Ходжа Н. (hojja_nusreddin) wrote,
Ходжа Н.

R.A. Nicholson, "Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz", 1898 / Part 1

Part 1 (poems 1 - 24). To Part 2: http://hojja-nusreddin.livejournal.com/2947364.html

1 / F-213 / Arberry # 26 / Ergin # 7/3

If thou art Love's lover[1] and seekest Love,
Take a keen poniard and cut the throat of bashfulness[2]
Know that reputation is a great hindrance in the path[3];
This saying[4] is disinterested: receive it with pure mind[5].
Wherefore did that madman[6] work madness in a thousand forms,
That chosen wild one[7] display a thousand wiles?
Now he rent robe, and now sped o'er mountain,
Now sipped poison[8] and now chose death[9].
Since the spider[10] seized prey so large,
Behold what the snare of My Lord the Supreme[11] will do!
Since the love of Laila's face had such value,
How will it be[12] with "He took His servant by night"?
Hast thou not seen the divans[13] of Waisa and Ramin?
Hast thou not read the tales of Wamiq[14] and Adra?
Thou gatherest up thy garment lest the water should wet it:
Needs must thou plunge[15] a thousand times in the sea[16].
Love's way is all lowliness[17] and drunkenness:
For the torrent runs down: how should it run upward?
Thou wilt be as the bezel in the ring of lovers[18],
If thou art the bezel's thrall[19], O master.
Even as this earth to the sky is thrall[20],
Even as the body to the spirit is thrall.
Come, say, what did the earth lose[21] by this connexion?
What kindnesses has not the reason done to the limbs?
It behoves not, son, to beat a drum under a quilt;
Plant, like brave men, thy banner in the midst of the desert[22].
Hark with the soul's ear[23] to the sounds innumerable
In the hollow of the green dome[24], rising from lovers' passionate cry.
When the strings of thy robe[25] are loosed by the intoxication of love,
Behold heaven's triumph and Orion's bewilderment![26]
How the world, high and low, is troubled
By love, which is purified from high and low[27]!
When the sun[28] goes up, where stayeth night?
When the joy of bounty came, where lagged affliction?
I am silent[29]. Speak thou, O soul of soul of soul,
From desire of whose face, every atom grew articulate.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 1:
[1] "If thou art Love's lover": love, implying loss of selfhood, and by that means perfect union with the divine Beloved, is the living rock, on which all mysticism is based.
[2] "Bashfulness / Haya”: cf.
- the hadis: "Alhaya yamnao al imana / Shame hinders faith”;
- also Redhouse's “Masnavi”, p. 115: “Husamuddin having publicly spoken in praise of certain individuals, who bore an extremely bad character…
complaint was made to Jalal, who confirmed, what Husam had said, and remarked:
‘God looks only to man's heart. Those seemingly lewd fellows are really God-loving saints’.";
- also: “Since you are moved by feelings of shame and honour, you must become manifest, like Majnun;
One concealed, as He is, will never be found by concealement (continence)”. (T. 93:1), (note);
- also, the hadis: “I do not look at your outward forms, but only at your hearts".
[3] "path": the Sufi path (tariqa) whereby the pilgrim arrives at the true knowledge of God.
[4] "saying = hadis”: I have not been able to discover any tradition to this effect. Possibly the word is used here, as often, in a non-technical sense.
[5] "with pure mind": sincerely, without prejudice.
[6] "Majnun = madman": literally, possessed by the jinn. Majnun is the Orlando Furioso of eastern romance;
in Persia the love of Majnun and Laila has long been a brilliant theme for poetry: mention may be made here of the masnavis by Nizami, Jami, and Hatifi.
Majnun represents the soul, seeking union with God, who is the Beloved par excellence.
[7] "wild one": orientals regard lunacy, as a special mark of divine favor.
[8] "sipped poison": suffered the agony of separation from his Beloved. Cf. Hafiz (I. 256:2): “sipped the poison of separation".
[9] "chose death": fana - self-annihilation, which is attained by absorption in the glory of the Creator, and by contemplation of the Truth.
- See "Kitabu tta rifat": “to die spiritually, so far as the senses are concerned, during life” (Juan de la Cruz);
- See also Whinfield's "Masnavi", p. XXVI seq., with the passages there referred to;
- See also De Sacy's "Pendnameh", p. LIV, "Gulshani Raz", 334 seq., with Lahiji's commentary;
- cf. also Koran 2:88: “Desire death, if ye are sincere”; and the hadis: “Die before ye die”.
[10] "spider": this may allude to an incident in the Prophet's flight from Mecca, when a spider spun its web across the mouth of a cavern,
where he had taken refuge, and thus caused his enemies to abandon their pursuit.
Attar says ("Mantiqu'ttair",14):
“He providentially gave a snare to the spider,
And therein rendered the Prince of the world secure".
[11] "My Lord the Supreme": these words do not occur in the Koran, but were probably suggested by Pharaoh's boast (Koran 79:24).
One of the Bab's titles was “Hathrat-e Rabeya Ala” (Browne's "Episode of the Bab", Vol. II, p. 229).
[12] "How will it be with": what is earthly beauty compared with immediate vision of God? (Koran 17:1).
- A full description and mystical interpretation of Mohammad's night-journey to heaven is quoted from Abu Ali Ibn Sina (Avicenna) in the "Dabistan", Vol. III, p. 177 seq.
- The 2-nd foot in this line is - - - instead of - - - -, and as a general rule, for 2 short syllables occurring together, even if they do not belong to the same foot,
one long syllable may be substituted. (Cf. Note on poem 11:10).
[13] "Divans": Arabic broken plural of divan, which is the name, usually given to a collection of short poems, e.g. ghazals and qasidas.
As it seems unlikely that Waisa and Ramin formed the subject of any such collection, the term must be extended, to include the masnavis,
bearing this title by Nizami Aruzi of Samarcand and Fakhruddin Jurjani, both of whom flourished under the Seljuqs.
The former was a pupil of Muizzi and one of the poets at Sultan Sanjar's court (479 - 552 A.H.).
[14] "Wamiq": (lover) and Adra (virgin) - are the heroes of the oldest poetical romance in Persian literature, by Unsuri (died 431 A.H.),
which, like that of Waisa and Ramin, is said to have appeared in Pahlavi, under the Sassanians, and to have been subsequently lost.
[15] "plunge": patiendum est. For this form see Platts, “Persian Grammar”, Part I. Section 95.
[16] "plunge a thousand times in the sea": wash away every stain of self in the ocean of divine love.
[17] "lowliness": self abasement, according to the proverb: “Humility exalts a man”.
[18] "Thou wilt be as the bezel in the ring of lovers": among spiritual disciples you will attain the highest degree, if you serve him, who is highest.
The variant “do as the bezel in the ring” must be taken as a compound. Translate:
“If thou art the Bezel-maker's thrall, O master, so we find (T.133.7a):
With Thee how should we be afraid of loss,
O Thou, who turnest every loss to gain?”
[19] "thrall": Omar Khayyam, having declared that Man is the final cause of creation, adds:
“This circle of the universe resembles a ring;
Unquestionably we are the signet, engraved on its bezel”.
- Quatrain 340.
- Cf. also Hafiz (II. 98.3): “ringleader of the intoxicated".
[20] "as the body to the spirit is thrall": in this line may be referred either to God, or to the Pir (Director), who is here Shamsi Tabriz,
and throughout the Divan it will be found, for the most part, impossible to distinguish between them.
[21] "what did the earth lose?": cf. the common idiom “it was of no use”. Latin and French have similar idioms ("damnum facere" and "faire une perte").
[22] “To beat a drum under a quilt”: to conceal what is perfectly obvious, to conceal love;
- cf. Hafiz (III. 102. 6): “My heart is weary of hypocrisy and of the drum under the blanket”
“Desert”: the desert of Absolute Being, in which the phenomenal world is a mirage ("Gulshani Raz, 843) or the world itself.
- cf. “What is the desert? This contingent universe, Which is the book of God most High" (T. 114. 5).
[23] "Hark with the soul's ear": because they would be inaudible to the sensual ear.
[24] "the green dome": "the sky, which Orientals, perhaps owing to some optical peculiarity, often see as green”
- cf. Garcin de Tassy, "La poesie religieuse chez les Persans”, p. 24, note), or rather they consider blue and green to be merely varieties of the same color.
- This metaphor is a favourite one with our poet - cf. a passage from Browne's "The Modern Traveller" quoted in Rosen's "Masnavi", p. xx.
- The splendid “tekieh” (or monastery) of Mewlawy dervishes (at Konieh) is the first among such buildings in the Turkish Empire, and is universally celebrated.
Its cupola covered with shining green tiles is conspicuous from afar.
[25] "robe": "the body, this fleshly dresse” (Henry Vaughan).
[26] "Behold heaven's triumph and Orion's bewilderment!": "When the soul is no longer blinded by sensual desires and affections,
it perceives, that all phenomena are intoxicated and reeling with the wine of love”. (Cf. "Gulshani Raz", 825 seq.)
[27] "purified from high and low": illimitable, transcending Space.
[28] "sun": an allusion to Shamsi Tabriz (Shams = sun, in Arabic).
[29] "I am silent": so end a large number of these poems. Speech is only the prelude to silence: true worshipers are breathless with adoration.
- cf. Whinfield's "Masnavi", pp. 5, 261, 326.

