Slaves of Thy Shining Eyes

Shams al-Din Hafiz 1315 (Shiraz) – 1390 (Shiraz)

SLAVES of thy shining eyes are even those
That diadems of might and empire bear;
Drunk with the wine that from thy red lip flows,
Are they that e'en the grape's delight forswear.
Drift, like the wind across a violet bed,
Before thy many lovers, weeping low,
And clad like violets in blue robes of woe,
Who feel thy wind-blown hair and bow the head.

Thy messenger the breath of dawn, and mine
A stream of tears, since lover and beloved
Keep not their secret; through my verses shine,
Though other lays my flower's grace have proved
And countless nightingales have sung thy praise.
When veiled beneath thy curls thou passest, see,
To right and leftward those that welcome thee
Have bartered peace and rest on thee to gaze!

But thou that knowest God by heart, away!
Wine-drunk, love-drunk, we inherit Paradise,
His mercy is for sinners; hence and pray
Where wine thy cheek red as red erghwan dyes,
And leave the cell to faces sinister.
Oh Khizr, whose happy feet bathed in life's fount,
Help one who toils afoot-the horsemen mount
And hasten on their way; I scarce can stir.

Ah, loose me not! ah, set not Hafiz free
From out the bondage of thy gleaming hair!
Safe only those, safe, and at liberty,
That fast enchained in thy linked ringlets are.
But from the image of his dusty cheek
Learn this from Hafiz: proudest heads shall bend,
And dwellers on the threshold of a friend
Be crownèd with the dust that crowns the meek.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Shams al-Din Hafiz

Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی‎), known by his pen name Hafez (حافظ, Ḥāfeẓ, 'the memorizer; the (safe) keeper' and as "Hafiz", was a Persian poet who "lauded the joys of love and wine but also targeted religious hypocrisy". more…

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