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Nizami - Laili and Majnun - 01

Identifier

018793

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

LAILÎ AND MAJNÛN - A POEM FROM THE ORIGINAL PERSIAN OF NIZAMI   [Translated by  JAMES ATKINSON, ESQ.]

I

SÂKI*, thou know'st I worship wine;
Let that delicious cup be mine.
Wine! pure and limpid as my tears,
Dispeller of a lover's fears;
With thee inspired, with thee made bold,
'Midst combat fierce my post I hold;
With thee inspired, I touch the string,
And, rapt, of love and pleasures sing.

Thou art a lion, seeking prey,
Along the glades where wild deer stray;
And like a lion I would roam,
To bring the joys I seek for home;
With wine, life's dearest, sweetest treasure,
I feel the thrill of every pleasure:
—Bring, Saki, bring the ruby now;
Its lustre sparkles on thy brow,
And, flashing with a tremulous light,
Has made thy laughing eyes more bright:
Bring, bring the liquid gem, and see
Its power, its wond'rous power, in me.

—No ancestors have I to boast;
The trace of my descent is lost.
From Adam what do I inherit?
What but a sad and troubled spirit?
For human life, from oldest time,
Is ever mark'd with guilt and crime;
And man, betrayer and betray'd,
Lurks like a spider in the shade;
But wine still plays a magic part,
Exalting high the drooping heart.

Then, Saki, linger not, but give
The blissful balm on which I live.
Come, bring the juice of the purple vine,
Bring, bring, the musky-scented wine;
A draught of wine the memory clears,
And wakens thoughts of other years.—

When blushing dawn illumes the sky,
Fill up a bumper, fill it high!

That wine,* which to the fever'd lip,
With anguish parch'd, when given to sip,
Imparts a rapturous smile, and throws
A veil o'er all distracting woes:
That wine, the lamp which, night and day,
Lights us along our weary way;
Which strews the path with fruits and flowers,
And gilds with joy our fleeting hours;
And lifts the mind, now grown elate,
To Jamshid's glory, Jamshid's state.* —

But of the kingly race beware;
'Tis not for thee their smiles to share:
Smiles are deceitful, fire looks bright,
And sheds a lucid dazzling light;
But, though attractive, it is known
That safety dwells in flight alone.

The moth the taper's radiance tries,
But 'midst the flame in torment dies:

And none lament that foolish pride
Which seeks to be with kings allied.—

Bring, bring the musky-scented wine!
'Tis the key of mirth, and must be mine;
The key which opens wide the door
Of rapture's rich and varied store;
Which makes the mounting spirits glad,
And feel the pomp of Kai-Kobâd.

Wine o'er the temper casts a spell
Of kindness indescribable:
Then, since I'm in the drinking vein,
Bring, bring the luscious wine again!
From the vintner another fresh supply,
And let not the reveller's lips be dry.—

Come, Saki, thou'rt not old, nor lame;
Thou'dst not incur from a minstrel blame;
Let him wash from his heart the dust of sorrow;
Let him riot in social bliss till the morrow;
Let the sound of the goblet delight his ear,
Like the music that breathes from Heaven's own sphere.

The source of the experience

Nizami

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

 
 
 

Activities

Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble