Muhammed Fuzuli (1498-1556)Translated by Sofi Nuri
LAYLA and MAJNUN
Herein is recounted the Structure of the Building of Misfortune,
and the Antecedents to the Pain and Affliction that follow.
Gay was our child with his constant companion
With angel-like beauties he passed all his time.
In rows sat the pupils, all facing the teacher,
The first one of girls, the second of boys.
Together were gathered these nymphs in their glory
And soon became friends. No surprise is in this,
The market of love with occasion grows brisker
For languishing maids can enchant with their eyes.
And how can a lad bid his spirit be patient
When amorous glances and coquettish airs
Surround him and tease him and quicken his manhood?
Were patience his portion, what word could he say?
Among all the girls was one bright as a fairy,
Who aimed all her glances directly at Qays.
So beautiful she, with her ways and her graces,
That many an elder, forgetful of vows,
Might find all his virtue caught up in her curls.
Calamitous chain for the neck was the garland
Of ringleted locks that fell down in a cloud:
Affliction for lovers was spelled by her eyebrows,
As lovely as twins, and, as twins, forming one.
Each eyelash that curved from her lids was an arrow
That pierced to heart and that stirred all the blood:
Her eyes from their shelter poured forth fiery glances
That, piercing the soul, spread the fever of love.
Her brow, like an ocean, far spread and smooth rolling
Like the ocean had many a peril in check.
The black of her eyes shamed collyrium's darkness
And made it a captive in chains to her mole.
Her cheeks flushing red, paled her rouge to a whiteness,
No rouge ever sullied their delicate blush.
Should her eyes lose their pupils, no blindness would follow,
Her mole would become a black pupil of sight.
Her teeth, pearly white, from between her lips'redness
Gleamed forth as bright pearls in the heart of a rose:
When the doors of her speech were full opened, one fancied
The dead must spring forth from their mouldering tombs.
From her round dimpled chin her neck curved to her bosom;
Her stature and form were creation divine.
The falcon itself, a bird sacred to kingship,
Unhooded, can gaze in the eye of the sun,
But the eyes of this child, with their antelope softness,
Could flash forth a look that the falcon outshone.
Her motion was graceful, her words sugared honey,
No act but had grace, every movement a joy-
But why count her beauties? Put all in a sentence:
The whole world itself, in a passion of terror
Clung fast to her hair, as she went on her way.
Beloved of all the world was this maiden.
Qays looked and he perished, for Layla her name.
As he with a sorrowful passion of yearning
With sighs fed the fire that her beauty awoke,
So she in a thousand sweet joys lost her reason
For him without whom she knew living was death.
She saw how the world gave its ultimate wonder,
She saw how he held all her world in his hands.
Herein is set forth the Attributes and Characteristics of Mejnun,
and the Affliction of the One who sorrowed.
A beauty with a stately figure, cypress statured, like a rose,
Rosy cheeked and sweet as jasmine, as a statue in repose;
Sweet his Ups. the source of speaking, bring to life the thoughts that
His graceful carriage and his motion, joy to him, to others harm.
To tell his attributes o'er simply many words would endless flow,
To count his kindness, sing his praises, needs more than may Fuzuli know.
Like the narcissus enchanting, gleaming forth to tell of love.
So his eyes gleam forth entrancing, 'neath the noon high arched above.
The tulip, dewy in the morning, with its curling fall, the lam,
Mirrors forth his curling ringlets, nature's splendid epigram.
No words can tell with shadowed justice of the secrets of his mouth,
How describe his many charms, mystery's chain'd link uncurl?
To sing his beauties is to warble sweetly sad of sorrow's joy.
His mouth the fount where murmured ever subtle words of coquetry.
His face, fuU round, a smiling mom, outshone by far the Queen of Night:
The dust from off his feet may darken more than painted huris' eyes.
To make an end, to reach conclusion, when her beauty he beheld,
Had he gazed upon his mirror, then himself, not her had loved,
And Layla, fairest of the fairest, had not stirred his heart at all.
But these two, tall, fair as jasmine, straight and slender as a dart
Were bound and tied, the one to other, firmly fast by loving art.
Drinking deep the wing of pleasure, drinking deeply of desire,
Drowned in unity of sadness, all engulfed in passion's fire.
Were Qays addressed with posing riddle, Layla's treble answered clear;
Were Layla questioned, Qays would answer in a voice that knew no fear.
They learned loyalty of purpose, abnegation born of love
When Layla cast her books beside her, Qays became her textbook dear.
When Qays essayed the art of writing, Layla's brow was his design
O'er their writing, o'er their reading, artistry to love lent aid;
A thousand sweet disputes were born and ended in a thousand charms.
Disputes were friendship's sweet advances, arguments but fed their love.
And so these two. long happy days together spent their childhood hours.
Two things are sure; love ne'er is secret: he who loves may have no rest.
The sign of love's sweet fire is noted when the gossips first begin
Calamity of love is beauty; sorrows strengthen love's cement.
And thus they came in rapid stages, plainly marked and fully known,
With reason trodden down, forgotten, when they found the voice alone
But a faulty instrument to carry tone and overtone.
Then the eye and then the eyebrow slow usurped the place of speech:
Question gained reply from eyebrow, brow and eye played each to each.
Yet all talk with eye and eyebrow would not still suspicious tongue.
People live within the eye and from the eye the truth will flow.
Then the next sweet stage they entered; leam'd the value of neglect,
Learned the joy that came pretending each had wanted in respect.
Like the Men of Melamet, of Dervishes the strictest sect,
Courting public reprobation by a public abstinence
From the outward forms of duty, yet with inner continence.
Yet the guiles devised by Layla did not 'scape Mejnun's quick eye,
Neither did Mejnun's devices leave the eye of Layla dry.
Now o'er mirror of their pleasure grievously vexation fell:
Now lest all should know their secret, care took caution as a guide,
Finding clear pretext of reason ere they talked upon their way,
Waiting till the moment offered through the weary livelong day.
Qays would thus forget his lesson, say to Layla: 'O, my friend,
Learning brings me deep depression, hear my lesson till its end.
For exceeding mine thy knowledge, let me of thy wisdom share,
Let me read my lesson to thee, listen thou with every care.'
Then, while on his slate he scribbled, many faults would Layla find,
While he timed his artless questions so that, peeping, quite unkind,
Layla's rosebud lips were parted in a smile that warmed his heart,
Smiling undeceived ever, understanding all his art.
Skilled he grew to prompt her sallies, to provoke her into song-
For song it was to hear her saying: 'This is right', and 'That is wrong'.
Then again, when in a circle, all the children meekly ranged
Chanted o'er the barren lesson, he and Layla soft exchanged
Whispered sweetings 'neath the droning of the lessons idly conned,
Each to other went their phrases, never travelling beyond.
When, at last, the day was ended, Qays would find his books forgot;
Hide his books and seem in anguish, misty eyed, face flushing hot:
Stop her on the homeward path, ask if she had seen his books,
And, on this excuse, a moment stop and feast him on her looks.
And on his copybook he'd scribble 'lam' and 'ye' repeatedly:
'These', he said, 'must be my lesson: these my task unendingly.'
Herein is related, how Layla's Mother reproached her, and
How the Springtime of her Meeting with her Beloved turned to Autumn.
Thus pondering dolefully, Qays the unfortunate
Passed many hours, many sorrowful days.
No pleasure is found where Lover the importunate
Seeks for precautions and secretive ways.
Secrecy cannot exist where affection
On two loving heads its soft finger-tips lays;
Hypocrisy leads but to lovers' dejection-
Ignominy pressed on the shoulders of Qays.
From tongue to tongue the tale went forth
That Qays and Layla, both,
Were gall'n in love: her mother's wrath
Did tax her with her troth.
The mother's face became inflamed,
It shone as liquid fire,
As Layla, utterly unshamed
Withstood her mother's ire.
'Thou bold and saucy shameless one, what naughty tale is this?
What wicked secrets do I hear censorious neighbours hiss?