2 / F-239 / Arberry # 29 / Ergin # 23/1

Our desert hath no bound,
Our hearts and souls have no rest.
World in world has taken Form's image;
Which of these images is ours?
When thou seest in the pathway a severed head,
Which is rolling toward our field,
Ask of it, ask of it, the secrets of the heart:
For of it thou wilt learn our hidden mystery.
How would it be, if an ear showed itself,
Familiar with the tongues of our songsters?
How would it be, if a bird took wing,
Bearing the collar of the secret of our Solomon?
What shall I say, what think? for this tale
Is too high for our limited and contingent being.
How keep silence, when every moment
Our anguish grows more anguished?
Partridge and falcon alike are flying together
Mid the air of our mountain-land;
Mid an air, which is the seventh atmosphere,
At the zenith whereof is our Saturn.
Are not the seven heavens below the empyrean?
Beyond the empyrean is our revolution.
What place here for aspirations toward the empyrean and the sky?
Our journey is to the rose-garden of union.
Leave this tale. Ask not of us,
For our tale is wholly interrupted.
Salahul-haq-u-din will declare to thee
The beauty of our Sultan, the King of kings.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 2:


3 / F-143 / Arberry # 17 / Ergin # 8/3

Yestereve I delivered to a star[1], tidings for thee.
"Present", I said: "My service to that moon-like form".
I bowed, I said: "Bear that service to the sun,
Who maketh hard rocks gold by his burning".
I bared my breast, I showed it the wounds:
"Give news of me", I said, "To the Beloved, whose drink is blood"[2].
I rocked to and fro[3], that the child, my heart[4], might become still;
A child sleeps, when one sways the cradle.
Give my heart-babe milk, relieve us from its weeping,
O thou, that helpest every moment a hundred helpless, like me.
The heart's home, first to last, is thy city of union:
How long wilt thou keep in exile this heart forlorn?
I speak no more, but for the sake of averting headache[5],
O Cupbearer[6], make drunken my languishing eye[7].

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 3:
[1] "I delivered to a star": cf. Hafiz 2, 468.5
"I hold converse nightly with every star
From desire of the splendour of thy moon-like face".
[2] "Beloved, whose drink is blood": for the cruelty of the Beloved, see Winfield's Masnavi, p. 30 seq.
Grief and pain are often synonymous with love in the language of the mystics.
[3] "rocked to and fro": i.e., in the sama' (whirling dance); cf. Ibnu'l Farid, "Taiyya", beit 434.
[4] "the child, my heart": cf.Rumi, ib. beits 435 and 436:
When it (the child) tosses about in longing for one, who shall sing it sleep, and yearns
To fly to its original home, it is hushed by being rocked in its cradle
When the hands of its nurse set the cradle moving and
The soul is like the Messiah in the cradle of the body;
Where there is the Mary, who fashioned our cradle?
[5] "headache": the relapse from ecstasy into consciousness.
[6] "Cupbearer": the cupbearer is God, who intoxicates all creations with the rapture of love (see "Gulshani Raz", 805 seq.).
[7] "my languishing eye": the word is used adjectively = drunk.

Source: http://sunlightgroup.blogspot.com/2010/02/sunlight-tidings-for-thee.html

4 / apocryphon, not found in Foruzanfar/Arberry/Ergin

David said: “O Lord, since thou hast no need of us,
Say, then, what wisdom was there in creating the two worlds?”
God said to him: “O temporal man, I was a hidden treasure;
I sought that that treasure of loving kindness and bounty should be revealed.
I displayed a mirror-its face the heart, its back the world
Its back is better than its face-if the face is unknown to thee”.
When straw is mixed with clay, how should the mirror be successful?
When you part the straw from the clay, the mirror becomes clear.
Grape-juice does not turn to wine, unless it ferment awhile in the jar.
Would you have your heart grow bright, you must take a little trouble.
The soul, which issued forth from the body – my king, saith to it:
“Thou art come even as thou wentest: where are the traces of my benefactions?”
'Tis notorious that copper by alchemy becomes gold:
Our copper has been transmuted by this rare alchemy.
From God's grace this sun wants no crown or robe:
He is cap to a hundred bald men and cloak to ten naked.
Child, Jesus sate on an ass for humility's sake:
How else should the zephyr ride on the back of an ass?
O spirit, make thy head in search and seeking like the water of a stream,
And O reason, to gain eternal life tread everlastingly the way of death.
Keep God in remembrance till self is forgotten,
That you may be lost in the Called, without distraction of caller and call.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 4:


5 / F-166 / Arberry # 19 / Ergin # 19/3

A garden - may its rose be in flower to Resurrection!
An idol - may the two worlds be scattered o'er his beauty!
The prince of the fair goes proudly forth to the chase at morning;
May our hearts fall a prey to the arrow of his glance!
From his eye what messages are passing continually to mine!
May my eyes be gladdened and filled with intoxication by his message!
I broke an ascetic's door. With a prayer he banned me,
Saying: "Go, may all thy life be without peace!"
No peace, no heart is left me, on account of his prayer, by the Friend!
Who thirsts for our blood-may God befriend him!
My body is like the moon which is melting for love,
My heart like Zuhra's lute - may its strings be broken.
Look not on the moon's waning, nor on Zuhra's broken state;
Behold the sweetness of his affliction - may it wax a housand fold!
What a bride is in the soul! By the reflection of her face
May the world be freshened and coloured like the hands of the newly-married!
Look not on the fleshly cheek which corrupts and decays;
Look on the spiritual cheek-may it be sweet and agreeable!
The dark body resembles a raven, and the body's world winter;
Oh, in spite of these two unpleasants may there be eternal spring!
For these two unpleasants subsist by the four elements
May the subsistence of thy servants depend on something other than these four.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 5:


6 / F-207 / Arberry # 24 / Ergin # 10/2 (THE LOVE OF SUCH A ONE)

O thou, who art my soul's comfort in the season of sorrow,
O thou, who art my spirit's treasure[1] in the bitterness[2] of dearth[3]!
That, which the imagination has not conceived[4]; that, which the understanding has not seen[5],
Visiteth my soul from thee, hence, in worship I turn toward thee[6].
By thy grace, I keep fixed on eternity my amorous gaze,
Except, O king, the pomps that perish, lead me astray.
The favour[7] of that one, who brings glad tidings of thee,
Even without thy summons[8], is sweeter in mine ear, that songs.
In the prostrations of prayer[9] thought of thee, O lord,
Is necessary and binding on me as the seven verses[10].
To thee belongs mercy and intercession for the sin of infidels:
As regards me, thou art chief and principal of the stony-hearted.
If a never-ceasing bounty should offer kingdoms,
If a hidden treasure[11] should set before me all that is[12],
I would bend down with my soul, I would lay my face in the dust,
I would say: “Of all these, the love of such a one[13] for me!”
Eternal life, me thinks, is the time of union,
Because time, for me, hath no place there.
Life is the vessels[14], union the clear draught in them;
Without thee, what does the pain of the vessels[15] avail me?
I had twenty thousand desires ere this;
In passion for him not even (care of) my safety remained[16].
By the help[17] of his grace I am become safe, because
The unseen king saith to me: “Thou art the soul of the world[18]”
The essence of the meaning of "He"[19] has filled my heart and soul;
"Au" cries the street-dog[20], and neither have I third[21] or second"[22]
The body, at the time of union with him, paid no regard to the spirit[23];
Tho' incorporeal, he became visible unto me.
I aged with his affliction, but when Tabriz[24]
You name, all my youth comes back to me.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 6:
[1] "my spirit's treasure": according to the Burhani Qati, this is the name of Qarun's treasure. It is said to be in perpetual motion under the ground.
Qarun (Korah) points to Mohammedans the moral of riches, that grow in hell, and pride, that goes before destruction. See Koran 28:76-81, with Sale's notes.
[2] "Bitterness": like “balaye nafye” in “Gulshani Raz”, 402, the mortification of all desires, whether sensual or intellectual.
True spirituality (to quote Juan de la Cruz) seeks in God the bitter, more than the agreeable, prefers suffering to solace, would rather lack all good for God's sake, than possess it,
is better pleased with dryness and affliction, than with sweet communications, knowing, that in this it follows Christ and denies self, instead of peradventure seeking self in God, which is against Love.
[3] "dearth": "Mohammed said: “Poverty is my pride”, and again: ”Poverty is blackness of face (dishonor) in both worlds”.
See his own explanation of the inconsistency in Malcolm's “History of Persia”, Vol. II, p. 268, note.
The Sufis have given these sayings a mystical turn: "dearth" becomes “poverty of self”, i.e., self-annihilation, and
by “savadol vajhe” they mean the darkness, which is nothing but excess of light betokening the proximity of Being (cf. “Golshani Raz”, 123 seq.).
“I tell you by the eternal Truth, that ye are not rightly poor, while ye have a will to perform the will of God,
or any desire of God and eternity; for the poor man is he, who wills, knows, and desires nothing”
(Eckhart, “Deutsche Mystiker”, Vol. II, p. 281).
[4] "which the imagination has not conceived": cf. 1 Corinthians, ch. 2:9:
“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him".
[5] "That, which the imagination has not conceived; that, which the understanding has not seen":
"what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man” - are quoted from an hadis, which is a mere translation of the passage in I. Corinthians.
[6] "hence in worship I turn toward thee": the Moslem turns his face in prayer towards the Kaaba, but the mystic - directly to God.
[7] "the favour": in the next line suggests the emendation “nemat / sweet voice, melody”, which, however, does not seem to occur, and the change from “naghmeh”,
as the word is commonly written in Persian, to “nemat” is less easy.
[8] “Even without thy summons”: even if thou dost not call me into thy presence.
[9] "in the prostrations of prayer": cf. (T. 231.9a seq):
“Unless I have the face of my heart towards thee,
I deem prayer unworthy to be reckoned as prayer.
If I turned my face to the qibla, ‘twas for love of thine;
Otherwise, I am weary both of prayer and qibla”.
[10] "the seven verses": there are various interpretations of these words; the most probable is that, which makes them refer to the seven verses of the opening Sura of the Koran.
[11] for “hidden treasure” see Note 4.1
[12] "If a never-ceasing bounty should offer kingdoms,
If a hidden treasure should set before me, all that is":
perhaps, it is better to regard this couplet, as complete in itself, and translate it as:
“If a never-ceasing bounty should offer kingdoms
And lay the universe before me, thou art still my hidden treasure”.
[13] "Love of such a one": the love of God.
[14] "Life is the vessels": cf. (T. 252.2):
“Our celestial spirit is free to eternity,
Tho' for a short while we have the shape and figure of man.
Know that phenomenal forms are pitchers: with draughts of the Ideal,
Like a pitcher, we all are being filled and emptied continually.
The draught is not derived from the pitcher, it comes from another source;
Like the pitcher we are ignorant of the springs, which replenish it".
[15] "pain of the vessels": the tribulation, which the soul suffers in the world; cf. (T. 203. 13:
“Prize not at all the life, that has passed without love;
Love is the Water of Life: receive it in thy heart and soul".
[16] "not even (care of) my safety remained": literally: “not even an ‘aman / cry for quarter’ remained to me”, i.e. “for love's sake, I was prepared to sacrifice all”.
Prof. Bevan suggests that “amini” here may be a plural of “amniyat / object of desire”.
[17] "help": this term is employed by Jalaluddin, to denote the perpetual replenishment of the phenomenal world, by a succession of emanations from the Absolute.
[18] "the soul of the world": as “God is all, and all is God”, he, who is absorbed in the divine essence, becomes identical with it.
Hence, “Anal Haq / I am God” saying of Mansur Hallaj and the “Sobhayanei / Praise be to me” - of Bayazid are not heresy.
And this is what our poet means, when he says, e.g.: “I am the theft of rogues, I am the pain of the sick, I am both cloud and rain, I have rained in the gardens”. (T. 258. 4).
[19] "The essence of the meaning of He": at first sight, these words seem to defy the rules of grammar. Obviously the sense is:
“My soul and my heart are filled with the treasure of His meaning”, and this can be obtained from the text only, by treating “the treasure of his meaning” as a compound adjective.
In such formations "filled" is usually prefixed, but cf. Attar’s, “Mantiqu'ttair”, 525.
[20] "’Au’, cries the street-dog": a play on “Hoo / He (God)”, and “oo or au”, the sound of a dog's bark.
[21] "third": alluding to the Trinity (see Koran 4:169, with Sale's note, v. 77).
[22] "second": alluding to the Duality as in the Magian religion.
[23] "paid no regard to the spirit": during this life, the body is conscious of the soul's superiority, but not in the divine presence, for then it is non-existent.
[24] "Tabriz": the poet puns on the double meaning of Tabriz:
- the city of that name, and
- manifestation (from Arabic “baraza”), with a reference to “gasht ayani / go around life”.

Source: http://www.khamush.com/divan.htm#TheloveofsuchaOne

7 / F-310 / Arb # 35 / Ergin # 4/12

That moon, which the sky ne'er saw even in dreams, has returned
And brought a fire no water can quench.
See the body's house, and see my. soul,
This made drunken and that desolate by the cup of his love.
When the host of the tavern became my heart-mate,
My blood turned to wine and my heart to kabab.
When the eye is filled with thought of him, a voice arrives:
"Well done, O flagon, and bravo, wine!"
Love's fingers tear up, root and stem,
Every house, where sunbeams fall from love.
When my heart saw love's sea, of a sudden
It left me and leaped in, crying: "Find me".
The face of Shamsi Din, Tabriz's glory, is the sun
In whose track the cloud-like hearts are moving.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 7:


8 / apocryphon, not found in Foruzanfar/Arberry/Ergin

The man of God is drunken without wine,
The man of God is full without meat.
The man of God is distraught and bewildered,
The man of God has no food or sleep.
The man of God is a king b'neath darvish-cloak,
The man of God is a treasure in a ruin.
The man of God is not of air and earth,
The man of God is not of fire and water.
The man of God is a boundless sea,
The man of God rains pearls without a cloud.
The man of God hath hundred moons and skies,
The man of God hath hundred suns.
The man of God is made wise by the Truth,
The man of God is not learned from book.
The man of God is beyond infidelity and religion,
To the man of God right and wrong are alike.
The man of God has ridden away from Not-being,
The man of God is gloriously attended.
The man of God is concealed, Shamsi Din;
The man of God do thou seek and find!

