Shams al-Din Hafiz Shirazi

(1321 - 1389 / Shiraz / Iran)

Lay not reproach at the drunkard's door


LAY not reproach at the drunkard's door
Oh Fanatic, thou that art pure of soul;
Not thine on the page of life to enrol
The faults of others! Or less or more
I have swerved from my path--keep thou to thine own
For every man when he reaches the goal
Shall reap the harvest his hands have sown.

Leave me the hope of a former grace--
Till the curtain is lifted none can tell
Whether in Heaven or deepest Hell,
Fair or vile, shall appear his face.
Alike the drunk and the strict of fare
For his mistress yearns--in the mosque Love doth dwell
And the church, for his lodging is everywhere.

If without the house of devotion I stand,
I am not the first to throw wide the door
My father opened it long before,
The eternal Paradise slipped from his hand.
All you that misconstrue my words' intent,
I lie on the bricks of the tavern floor,
And a brick shall serve me for argument.

Heaven's garden future treasures may yield--
Ah, make the most of earth's treasury!
The flickering shade of the willow-tree,
And the grass-grown lip of the fruitful field.
Trust not in deeds--the Eternal Day
Shall reveal the Creator's sentence on thee;
But till then, what His finger has writ, who can say.

Bring the cup in thine hand to the Judgment-seat;
Thou shalt rise, oh Hafiz, to Heaven's gate
From the tavern where thou hast tarried late.
And if thou hast worshipped wine, thou shalt meet
The reward that the Faithful attain;
If such thy life, then fear not thy fate,
Thou shalt not have lived and worshipped in vain.

Submitted: Saturday, April 03, 2010

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