ! 

Thou, whose praise we tell, 
Sever the tjrrant bonds, give to the slave 
His freedom, save him. Lord, as Thou did'st save 
Yusuf , the Moon of Canaan, from the well ! 

My tears fail, for they must ; 
The spring that fed their fountains has run dry ; 
Give me Thy peace, O Lord ; for what am I ? 
Only a handful of afflicted dust. 

But flowers of hope return 
To bloom within my garden of desire, 
For God can call even from flames of fire 
Tulips like torches to arise and burn. 

93 



XLIII 

On my tormented heart appeaxs 
Another deep and glowing stain, 

Again there dawns my day of tears 
Of misery, of weary pain. 

So much of mine own blood I shed. 
So long the journeys I have done, 

So difficult the path I tread, 

To catch the garment of the sun ! 

New balm within my heart is borne, 
New lightnings from my glance arise, 

Why then your anger, and the scorn 
Flashing from your narcissus eyes ? 

Out of my heart you reft away 

The life, my heart from out its place 

You ravished, and I can but pray — 
lift the veil that hides your face ! 



94 



XLIV 

Long, long am I denied 
The vision of thy face, for o'er it flows 
The musky darkness of thy waving hair, 
As though a temple-curtain should enclose 
The Kaaba, and our hearts, unsatisfied, 

Could never see it there. 



Reason, that can speed 
A runner in the valley of desire. 
We need not strength like thine, for we possess 
A remedy to cure us when we tire ; 
The thorns and brambles are the salves we need 

For pain and weariness. 



Night after endless night 
I sat in lonely grief remembering thee; 
Tears fell into my heart disconsolate. 
How long have I, in striving to be free, 
Broken my bleeding nails, but never quite 

Untied the knot of fate ! 

95 



Lo, where the feast was spread, 
What better could I offer to my guest 
Than wine and music when we revelled long ? 
Of all the wines the wine of tears was best, 
One song of sorrow to another led. 

Making continual song. 



Thou shalt attain success, 
O happy lover, walking on the height ; 
Thy shadow greater shall be evermore 
Than King Jamshid's, and plumes and pinions 

bright 
As hath the Phoenix, shall thy soul possess, 

Arrogantly to soar. 

By sorrow crucified, 
A true beUever lost his Hfe for thee. 
And yet did not attain what I attain : 
This new delight which is bestowed on me 
Even the friends who travelled by my side 

Could never know nor gain. 

Red with its fount of tears 
Thy rosy face doth like a tulip show, 
To tell what dreams within thy heart arise. 
My tears have washed with their unceasing flow, 
The magic cup wherein the world appears 

Displayed before mine eyes. 



stronger my love shall grow : 
Bearing the bonds of sorrow for thy sake, 
More patient and more proud my heart shall be, 
Like the imprisoned bird who tries to make 
His cage a garden, though his wild heart know 

He never shall be free. 

Behold Love's path — it seems 
So long, Makhfi ; but be strong to tread 
Its toilsome way, and come, nor look behind ; 
The temple where thou canst bow down thy head. 
The idol fairer than thy fairest dreams, 

Thou shalt desire, and find. 



97 



XLV 

No way of joy and ease is mine to tread, 
The road of shame and madness joyfully I choose 
instead ; 
And from my heart such streams of blood 
shall pour 
Upon the Day of Judgment, that the Desert 
crimsoned o'er 
Shall all the rosy hues of heaven outvie, 
And Paradise be darkened, envious of its flaming 
dye. 
If, penitent, I shed one tear of shame. 
Then shall be cleansed the follies and the sins that 
stained my name ; 
For God shall show compassion in that day, 
My record of transgressions shall be wholly swept 
away. 
The tree of World's Desire has set its roots 
Deep planted in the darkness ; sin and shame its 
bitter fruits ; 
Then barter not the wealth contentment 
brings 
For all the wide dominions of a thousand mighty 
kings. 

98 



If from my heart I loose my heavy sighs 
Black whirling from the Desert shall the blinding 
dust arise. 

Though, Makhfi, God shall pardon at the last, 
The Skirt of Intercession hold within thy fingers 
fast. 



99 



XLVI 

GIVE me, friends, your care, 
Lest in my madness loudly I proclaim 
The secrets of the Lord, that all may know. 
Like wax I melt within Love's eager flame, 
But in my breast a heart of stone I bear, 
Mocking its glow. 