These wicked tongues will blacken fast the proudest maiden's name,
And once thy name is gossipp'd o'er, 'twill never be the same
Thou like a tender rose-leaf art, and like a petal sweet
Art bruised and damaged with a look, then crushed beneath the feet
Of him who loved. But what avail this censure harsh of mine?
Enough of censure; Listen, now, and in thy heart entwine
These simple words that wanton's fate shall ne'er be fate of mine.
Charge not thy dignity serene with crazed and maddened mirth,
Nor cheapen all your many charms. Be proud, girl, know your worth.
Look not at every face you meet as if therein to find
Thine own reflection. Never flow like water unconfined.
Though wine gives gladness to the brain as upward yet it mounts,
It climbs'so quickly, falls as fast; its height but little counts.
Shameless and cold, the mirror shows a bold and brazen face:
Be not thou, like Narcissus," so saucy-eyed. Thy place
All masked from the eye should be, in quiet seclusion hid,
That all should call thee precious, child. Go not to all that bid.
Though like the candle giving light, seek not each idle breath.
Lest, like the wind upon the flame, words blow with icy death.
Seek not, with colours gay, to be a doll for all ye meet,
Nor look abroad with eager gaze like windows on the street.
Be not the wine cup passed around from hand to hand in glee,
But be like cunning music, set all steady, in one key.
Be not the shadow that the sun moves on from place to place,
Stand not nor sit with anyone, nor yet unveil thy face.
Be simple thou; let others tricksters seek to fascinate,
Let not sad deception woo thee from thy strictly maiden state.
The gossips say thou art in love, and with a stranger's comely face:
Whence cometh this desire for love? Go child, and know thy place.
A boy may fall in love full oft and drink his pleasures deep,
But little suits it for a maiden thus to hold herself so cheap.
O thou, my eye's clear shining light, shame not our honour so,
For honour's bloom is quickly spoiled by all the winds that blow.
Our name is good, it stands secure with all both high and low,
Let not thy conduct start a spring from which reproach may flow.
Thou knowest well that were I soft and idle in my care,
Nor sought to stop thy foolishness, thy father would not spare
Thy modesty, but in his rage, forgetting childhood's state,
Would punishment severe inflict, would grievously berate.
Come, leave thy school, and playmates fond, and teachers so revered,
Thy parents both thy teachers are, to see this scandal cleared.
Talk not henceforth of penman's art, nor read a musty tome,
Observe my word, embroider here, and keep thee fast at home.
Seek not thy friends: companionship with them from now must go,
Seek thou thy doll, my little one. Come, take thy needle, sew,
And make this house thy dwelling place. Be proud, accept its joys,
And, like the Unco," live apart. Be happy with thy toys.
And living thus, unseen, thy name will earn respect of all,
No more be tossed from mouth to mouth as boys may toss a ball.
Remember, child, that they who hide their daughter from the eyes
Of all the questing, greedy throng, enhance by far the prize,
And gain respect, esteem and awe. Come, now, this realize.
Herein is set forth the Ode or Gazel sung by Layla in her distress.
A cruel Fate now drags apart
To live in lonely grief
The fondness of a loving heart
That loved a moment brief.
Were Fate a sentient, living thing,
Or bred to fear its victim's sighs,
Then, with a fear that passed all fears of man
Or woman sad,
Would Fate, a-tremble, dread the curse I sing:
My sighs, spark-clad,
Outpouring fast make Fate in flames to rise-
Yet flames my heart more fierce with sighs to fan.
My grief, though secret, grew apace,
And killed my soul so gay:
Now en ded ere half run my race
Like summer gone with May.
My flushing cheeks were unaware
What cause I had to sorrow deep,
Each breath as tortured, twisted sigh escapes
Its prison breast:
'Twas thus when first ray lungs drew living air.
Till all's at rest
This House of Grief may no more safely keep
Its treasures where its every wall wide gapes.
What need express in dismal tones
A secret all must know?
For, as I cry, the very stones
With pity are aglow.
