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Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans, by H.G. Raverty, [1868], at

p. 87





O thou, for ever, with the cares of the flesh, distracted!
Why awaken for thy soul, sleeping misfortune and calamity?

The wise act not according to the counsels of their enemies:
Then why takest thou the advice of the devil, carnality?

Have some degree of shame for this white beard of thine!
And, moreover, in broad day, robbery cannot be effected.

Look thou well to this thine own fast fleeting breath;
Since to depart, every respiration raiseth the cry—Begone!

For what evil are worldly goods accumulated with thee?
When the bees fill the comb, they are of the honey deprived.

In the sight of God, as a man among men, thou art well;
But not, in the world's eye, a self-made Shaykh * and Mullā. 

When the pus exudeth from the sore, the invalid ease obtaineth;
But thou, at the passing away of this world, bewailest.

p. 88

The hand of despair he will soon place upon his hip, *
Who girdeth up his loins, in the world's people confiding.

O Ḥamīd! the fostering of the flesh's lusts is improper;
For no one, surely, showeth affection for an inveterate foe!


This world, O friend, is neither mine nor thine!
It is to be left behind, and to endure after every one!

Fallen into the arms of one, it laugheth and flirteth with another:
What an immodest, wanton harlot, indeed, is this world!

Although it seemeth pretty and attractive, what then?
Intrinsically, and inherently, this world is a black calamity.

Since there is no generous, no disinterested friendship in it,
Though it may seem a friend, it is an enemy, in reality.

It will very speedily dash from the mountain's summit
Them, with whom ’tis hand in glove, and cheek by jowl.

It ridiculeth to their faces, its own followers, at all times;
For ever practising mockery and derision, is this world.

In any one place of it, there is never, either rest, or tranquillity;
For like unto a mere shadow, and naught else, is this world.

No one's affairs can be brought to completion by the light of it;
For this world is as the lightning, and the light of the sky.

p. 89

Absurdly, thou attachest thine heart to the sounds of its drum;
For the world is a bridal procession—the mere guest of an hour.

No one hath become a gainer, by its trade and its traffic;
For the world is a seller of barley, though an exposer of wheat.

It is not meet, that the good and great bend their steps towards it;
For this world is a spectacle—a mere children's show.

Ḥamīd, who laugheth and is merry therein, but laugheth at himself;
For, indeed, the world is only a place of sorrow and of grief.


I know not, in the least, whether this is love, or whether fire:
Do I consume in it of my own choice, or is this compulsion?

Is this the incurable agony of the tender passion, that thus killeth me,
Or a viper, for whose sting, there is neither antidote nor charm?

Since I have no pretty and lovable companion by my side,
This is, in reality, no dwelling; it is, verily and truly, a grave!

Be not disturbed, shouldst thou be reviled, on love's account;
For such like abuse is the acme of all greatness whatsoever.

Since thou severest my heart's fibres, and leavest none sound,
Are these the arched eyebrows of the beloved, or a reaping-hook?

Is it, indeed, the stigma attendant upon the dark-eyes’ glances,
Which, notwithstanding loss of life and goods, leaveth me not?

Do not be in any way abashed, by the censure love bringeth on;
For it is the embroidered decorations of existence itself.

p. 90

Since it hath preserved me safely, from mine own sorrows,
Is this love's anguish, or is it my sympathizing consoler?

Whoever entereth on love's path must, indeed, endure its pangs;
For this is an excellent present to send after the bride.

When I beheld Ḥamīd over head and ears in love's affairs,
I found him mad—in sooth, Majnūn's * elder brother.


Love, assuredly, is both profit, as well as traffic,
Hence, why the candle yieldeth its head with a smile.

The chikor hath dyed red its legs,  and laugheth heartily,
Because, alone in its roost, it found happiness and joy.

Inasmuch as life and goods are staked upon it,
This trade is, certainly, constituted to some advantage.

Though, the lover's appearance seemeth wretched, what then?
This beggar in rags, swayeth the sceptre of dominion.

Where is wandering in the desert? where sauntering in hamlets?
Where the hale and healthy? where the crazy and mad?

Zulīkhā  abandoned, entirely, the cushion of sovereignty,
When the first inception of love's passion she acquired.

Those lovers who, from affection, openly, weep and wail,
Merely conceal, by so doing, their transports and their joy.

p. 91

When the beloved accordeth her society with willingness,
The lovers say, unto themselves, now are we repaid!