Down unto death I went. 
The Heavens upon me showered their cruel blows. 
Pity me, ye Chosen Ones of God ! 
Enemy, when shall I gain repose. 
How long shall I groan under chastisement, 
Wince 'neath the rod ? 



How darkened is my fame ! 
Extravagantly have I spent my store. 
And empty-handed in the market stand ; 
A dervish am I, and can give no more. 
No emperor, with glory round my name 
And lavish hand. 
100 



Foundered my boat of life; 
Vainly upon the ocean of despair 
I ventured out, seeking the tranquil shore 
And the Beloved. No farther can I dare — 
I bow to Fate, I turn me from the strife, 
I scheme no more. 



The time of spring is past, 
The rose-leaves in the garden drift apart, 
Among the trees the bulbul sings no more. 
How long, madness, shalt thou hold my heart! 
How long, exaltation, shalt thou last 
Now spring is o'er ? 



How uselessly is spent 
And cast away the treasure of my life, 
In bitter separation from my Friend ! 
Surely, O cruel Heavens, might now my strife 
My grief, my pain, my weary discontent, 
Attain the end ! 



O King, O Teacher, see — 
E'en in the tale of Alexander's fate, 
Most fortunate of mortals, thou canst read 
Of Dara, broken and disconsolate ; 
Yea, sorrowful his shadowed history 
Appears indeed. 
101 



Upon the feasting day 
Friends joyfully in the assembly meet, 
But Makhfi in the lane of sorrow goes 
Slowly and loth, with melancholy feet. 
No rest, no ease, no peace upon the way, 
The faquir knows. 



102 



XLVII 

Unto the garden floats the wandering air 
To tell the roses that are waiting there 
The tidings of thy coming ; soft and sweet 
Their petals open as they kiss thy feet. 

If from thy moon-like face the veil arise, 
No more will Yusuf turn regretful eyes 
Homeward to Canaan : he will only see 
Thy face, and offer all his love to thee. 

No remedy can heal the heart's distress 
Except the vision of thy loveliness. 
Here, suffering souls, the solace that you need ! 
Tear not your wounds, no longer make them 
bleed. 

How difficult the hunted deer to find. 
Although his scent be left upon the wind ; 
How hard to reach thee, though thine every tress 
Breathes musk of Khotan through the wilderness I 

happy Makhfi ! fortunate thy day ! 
For thou at the Beloved's feet may lay 
Thy song in homage ; happier still, if thou 
Sing rapturously evermore as now ! 

103 



XLVIII 

So tyrannous thine eyes, 
Even the morning breeze is hot with wrath, 
No soft assuagement in its breath it hath, 

It only faints and dies. 

Like Khizr, strong and fair, 
Whose soul is steeped in the immortal spring, 
The well of life, thou shalt be worshipping 

With holy words of prayer. 

Bom to the Khalif's place, 
None other heired such high estate as thine, 
Thou hast the beauty that is all divine, 

Fairer than peri's grace. 

From hope I turned in hate; 
No further now false hope can cozen me. 
I know the cruel Heavens conspired with thee 

To darken thus my fate. 

Makhfi, thy life flows fast, 
The days from out thy hand drop evermore; 
O turn no weary traveller from thy door. 

Give him what cheer thou hast. 

104 



XLIX 

Let not thy curl, whose loveliness 
Maddens the world, bring new distress 
Upon thy lovers, floating free, 
Tossed by the wind, that all may see 
And fall beneath thy sorcery. 

Let not the valley of thy love 
A place of bitter torment prove 
For dolorous souls, already worn 
By all the penance they have borne, 
Betrayed by love, and left forlorn. 

No flower, no nightingale am I, 
So from the garden mournfully 
I go. breezes, free to stray. 
Back to her garden find your way. 
And greeting to my Love convey. 

Exiled and driven from thee I pass 
Upon my journey ; like the grass 
And patient reeds I bend and shake. 
As my despairing road I take, 
Leaving the body for thy sake. 

105 



Before the soul who understands 
Be silent : in the desert sands 
He learnt his lore. Break not the rest 
Of the afflicted and oppressed 
With poisoned arrows in his breast. 



106 



MIGHT I have as surma for mine eyes 
The dust that on her happy threshold lies, 
And there might waiting kneel to kiss at last 
Her feet like those of angels fluttering past ! 
My soul has girt around it suffering 
And wears it as the garment that a king 
Gives to his servant, decking him with pride. 