My garments rent, in tatters torn
Make evident my state,
Yet think not that my love's dear seal shall leave
My aching soul
Nor that of love I'm left alone, forlorn,
Alone, not whole:
No image in my weeping eye is born
Within my heart he lives while yet I grieve.
O wind, that blowest freely, by thy art
Bring tidings sweet of him I yearn to see.
'Tis thou alone Fuzuli, know'st my heart,
'Tis thou, alone of poets, know'st the ill
That is my portion: choose what words ye will,
But with thy verses set my spirit free.
Herein is concluded the first Part of the Story of Layla and Mejnun,
wherein the Poet comments on the sad condition of these unhappy Lovers.
O Saki, hear me yet, and bring the cup
Full brimmed with wine, to drink and to forget
The cares that mar the world. Ope now thy heart
To pity for grief of this my tale,
Now just begun; drain forth my heart's dear blood.
With cruelty of care my breast is pierced.
Come, bring me wine, for I would deeply drink,
And numb my mind, till, heedless of the wheel
Of slow revolving Fate inexorable,
I know not of its torture or its pains.
Tis clear that, blindly thus revolving Fate
No constancy nor value may acclaim.
Were this revolving world, thus rudely flung
In Time's eternal round; to work for good,
And bring sweet union to lovers twain,
Or fire and water magically join,
Why then, these two, on whom our pity flows,
Could hope for reason for their captive state.
But O, what danger and what pain is found
In Friendship, when, with separation dread,
Friend loses friend. The Gardener of Speech
So loves his words, so decorates his land,
That Qays becomes the cypress of the field,
Full nurtured by affliction and by pain.
Herein are set forth the Mesnevi, or Couplets, which tell of Mejnun's Distress.
1. Now every mom Mejnun went forth to school
Where, freed of care, he mastered every rule.
2. With studied ease he followed all the lines
Of Layla: never book marked love's confines.
3. His heart with pleasure sang when'er the day
He, like the son, pursued his constant way.
4. At school a happiness he looked to find
The happiness of love, not yet unkind.
5. When passed the day that Layla cameth not
The sun was darkened, tho' its rays were hot.
6. All sunless sped the day, and school, as night,
Fell dark and gloomy, darkened, without light.
7. He guessed that Fortune's cunning trickster hand
Had turned from him the pleasure he had planned.
8. The jealous gossips, so the thought was born,
Upon her petalled rose had cast a thorn.
9. With grief at heart and sorrow in his mind
He railed at Fortune, calling it unkind.
1O.'What evil have I done? What left undone,
To kill my soul by banishing the sun?
11.'What sin mine, that now, in sad eclipse,
Thou dashest wine of pleasure from my lips?
12.'Thy favourite once was I, and happy, glad,
Beneath my idol's look in pleasure clad.
13.'O Fortune! Now thy wheel to torture turns,
And now the graces of content it spurns.
14.'Didst thou then fear that with a single sigh
That from my burning heart should reach the sky,
15.'I might thy heaven into ashes turn,
And teach thee how these separations bum?
16.'Were this achieved, then Separation's pain
Thou, too, might'st know.
But, teacher, turn again,
17.'Nor think alone that dreary grief is mine:
The grief that tears my heart is also thine.
18.'O, elif, straight, unbending as a rod,
Be shamed, and fall, to moulder 'neath the sod.
19.'Still now thy boastful voice, seek not her height,
For she is gone* Why standest thou upright?
2O.O, noon, thou joy on beauty's eyebrow set,
Go, hide thyself} Seek not my soul to fret.
21.'O, mim, thy crooked shape no purpose holds
Now Destiny her smiling mouth withholds.
22. 'Corrosion seize thee, inkstand,may thy heart
Rust in thy bosom. Feel its angry smart!
23. 'Turn now thy ink that tender love expressed,
To pale and sickly water in thy breast.
24. 'And thou, O pen, as blots thy sorrow prove,
All restless, kissing not the hand of love,
25. Yet still cry on, pretend no day were here-
There is no day if Layla be not near.
26. And as for thee, O hard and ashen slate,
Talk of her hand and blackly grave thy fate.'