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 8:


9 / F-463 / Arberry # 55 / Ergin # 10/11 / Lewis RPP, p. 345; Lewis RSS, p. 162

Every moment the voice of Love is coming from left and right.
We are bound for heaven: who has a mind to sight-seeing?
We have been in heaven, we have been friends of the angels;
Thither, sire, let us return, for that is our country.
We are even higher than heaven and more than the angels;
Why pass we not beyond these twain? Our goal is majesty supreme.
How different a source have the world of dust and the pure substance!
Tho' we came down, let us haste back-what place is this?
Young fortune is our friend, yielding up soul our business;
The leader of our caravan is Mustafa, glory of the world.
This gale's sweet scent is from the curl of his tresses,
This thought's radiance is from a cheek like "by the morning bright".
By his cheek the moon was split: she endured not the sight of him;
Such fortune the moon found-she that is an humble beggar.
Behold a continual "cleaving of the moon" in our hearts,
For why should the vision of that vision transcend thine eye?
Came the billow of "Am I not?" and wrecked the body's ship;
When the ship wrecks once more is the time of union's attainment.
Mankind, like waterfowl, are sprung from the sea - the sea of soul;
Risen from that sea, why should the bird make here his home?
Nay, we are pearls in that sea, therein we all abide;
Else, why does wave follow wave from the sea of soul?
'Tis the time of union's attainment, 'tis the time of eternity's beauty,
'Tis the time of favour and largesse, 'tis the ocean of perfect purity.
The billow of largesse hath appeared, the thunder of the sea hath arrived,
The morn of blessedness hath dawned. Morn? No, tis the light of God.
Who is this pictured form, who is this monarch and this prince?
Who is this aged wisdom? They are all veils.
The remedy against veils is ecstasies like these,
The fountain of these draughts is in your own head and eyes.
In the head itself is nought, but ye have two heads;
This head of clay is from earth, and that pure head from heaven.
The many pure heads scattered beneath the clay,
That thou mayst know the head depends on that other head!
That original head hidden, and this derived head manifest,
Forasmuch as behind this world lies the infinite universe.
Tie up the skin, O cup-bearer, fetch wine from our jar.
The vessel of perceptions is straiter than a strait pass.
From Tabriz-ward shone the Sun of Truth, and I said to him:
"Thy light is at once joined with all things and apart from all".

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 9:


10 / F-481 / Arberry # 57 / Ergin # 7/32

What pearl art thou that none possesseth the price of thee?
What does the world possess that is not thy gift?
Is there a worse punishment than his who lives away from thy face?
Punish not thy servant, tho' he is unworthy of thee.
He that is fallen amid the surge of accidents
Escapes not by swimming, since he is no friend of thine.
The world has no permanence, and if it have,
Deem it perishable, because it is unfamiliar with thy permanence.
How happy the king that is mated by thy rook!
How fair company hath he who lacks not thine!
I desire continually to fling heart and soul at thy feet;
Dust on the head of the soul which is not the dust of thy feet!
Blessed to all birds is desire of thee;
How unblest the bird that desires thee not!
I will not shun thy blow, for very crude
Is the heart ne'er burned in the fire of thy affliction.
To thy praise and praisers there is no end:
What atom but is reeling with thy praise?
Like that one of whom Nizami tells in verse,
Tyrannies not, for I cannot endure thy tyranny.
O Shamsi Tabriz, beauty and glory of the horizons,
What king but is a beggar of thee with heart and soul?

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 10:


11 / F-449 / Arberry # 53 / Ergin # 4/22

O Beloved, spiritual beauty is very fair and glorious,
But thine own beauty and loveliness is another thing.
O thou who art years describing spirit,
Show one quality that is equal to his essence.
Light waxes in the eye at the imagination of him,
But ill presence of his union it is dimmed.
I stand open-mouthed in veneration of that beauty.
God is most great is on my heart's lips every moment.
The heart hath gotten an eye constant in desire of thee.
Oh, how that desire feeds heart and eye!
'Tis slave-caressing thy love has practised;
Else, where is the heart worthy of that love?
Every heart that has slept one night in thy air
Is like radiant day: thereby the air is illumined.
Every one that is without object is as thy disciple:
His object is gained without the semblance of object.
Each reprobate who has burned in this love and fallen in it,
Fell into Kausar: for thy love is Kausar.
From hope of union my foot comes not to earth:
While l am severed from thee, my hand is on my head.
Be not sorrowful, O heart, at this oppression of enemies,
And think on this, that the Sweetheart is judge.
If the foe is rejoiced at my sallow face,
This sallow face of mine is from the red rose.
Since the beauty of my Beloved is beyond description,
How fat is my grief and how lean my praise!.
Yea, for it is a rule as regards the poor sick wretch,
That while his pain is more his plaint is less.
Shamsi Din shone, moon-like, from Tabriz;
No, what is the very moon 'I for that is the moon's face superlative.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 11:


12 / apocryphon, not found in Foruzanfar/Arberry/Ergin

Every form you see has its archetype in the placeless world;
If the form perished, no matter, since its original is everlasting.
Every fair shape you have seen, every deep saying you have heard,
Be not cast down that it perished; for that is not so.
Whereas the spring-head is undying, its branch gives water continually.
Since neither can cease, why are you lamenting?
Conceive the Soul as a fountain, and these created things as rivers:
While the fountain flows, the rivers run from it.
Put grief out of your head and keep quaffing this river water;
Do not think of the water failing; for this water is without end.
From the moment you came into the world of being,
A ladder was placed before you that you might escape.
First you were mineral, later you turned to plant,
Then you became animal: how should this be a secret to you?
Afterwards you were made man, with knowledge, reason, faith;
Behold the body, which is a portion of the dust-pit, how perfect it has grown!
When you have travelled on from man, you will doubtless become an angel;
After that you are done with this earth: your station is in heaven.
Pass again even from angelhood: enter that ocean,
That your drop may become a sea, which is a hundred seas of Oman.
Leave this “Son”, say ever “One” with all your soul;
If your body has aged, what matter, when the soul is young?