Enemy that waitest by my side, 

How long shall I be bent beneath thy rod, 
And walk the path of pain my friends have 

trod? 
The storm sweeps round my house, its ramparts- 

fail. 
Its deep foundations sway before the gale. 

1 am a bird, who, flying home to rest, 

Finds that the waters have o'erwhelmed his nest. 

Sell not the jewel of thy soul so cheap, 

No friends can help thy heart its wealth to keep. 

King of all the roses, be thou kind 
Unto the bulbul, whose unquiet mind 
Makes him a mad faquir in loving thee ; 
For even kings who ride in majesty 

107 



Will stop their chariots e'er a faquir stir. 
Blessed is Makhfi • God has given to her 
The pearl of words, jewel of song divine, 
Fairer than spoils of ocean or of mine. 



108 



NOTES 

Alexander : in Persian poetry the type of the most fortunate 
one, as is Darius of the most imfortunate. 

Ayub : Job. 

Diwan : a Diwan consists of a series of groups of ghazals (^.v.), 
the first collection rhyming with the first letter of the 
alphabet, the second with the second, and so on through 
the alphabet. 

Ferhad : a lover famous in Eastern story. He loved Shirin 
(the sweet one), who was the wife of King Khosni, 
about the end of the sixth century. He was a sculptor, 
and renowned throughout Persia. The King, fearing 
his rivalry, tried to divert his mind from his passion, 
and sought to find for him some impossible task. As 
Shirin had demanded a " river of milk," he was bidden 
to clear away the rocks obstructing the passage of tho 
great mountain of Beysitoun, and to cause the rivers 
on the opposite sides of the mountain to join. Ferhad 
agreed on condition that, if he were successful, Shirin 
should be given to him. For years he labomred, and 
carved out wonderful caverns, which can be seen to 
this day ; and the Joui-shir (stream of milk) still flows 
from the mountain between Hamadan and Hulwan. 
Only a few days' work remained to be done, when the 
King heard reports that the project was succeeding : 
he thereupon sent a messenger to tell Ferhsid that 
Shirin was dead. On hearing this, Ferhad died, some 
say by killing himself with his axe, others say by 
throwing himself over a precipice. ^.•* 

Ohazaly or gazel : a form of verse written in a succession of 
couplets. The first two lines rhyme, and of the succeed- 
ing couplets the first Line is unrhymed, the second rhymes 
with the first couplet, and so on, throughout the poem ; 
so that, in the whole poem, all the words which rhyme, 
rhyme with one another. When this form of verse 
consists of only four lines, it is called a Ruhai. The 

109 



110 NOTES 

length of a ghazal varies, but it is not supposed to be 
longer than eighteen couplets. Often the couplets 
within a ghazal have no apparent connection, and are 
complete in themselves. The last couplet usually 
contains the name of the poet. 

Hatim, or Hatim Tai : an Arabian chief famed for his gene- 
rosity : he never refused a request. He was born in 
Yemen, in Arabia Felix, in pre-Musulman times. Some 
one asked for his head, and he gave it, and so died. 

Hedjaz : the greatest desert in Arabia ; along its length pass 
the principal caravan routes. 

Jamshid : the type of the magnificent king. He belonged 
to the mythical Peshdadian dynasty, and flourished 
about 800 B.C. He was reputed to be the builder of 
Persepolis. His reign was a kind of golden age, when 
sickness and death were unknown. The angel Siroush 
descended from Heaven to visit him, and left him a robe 
and . an enchanted girdle. He was gifted, like Moses, 
with a ray of divine light ; so that once, when he was 
descending Moimt Alborz, the crowd imagined that 
there were two suns in the world. His ring and throne 
had magic powers : when he looked into his seven-ringed 
goblet he could see what was passing in all the worlds. 
But pride came into his heart, and he forgot God ; hia 
subjects revolted against him and drove him from his 
kingdom ; and he roamed the earth an outcast for a 
hundred years. He repented, and was restored, with 
undiminished youth, to his kingdom and power. 

Kaaha : the chief sanctuary of Mecca, the holy city of the 
Musulmans. The Kaaba was revered before the time 
of Muhammad, and was then a rude stone building ; 
its name came from a word meaning an astralagus, or 
die, because of its roughly cubical shape. It has been 
several times rebuilt, but the old form has been pre- 
served except in secondary details. Into its wall is 
built an ancient black stone, possibly an aerolite, said 
to have been given by the angel Gabriel to Abraham. 

Kafir : an unbeliever ; one who is not a Musulman. 

Kaikohad : a Sultan of the Seljukian dynasty, renowned 
not only for his successful wars, but as a great builder 
of palaces. 



NOTES 111 

Kerhda : the place of the massacre of Hussain, the grandson, 
of the Prophet, and his children, by the Ommeyyades. 
It is situated in Mesopotamia, near the western bank 
of the Tigris, twenty-eight miles from the ruins of 
Babylon. It is a great place of pilgrimage for the 
Shiahs, who hold that the spiritual leadership of Islam 
devolved upon Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, and 
his descendants. The tomb of Hussain is in a large 
mosque ; and each year two hundred thousand pilgrims 
from all parts of the Musulman world visit it, some- 
times carrying the bones of their ancestors to be buried 
there. The story of the death of Hussain is annually 
read, and sometimes enacted as a miracle-play, in 
Shiah commiinities, with much wailing and sorrow, on 
the tenth day of the Mohurrum celebrations. 

J^hizr : the angel-guardian of the spring of immortality. 

Kiblah : the direction in which Mecca lies, indicated by the 
mehrab, or niche, in the wall of a mosque, to which 
the worshippers turn in prayer. 

Ijeila and Majnun : the heroine and hero of the celebrated 
Arabian love-story told by many poets, of whom the 
most famous are Jami, Nizami, and Hatifi. Kais was 
the son of an Arabian chief, but, madly loving Leila, the 
daughter of a neighbouring chief, he was called Majnun, 
or the mad one. Leila was married to a more powerful 
suitor, and Majnun wandered for years in the desert, 
where he taught the secrets of love to the birds and beasts. 

JUahmotid : the praised one, a name of the Prophet. 

-Majnun : the lover of Leila {q.v.), 

Makhfi : the hidden one. 

Mansur : Mansur al-Hallaj, a Persian saint of the ninth 
century, who was crucified at Baghdad for declaring that 
he was one with God. 

Maaiha : Messiah. Jesus is known in Musulman tradition 
aa the Healer. 

PhcRnix : a f abtilous bird of great size and beauty, habitually 
dwelling in the Caucasus Mountains, but appearing at 
very rare intervals. If it spreads its wings over the head 
of a man, he becomes a king. It was supposed to live 
for seventeen hundred years, and only one existed in 
the world at a time. 



112 NOTES 

Rustum : son of Zal, Prince of Seistan : a traditional hero 
of Persia, famous for his indomitable strength and 
bravery. He conquered the Dives, or evil spirits, and 
performed other miraculous deeds, comparable to the 
labours of Hercules. He is the hero of the Shah-Nameh 
of Firdausi. 

Saki : the cupbearer. 

Shirin : the beloved of Ferhad {q.v.). The name meana 
*' sweet." 

Suleiman : King Solomon ; in Musulman legend lord over 
angels and demons, of great wisdom and power, under- 
standing the language, not only of all men, but of the 
beasts and birds. His power lay in his possessing the 
seal with the name of God. 

Surma : kohl, or collyrium, a black powder used in Eg3rpt 
and the East for darkening the eyelids and thus giving 
lustre to the eyes. 

Turks : the Turcomans from Turkestan, who ravaged Central 
Asia from Persia to India and east to China, the Great 
Wall of which was built as a protection against them. 

Yaqvb : Jacob, who in Musulman tradition became blind 
by weeping for the loss of his son Joseph, who had been 
sold by his brothers as a slave into Egypt ; he regained 
his sight when he smelt the garment of his son which 
had been brought to him. 

Yusuf : Joseph, who is regarded as of superhuman loveliness, 
surrounded by celestial Hght, the emblem of divine per- 
fection. He possessed nine-tenths of the beauty allotted 
to the whole world. 

Zuleikha : daughter of Taimus, King of Mauretania. In 
a dream she saw and fell in love with the image of 
Yusuf ; she was not told his name, but only that hi» 
abode was Egypt. She went to Memphis to marry 
Asiz Potiphar, the Grand Vizier of Pharaoh, imagining 
her future husband was the vision of her dream. Yusuf 
was sold as a slave, and was purchased by her ; but, 
being warned by the angel Gabriel in the Ukeness of 
his father Jacob, he fled from her. She is represented 
aa always brooding over her lost happiness. 



Printed hp Haeell, Watson ds Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury. 



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CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY 







PK 

6559 
Z4.A25 
1913 


Zeb-un-Nissa, Begum 

The Diwan of Zeb-un-Nissa