27. The days moved on and still to school he went
But passed his days in blackest discontent.
28. From mom till eve his lamentations deep
Disturbed instruction, and at night no sleep
29. Its solace brought to ease his weary mind:
Always to Layla were his words inclined.
3O. 'O, thou, the joy of heart, the light of eye,
Now, lacking thee, afar all light does fly.
31. 'Thy sweet companionship is sadly changed,
Give but a reason why thy soul has ranged?
32. 'Why thus intoxicate my giddy mind?
Why, making me a captive, be unkind?
33. 'If all thy purpose was to fling me out,
Why give me darkness and tormenting doubt?
34. 'My heart the flame of parting hourly sears,
My eyes are wet with longing's bitter tears.
35. 'My heart, aflame, glows like the morning bright,
An angry dawn, with crimson clouds alight.
36. 'My tears, a mighty ocean without shore
Well up, each asking more and more.
37. 'No friend I seek, thy friendship to replace:
Alone, take thou the image from my face.
38. 'Remove it, lest upon my heart, a crown
It bums, or else among my tears should drown.
39. 'With heady wine of longing I am drunk,
And deep in pain's bewilderment am sunk.
4O. 'Let not these pains accompany my day
Lest grieving deep, my secret I betray.
41. 'A drunkard fully masters not his will.
No heed can have bewilderment of ill.
42. 'My soul is lost upon this road of pain
I ne'er shall feel afraid of death again.
43. 'One gift I have: this grief for thee has taught
A gladness that was joy with passion fraught.
44. 'At times I wonder: what if Death should come?
No soul is left to seize; pain were its only sum.
45. 'A candle am I, burning in the night
Of pain and suff'ring, stirr'd by breezes light.
46. 'Yet though my heart in torment forces tears
And, 'gainst my head, grief's fiery sword appears,
47. 'This agony of pain I would not yield,
But, suff'ring all, make suffering my shield,
48. 'And keep these days of misery's deep despair
When restlessly I wander, full of care.
49. 'Should Destiny the Book of Life indite
'Gainst thee these days of suffering, or write
5O. 'The record of my life, I'd scorn the page
And tear the note to fragments in my rage.
51. 'They say the sun translates dark time to day:
Resolve this subtlety, all ye who may.
52. 'The day whereon my sun declines to shine
I cannot call a day, however fine
53. 'The skies above. Alas, that there is none
To whom in pity is my sorrow known.
54. 'With every thought my grief grows mountain high,
Each gusty sigh brings fiercer flames more nigh.'
55. His mind then on his early meetings bent,
Upon this poem all his forces spent.
Herein is set forth the Poem composed by Mejnun as he sorrowed in his Lowliness.
How sweet were the moments I spent as a friend
And intimate partner of Love!
Feasting on pleasures I thought would ne'er end
How gleefully then did the slow days unbend,
How gladly the roses blew!
My life, a glad springtime, before Autumn's hue
Fell dread, like a bolt from above.
But now comes the night time, for love, it has sped,
And hidden far out of my sight.
My fault, if a fault, is a memory dead.
Unaware of my fault is my head.
Yet though sweet lament
Reaching up to the dome of the sky's arching tent
No grieving turns wrong into right.
Tho' wilful my tears, yet the all-avid throng
On roy sorrow shall ne'er feast its eye.
Attached to the Book of my Life as a song,
Was a preface of joy, then along
Came Fate with its ghastly knife.
Fuzuli! 'Twas written that never my life
Be twain with that bright Moon on high.
Herein are set forth the Couplets that mark the end of the
First Stage of Mejnun's unhappy Story.
Thus Qays pined, lonely and sad,
While quickly abroad spread the news of his state:
The world thought it shameful, and renamed the lad
From Qays unto Mejnun, with Sorrow as mate.
Herein is set forth the Manner in which Mejnun encountered Layla, and how,
from this Meeting, the Crescent of his Love waxed to a Full Moon.