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 12:


13 / F-455 / Arberry # 54 / Ergin # 4/21

'Twere better that the spirit, which wears not True love as a garment,
Had not been: its being is hut shame.
Be drunken ill love, for love is all that exists;
Without the dealing of love there is no entrance to the Beloved.
They say: “What is love?” Say: "Renunciation of will”.
Whoso has not escaped from will, no will hath he.
The lover is a monarch: two worlds lie at his feet;
The king pays no heed to what lies at his feet.
'Tis love and the lover that live to all eternity;
Set not thy heart on aught else: 'tis only borrowed.
How long wilt thou embrace a dead beloved?
Embrace the soul which is embraced by nothing.
What was born of spring dies in autumn,
Love's rose-plot hath no aiding from the early spring.
A thorn is the companion of the rose that comes of spring,
And the wine that comes of grape-juice is not free from headache.
Be not an expectant looker-on in this path;
By God, there is no death worse than expectancy.
Set thy heart on sterling coin, if thou be not false;
Give ear to this deep saying, if thou lack an earring.
Do not tremble on the steed of the body, but fare lighter on foot;
God lends him wings who is not mounted on the body.
Dismiss cares and be utterly clear of heart,
Like the face of a mirror without image and picture.
When it becomes clear of images, all images are contained in it;
No man's face is ashamed of that clear-faced one.
Wouldst thou have a clear mirror, behold thyself therein,
For it is not ashamed or afraid of telling the truth.
Since the steel face gained this purity by discrimination,
What needs the heart's face, which has no dust?
But betwixt the steel and the heart is this difference,
That the one is a keeper of secrets, while the other is not.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 13:


14 / F-436 / Arberry # 50 / Ergin # 2/18

He said: “Who is at the door?” Said I: “Thy humble slave”.
He said: “What business have you?” Said I: “Lord, to greet thee”.
He said: “How long will you push?” Said I: “Till thou call”.
He said: “How long will you glow[1]?” Said I: “Till resurrection”.
I laid claim to love, I took oaths
That for love I had lost sovereignty and power.
He said: “A judge demands witness as regards a claim”.
Said I: “Tears are my witness, paleness of face my evidence”.
He said: “The witness is not valid[2]; your eye is corrupt[3]”.
Said I: “By the majesty of thy justice[4] they are just and clear of sin[5]”.
He said: “What do you intend?” Said I: "Constancy and friendship".
He said: “What do you want of me?” Said I: “Thy universal grace”.
He said: “Who was your companion?” Said I: “Thought of thee, O King”.
He said: “Who called you here?” Said I: “The odour of thy cup”.
He said: “Where is it pleasantest?” Said I: “The Emperor”s palace”.
He said: “What saw you there?” Said I: “A hundred miracles”.
He said: “Why is it desolate?” Said I: “From fear of the brigand[6]”.
He said: “Who is the brigand?” Said I: “This blame”.
He said: “Where is it safe?” Said I: “In abstinence and piety”.
He said: “What is abstinence?” Said I: “The path of salvation[7]”.
He said: “Where is calamity[8]?” Said I: “In the neighborhood of thy love”.
He said: “How fare you there?” Said I: “In steadfastness[9]”.
I gave you a long trial, but it availed me nothing[10];
Repentance lights on him who tests one tested already.
Peace! If I should utter forth his mystic sayings,
You would go beside yourself, neither door nor roof would restrain you.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 14:
-- 47.4 Lachnau Edition of the "Divani Shamsi Tabriz".

This poem affords an example of the rhetorical artifice called Question and Answer.
[1] "glow": with fervid love.

[2] "The witness is not valid": The judge invalidated the testimony.

[3] " your eye is corrupt": in T. 310.6a, the word is used in its literal sense:
"By the eye of thy countenance, the eyes of lovers are fringed with tears".

[4] "By the majesty of thy justice, they are just": for the adjectival force; cf. 'The balance is just...'

[5] "clear of sin": the ordinary meaning is "penalty forfeit",
but according to the "Ghiyasu llghat' it sometimes means shame, 'contrition'.
Thus "clear of sin" may be translated "having no cause for shame", i.e., innocent.

[6] "the brigand": worldly censure, which is apt to produce backsliding. Cf. Hafiz, II. 496.6:
"I said: 'They blame my fond pursuit of thee;
Who ever loved and lived from slander free'?"

[7] "the path of salvation": cf. The proverb (Freytag, Vol. I, p. 14): "Salvation from the world is to renounce the things of the world".
But the poet, be it remarked, does not value striving 'except as a means of gaining the ultimate knowledge of God, which only union can give.
Cf. "Striving to sow is abstinence,
Making the seed grow is knowledge".
(Masnavi, 541,5).

[8] "calamity": Calamity, grief and pain are often synonymous with love in the language of the mystics. cf. Hafiz (II. 252. 3):
"Thine eye hath wrought my ruin, but so my love.
Send it, a thousand welcomes to the woe!"

[9] "steadfastness": Jurjani ("Kitab ut-tarifat", p. 19) gives three definitions of this word.
The last is: 'continuance, the non-preference of any thing to God'.
Here, I think, it signifies the permanent spiritual condition (magham), which "never deviates into sense", opposed to the momentary state of "exaltation / hal".

[10] "I gave you a long trial, but it availed me nothing": this beyt occurs in Hafiz, II. 496.3, where the first misra reads:
"No matter how much I taught, it availed me nothing"; the proverb will be found in Freytag, Vol. II. P. 730.

Source: http://sunlightgroup.blogspot.com/2009/07/sunlight-who-is-at-my-door.html

15 / F-332 / Arberry # 40 / Ergin # 16/7 / Lewis RPP p. 364; Lewis RSS p. 47

This house wherein is continually the sound of the viol,
Ask of the master what house is this.
What means this idol-form, if this is the house of the Kaaba?
And what means this light of God, if this is a Magian temple?
In this house is a treasure which the Universe is too small to hold;
This house and this master is all acting and pretence.
Lay no hand on the house, for this house is a talisman:
Speak not with the master, for he is drunken overnight.
The dust and rubbish of this house is all musk and perfume;
The roof and door of this house is all verse and melody.
In fine, whoever has found the way into this house
Is sultan of the world and Solomon of the time.
O master, bend down thy head once from this roof,
For in thy fair face is a token of fortune.
I swear by thy soul that save the sight of thy countenance,
All, tho' 'twere the kingdom of the earth, is fantasy and fable.
The garden is bewildered to know which is the leaf, and which the blossom;
The birds are distracted to know which is the snare and which the bait.
This is the Lord of heaven, who resembles Venus and the moon,
This is the house of Love, which has no bound or end.
Like a mirror, the soul has received thy image in its heart;
The tip of thy curl has sunk into the heart like a comb.
Forasmuch as the women cut their hands in Joseph's presence,
Come to me, O soul, for the Beloved is in the midst.
All the house are drunken-none has knowledge
Of each who enters that he is so-and-so or so-and-so.
Do not sit intoxicated at the door: come into the house quickly.
He is in the dark whose place is the threshold.
Those drunk with God, tho' they be thousands, are yet one;
Those drunk with lust - tho' it be a single one, he is a double.
Go into the wood of lions and reck not of the wound,
For thought and fear-all these are figments of women.
For there is no wound: all is mercy and love,
But thy imagination is like a bar behind the door.
Set fire to the wood, and keep silence, O heart;
Draw back thy tongue, for thy tongue is harmful.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 15:


16 / F-441 / Arberry # 51 / Ergin # 4/14

Show thy face, for I desire the orchard and the rose-garden;
Ope thy lips, for I desire sugar in plenty.
O sun, show forth thy face from the veil of cloud,
For I desire that radiant glowing countenance.
From love for thee I hearkened to the sound of the falcon-drum;
I have returned, for the sultan's arm is my desire.
“Vex me no more”, thou saidst capriciously, “Begone!”
I desire that saying of thine, “Vex me no more”.
And thy bidding off with “Depart, he is not at home”,
And the airs and pride and harshness of the door-keeper I desire.
O sweet zephyr, that blowest from the flower-plot of the Friend,
Blow on me, for I desire news of the basil.
The bread and water of destiny is like a treacherous flood;
I am a great fish and desire the sea of Oman.
like Jacob I am uttering cries of grief,
I desire the fair face of Joseph of Canaan.
By God, without thee the city is a prison to me,
O'er mountain and desert I desire to wander.
In one hand a wine-cup and in one hand a curl of the Beloved:
Such a dance in the midst of the market-place is my desire.
My heart is weary of these weak-spirited companions;
I desire the Lion of God and Rustam, son of Zal.
Filings of beauty are in the possession of every one that exists;
I desire that quarry and that mine of exquisite loveliness.
Bankrupt tho' I be, I will not accept a small carnelian;
The mine of rare tremulous carnelian is my desire.
Of this folk I am full of complaint, weeping and weary;
I desire the drunkards' wailing and lamentation.
My soul is grown weary of Pharaoh and his tyranny
I desire the light of the countenance of Moses, son of Imran.
They said: "He is not to be found, we have sought Him long".
A thing which is not to be found-that is my desire.
I am more eloquent than the nightingale, but because of vulgar envy
A seal is on my tongue, tho' I desire to moan.
Yesterday the Master with a lantern was roaming about the city.
Crying: "I am tired of devil and beast, I desire a man".
My state has passed even beyond all yearning and desire;
I desire to go from Being and Place toward the Essentials.
He is hidden from our eyes, and all objects are from Him;
I desire that hidden One whose works are manifest.
Mine ear listened to the tale of faith and was intoxicated;
Say: “The limbs and the body and the form of faith are my desire”.
I myself am Love's rebeck, and Love is a rebeck to me;
I desire the hand and bosom and modulation of Othman.
That rebeck is saying: "Every moment passionately
I desire the favours of the mercy of the Merciful”.
O cunning minstrel, con the rest of this ode
After this fashion, for after this fashion I desire.
Display, O Sun, who art Tabriz's glory, the dawning of Love;
I am the hoopoe: the presence of Solomon is my desire.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 16:


17 / apocryphon, not found in Foruzanfar/Arberry/Ergin

I was on that day when the Names were not,
Nor any sign of existence endowed with name.
By me Names and Named were brought to view
On the day when there were not “I” and “We”.
For a sign, the tip of the Beloved's curl became a centre of revelation;
As yet the tip of that fair curl was not.
Cross and Christians, from end to end,
I surveyed; He was not on the Cross.
I went to the idol-temple, to the ancient pagoda;
No trace was visible there.
I went to the mountains of Herat and Candahar.
I looked; He was not in that hill-and-dale.
With set purpose I fared to the summit of Mount Qaf;
In that place was only the Anqa's habitation.
I bent the reins of search to the Kaaba;
He was not in that resort of old and young.
I questioned Ibn Sina of his state;
He was not in Ibn Sina's range.
I fared towards the scene of "two bow-lengths' distance";
He was not in that exalted court.
I gazed into my own heart;
There I saw Him; He was nowhere else.
Save pure-souled Shamsi Tabriz
None ever was drunken and intoxicated and distraught.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 17:


18 / F-622 / Arberry # 78 / Ergin # 3/39

Before thee the soul is hourly decaying and growing,
And for one soul's sake how should any plead with thee?
Wherever thou settest foot a head springs up from the earth;
For one head's sake why should any wash his hands of thee?
That day when the soul takes flight enraptured by thy fragrance,
The soul knows, the soul knows what fragrance is the Beloved's.
As soon as thy fumes vanish out of the brain,
The head heaves a hundred sighs, every hair is lamenting.
I have emptied house, to be quit of the furniture;
I am waning, that thy love may increase and wax.
'Tis best to gamble the soul away for so great a gain.
Peace! for it is worth, O master, just that which it seeks.
My soul in pursuit of thy love, Shams-ul-Haqq of Tabriz,
Is scudding without feet, ship-like, over the sea.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 18:


19 / F-649 / Arberry # 83 / Ergin # 16/13

At morning-tide a moon appeared in the sky,
And descended from the sky and gazed on me.
Like a falcon which snatches a bird at the time of hunting,
That moon snatched me up and coursed over the sky.
When I looked at myself, I saw myself no more,
Because in that moon my body became by grace even as soul.
When I travelled in soul, I saw nought save the moon,
Till the secret of the eternal Theophany was all revealed.
The nine spheres of heaven were all merged in that moon,
The vessel of my being was completely hidden in the sea.
The sea broke into waves, and again Wisdom rose
And cast abroad a voice; so it happened and thus it befell.
Foamed the sea, and at every foam-fleck
Something took figure and something was bodied forth.
Every foam-fleck of body, which received a sign from that sea,
Melted straightway and turned to spirit in this ocean.
Without the power imperial of Shams-ul-Haqq of Tabriz
One could neither behold the moon nor become the sea.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 19:


20 / F-900 / Arberry # 116 / Ergin # 7/96

Grasp the skirt of his favour, for on a sudden he will flee;
But draw him not, as an arrow, for he will flee from the bow
What delusive forms does he take, what tricks does he invent
If he is present in form, he will flee by the way of spirit.
Seek him in the sky, he shines in water, like the moon;
When you come into the water, he will flee to the sky.
Seek him in the placeless, he will sign you to place;
When you seek him in place, he will flee to the placeless.
As the arrow speeds from the bow, like the bird of your imagination,
Know that the Absolute will certainly flee from the Imaginary.
I will flee from this and that, not for weariness, but for fear
That my gracious Beauty will flee from this and that.
As the wind I am fleet of foot, from love of the rose I am like the zephyr.
The rose in dread of autumn will flee from the garden.
His name will flee, when it sees an attempt at speech,
So that you cannot even say: “Such an one will flee”.
He will flee from you, so that if you limn his picture,
The picture will fly from the tablet, the impression will flee from the soul.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 20:


21 / F-566 / Arberry # 69 / Ergin # 14/28

A beauty that all night long teaches love-tricks to Venus and the moon.
Whose two eyes by their witchery seal up the two eyes of heaven.
Look to your hearts! I whate'er betide, O Moslems.
Am so mingled with him that no heart is mingled with me.
I was born of his love at the first. I gave him my heart at the last;
When the fruit springs from the bough, on that bough it hangs..
The tip of his curl is saying: “Ho! Betake thee to rope dancing”.
The cheek of his candle is saying: “Where is a moth that it may burn?”
For the sake of dancing on that rape, O heart, make haste, become a hoop;
Cast thyself on the flame, when his candle is lit.
Thou wilt never more endure without the flame, when thou hast known the rapture of burning;
If the water of life should come to thee, it would not stir thee from the flame.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 21:


22 / F-996 / Arberry # 127 / Ergin # 11/30 / (cf. F-1005)

Quoth some one: “Master Sanai is dead”.
The death of such a master is no little thing.
He was not chaff which flew on the wind,
He was not water which froze in winter.
He was not a comb which was broken with an hair,
He was not a seed which the earth crushed.
He was a treasure of gold in this dust-pit,
For he valued the two worlds at a barley-corn.
The earthly frame he flung to the earth,
Soul and intellect he bore to heaven.
The pure elixir mingled with the wine-dregs
Came to the jar's surface, and the lees settled apart.
The second soul which the vulgar know not
I protest by God that he surrendered to the Beloved.
In travel, dear friend, there meet together
The native of Marv and of Rai, the Roman and the Kurd.
Each one returns to his home;
How should au old man be the companion of youths?
Keep silence, like the points (of a compass), because the King
Has erased thy name from the book of speech.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 22:


23 / F-861 / Arberry # 109 / Ergin # 4/34

No favour was left which that winsome beauty did not bestow.
What fault of ours, if he failed in bounty towards you?
Thou art reviling, because that charmer wrought tyranny;
Who ever saw in the two worlds a fair one that played not the tyrant?
His love is a sugar-cane, tho' he gave not sugar;
His beauty is perfect faith, tho' he kept not faith.
Show a house that is not filled by him with lamps,
Show a portico that his face filled not with loveliness.
When the spirit became lost in contemplation, it said this:
“None but God has contemplated the beauty of God”.
This eye and that lamp are two lights, each individual;
When they came together, no one distinguished them.
Each of these metaphors is at once an explanation and a misconception;
God revealed "By the morning splendour" in envy of the light of his countenance.
Never did the tailor, Destiny, to any one's measure
Stitch a shirt but he tore it in pieces.
The sun of the face of Shamsi Din, glory of the horizons,
Never shone upon aught perishable but he made it eternal.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 23:


24 / F-911 / Arberry # 118 / Ergin # 7/100

When my bier moveth on the day of death,
Think not my heart is in this world.
Do not weep for me and cry: "Woe, woe!"
Thou wilt fall in the devil's snare: that is woe.
When thou seest my hearse, cry not: "Parted, parted!"
Union and meeting are mine in that hour.
If thou commit me to the grave, say not: "Farewell, farewell !"
For the grave is a curtain hiding the communion of Paradise.
After beholding descent, consider resurrection;
Why should setting be injurious to the sun and moon?
To thee it seems a setting, but 'tis a rising;
Tho' the vault seems a prison, 'tis the release of the soul.
What seed went down into the earth but it grew?
Why this doubt of thine as regards the seed of man?
What bucket was lowered but it came out brimful?
Why should the Joseph of the spirit complain of the well?
Shut thy mouth on this side and open it beyond,
For in placeless air will be thy triumphal song.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 24:


___________________ Legend ____________________________________________

F - Foruzanfar; E - Ergin Meter#/Poem#

“Gulshani Raz / Garden of Mystery” – the book by Mahmud Shabistari;
T – Tabriz Edition of the Divan; ed. Riza Kuli Khan, published in 1280 A.H., - 378 pp.
Lakh – Lakhnau Edition of the Divan, published in 1295 A.H., - 378 pp.

_________________ Apocrypha __________________________________________

The list of Nicholson translated poems, later proven to be apocryfa: 4, 8, 12, 17, 31, 33, 44
They are not found in the earliest Mevlana's manuscripts.
There are no Foruzanfar, Arberry, Ergin ### for them.

_________________ Sources _____________________________________________
1. Books
- Reynold A. Nicholson, ed., "Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz", London: Cambridge University Press, 1898, 1977 - reprint, - 367 p.
- reprinted without alteration in "The Islamic World", William H. McNeil & Marilyn Robinson Waldman, eds., New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0700704620/greecethracemi0e/

2. Web
- Full version online: http://www.poetrymania.com/2012/06/deewan-i-shams-tabrezi-english.html
- Short version (w/o Nicholson's Notes) online: http://www.khamush.com/divani_shams.htm
- Google Books preview: http://books.google.com/books?id=OL46AAAAIAAJ

3. Nicholson's bio
: http://hojja-nusreddin.livejournal.com/2947040.html
Part 1 (poems 1 - 24). To Part 2: http://hojja-nusreddin.livejournal.com/2947364.html
Tags: divan, rumi, арберри, диван, льюис, николсон, руми, эргин

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