The world's bright candle, early Spring, came new
And brought the bounteous gift of life restored,
And spread afar its veil of pearly blue,
And urged the nightingale to trill its song;
Spread far the limped wine of morning dew,
And filled the open'd tulip's crimson cup;
Inflamed the rose that in the garden blew
Agleam with turquoise and the ruby's glow
His friends about Mejnun now crowded thick
And urged a change of life, well knowing he was sick.
'Mejnun, come, look around and see the rose,
That in the springtime now so gaily blows.
Now is the time when hope is born anew.
Come! Gather now thy friends! Thou hast a few!
No cloud art thou; rain not these salty tears:
Thou art no torrent; moan not; banish fears?
Let not the rose's thorn thy bosom rend,
Nor for a pillow to the earth descend.
Come out to fields and woods, where grows the vine,
With all thy friends, come, sing and quaff the wine!
Come with thy friends, a-seeking out new ways;
Leave grief behind with winter's chilly days.
'Come, seek the vineyard where the age-long art
May banish grief. Take heed lest others smart.
Thou art the cypress of the age, the rose;
Wed not thyself to sorrow's grief: seek those
Of joyous soul, for care is body's woe,
And constant grief distils a poison slow.
Remember too, the rose of thy desire
May yet come forth. Feed not despair's dull fire.
Come! Walk abroad, for these glad days of spring
May unsuspected joys and pleasure bring.'
Now Mejnun slowly rose and took his way
Across the hills and through the valleys gay,
But ne'er a lightsome song could pass his lips,
But lamentations deep at love's eclipse.
He told his secret to the spreading trees,
Imploring all the tulips of the leas
To tell his love in Layla's pearly ear
If e'er it chanced that Layla should be near.
The timid violet his secret heard,
That she in Layla's ear could pass the word.
He pressed the tulip's petals to his eyes
And kissed its feet with lover's heavy sighs.
Upon the narcissus he sadly gazed
Remembering the eyes of love amazed-
The nightingales, full throated in the brake
Were told his secret, ordered then to make
A song of all his sorrow, while his love
He sang to every silver throated dove.
With each new flower he saw a heavy sigh
Burst forth to join the yeasty clouds on high.
One day it chanced, for Fate was still unkind,
(Though seeming fair to those of simple mind)
That in his path the broken Mejnun saw
His love, still peerless, lovely without flaw.
Before him Layla and her maidens passed
And o'er the rose and tulip shadow cast.
For pitched within a meadow was her tent;
Her presence safe within, refulgence sent,
And cast a halo o'er the favour'd spot-
A rose within a rosebud, wilting not.
The candle that lights an assemblage is Layla,
Mejnun the heat of a fierce burning fire.
The huri that roams over Paradise, Layla,
Mejnun the King of the Land of Desire.
Unique in all ages and beauty is Layla,
For Mejnun the poets still pluck at the lyre.
The saping of Sorrow's green Meadow is Layla,
Mejnun ever faithful her love to inspire.
The Moon in the sky ruling heaven is Layla,
Mejnun but the sport of the evil below.
The chief in the line of the beauties is Layla,
Mejnun keeps the gate whence all sorrows do flow.
Sweetly entrancing, enticing is Layla,
Mejnun but the fountain where tears ever grow.
Desirous of beauty and happiness, Layla,
Mejnun unto Melamet ever inclines.
The pearl in the mother of pearl, this is Layla,
Mejnun in the pride of her radiance shines.
Perfection of beauty and modesty, Layla,
Mejnun for her lovesomeness ever repines.
Desiring and yearning to see him was Layla,
Mejnun in desire for her sadly reclines.
Now these two tall and slender creatures, graceful as the jasmine flower,
Bosom friends grew each with other, firmer with each passing hour.
Tempered steel struck hard on granite as they came each face to face,
Self control and will both vanished in this fiery meeting place.
Two strings on a single saz, they played a moaning melody,
The market of their passions ardent gave a mournful prosody.
The one gazed sweetly at the other, found a joy all unconfined,
The other looked and found a beauty, knew that love his soul entwined.
In Mejnun reason had no basis, no foundation could be found.
Sanity departed from him, all his senses fled the ground.
Unable for an instant's briefness on her face to fix his eyes,
At her feet (a living shadow) fell, nor had the power to rise.
And Layla, too, felt all her senses reel and swoon in dizzy rout,
Could not see him for an instant: love had put her candles out.
Down she fell of all bewilder'd, till her maidens o'er her face
Sweet rose scented essence sprinkled, while she slow returned from space.
'O brightst Moon, this sure is madness,'
Thus they told her in distress,
'Should thy father learn the sadness
That thy swooning here doth show,
That familiar with a stranger;
Or that he thy love doth know-
Full of harm were this, and danger
On our heads will sorrow press.
'Nothing good thy course presages,
Unworthy is this conduct bold,
Learn the wisdom of the ages,
Heed the lessons taught of old.'
Then bringing forth the carpet of the tent
They took the girl, still dazed, but obstinate,
To her own zodiac: eclipsed the Moon,
Lest that her father or her mother guess
The shame that she had heaped upon their name.
Nor of the dragon countered in their path,
Nor of their treasure's sickness spoke a word.
Now Mejnun, raining blood from out his eyes
Was soon recovered from his sad collapse,
His tears alone refreshing, sought the place
Where Layla looked upon him face to face.
But not a soul was there to meet his gaze.
The dry and arid earth stretched lonely round.
'Twas clear, he thought, that, having driv'n him mad
The youth who loved her, having scorched his soul,
She had withdrawn and left him to his fate.
He rent his garments, one by one, and moaned
Aloud his sorrow; changing thus his state,
Put off the vestments of a moral man,
Becoming mad and clothed in bloody tears.
About his head, as ringed reed pen, wound
A jet black turban, but the fiery sighs
Exhaled beneath its rim, fast burned it off
And left behind but dreary, blackened ash.
In self disgust he tore away his shirt
Ashamed to be a martyr in a shroud.
This trouble seeker cast his sandals off
That were but fetters to the feet of love.
And then to his companions, all amazed
And standing round, he made apology.
'My love's sweet attack like a torrent did flow,
My friends and companions, this truth ye must know.
'Tis time that we part for my dangerous state
Unfits any living to stay as my mate.
I burn in a torment of passion intense
Take heed lest I scorch ye and shrivel your sense.
No doubt can exist that this fire in my heart
Can send forth keen arrows with death poison'd dart.
O friends and companions, approach not my pyre,
Nor share my affliction: burn not with my fire.
No good have ye gained from my company sad,
Take heed that no evil from me turns ye mad,
For love crossed my path and made my life dark,
And left of my own free will never a spark.
A wandering bird am I, flown from the nest,
From home and the love of home, gone without rest
Or tranquility, always to roam,
Alone without friendship, and now without home.'
'Should my father address ye, and ask of my state,
Or question the sorrow that dwells at my gate,
Explain with decorum my woeful estate,
Explain all my Destiny, blackened by Fate,'
'O Father, my Father, thou sad, broken Chief,
Complain not, nor mourn for thy fatherhood brief.
Nor idly and peevishly marvel what care
Has descended on Mejnun to make him despair.
I knew not the cares of the world, or their worth,
Confusion of heaven, disorder of earth.
'In those far happy days when I knew not of cares,
When hours of sweet youth with dear innocence shares,
So happy in ignorance lingered my days,
No dreams had of Beauty, or Love's tearful ways.
I perish: my prayer is that thou should'st live long.
And hope my successor to greet with a song.
Forgive and excuse. Father dear, what has chanced,
'Tis sickness in me that has left me entranc'd.
With faithful endeavour all effort I made
To turn me to thee and to dwell in thy shade.
Yet every endeavour was futile and vain
Each started in sorrow and ended in pain.
My garment the thorn of affliction still caught
Still flooding roy path came the tears I ne'er sought.'
Then, painfully, with cunning rhymes enwrought,
He sent this poem to his father's court.
'Twas thou, thou alone, gave. me being and life,
'Twas thou madest obstacles; pledg'd me "to strife.
Thy blessings were sorrows, no hope in my breast
Sprang high that thy autumn of days would be blessed.