Because thou, O Ḥamīd! hast made but a beginning in thy love,
Hence, towards me, thy endearments thus so trifling are.


In such wise have the fair made away with my heart,
As if, indeed, it had never, at any time, been mine own.

Though I summon back, this stag-eye captured heart;
Yet, like the deer, it heedeth not any calling of mine.

Whereas my beloved inflicteth one wound upon another,
The medicine-chest of the physician is useless unto me.

Since thoughts of the rosy-cheeked, are the light of my eye,
It is objectionable, unto the rose, this gazing of mine.

Whatever part shall be found, free from headaches for the fair,
There's the befitting spot where my head should be smitten.

Whether I die or live, my head is laid at the portal of the beloved;
Save that threshold, there is no other place of existence for me.

Should I draw the whole of the world's beauties to my side,
I could not derive from another, the good I gain from thee.

There cannot exist between any lover and his beloved,
Such cruel treatment as thine, and endurance like mine.

If other folks groan under the tyranny of the Mughals, *
The Almighty hath made my grief for thee, the Mughal to me.

p. 92

Both the moth and the taper have often consumed themselves;
But they have no conception, O Ḥamīd, of this consuming of thine!


How shall I stroll in the garden, without thee at my side?
What shall I do with the jasmine and the lily, without thee?

Since thou art the light of mine eyes, when thou art absent,
How shall I, the view of the parterre and its fragrant flowers, enjoy?

When every tulip, to a live coal turneth, and I burn thereon,
Let me not see them; for what were Yaman * without thee?

No one yearneth after Paradise, save the Deity's face to behold:
What then is home, or hamlet, or country to me, without thee?

Forasmuch as it cannot reach the dimpled well of thy chin,
What shall I do with the short thread of life, without thee?

As a mendicant monk, in the dust at thy door, I am happy;
But what were Khut̤an's sovereignty  to me, without thee?

Since I am carried to the fire, perpetually, like meat for the roast,
Of what use to me is existence, like slaughter, without thee?

Say then unto me, Ḥamīd, whom thou, so cruelly, leavest—
Unto him of the sightless eyes say, what shall I do without thee.

p. 93


Do not become, like the bubble, wholly vain and inflated;
For, from such vanity thou wilt, to ruin and perdition go.

Ask not from the Almighty, the rank and dignity of man;
Since, like the brutes, thou art occupied, in eating and drinking.

Even the beast, in the plough, goeth uniform to the furrow;
Wherefore then, quittest thou, thus sinfully, the Law's precepts?

Every breath thou drawest, without remembering thy Creator,
Consider, that thou swallowest a live coal, by the same computation.

Seeing that thou knowest nothing, save sleeping and eating,
In what respect art thou superior to the beasts of the field?

Why writhe in agony, at the bare thoughts of Hell's pangs,
When thou wanderest about tormented by carnality's cares?

Follow not, thus presumptuously, the vanities of the world;
For in this, like the lightning, thou wilt soon lose thyself.

If, in the accounts here below, there shall no errors be,
There will be none, in those, of the account-book above.

Be not concerned, O Ḥamīd, regarding thy daily bread;
For that Causer of Causes, the Infinite, existeth!


A spoiled son taketh not to discipline and instruction;
And a shaded palm-tree yieldeth not ripe dates.

p. 94

Let not that boy be ever taken unto thy embrace,
Who may not take, also, to his lessons and his school.

Certainly, the ass and mule are in their place, in the stable;
But not a blockhead, without application, in the house.

When one degenerate creature appeareth in a family,
He bringeth disgrace on his lineage, both present and past.

"According to the son's good or bad actions, the father is remembered,"
Is a saying that hath been verified, throughout the world.

The finger is pointed towards the rider, and to him only,
Whose horse, the bridle's guidance doth not properly obey.

In heart, affection—on tongue, asperity; it behoveth, with the son:
What an excellent axiom—"Where the blow is, there is respect."

Joseph, then, became fit for the exercise of sovereignty,
When he received the blows of displeasure, and of wrath.

Like the flies, every worthless creature buzzeth about him,
When sugar-lipped Ḥamīd reciteth his sweet strains.


I am sunk in care, to this degree, on account of the fair,
Like unto a stone, submerged at the bottom of Æmān's sea. *

For this reason, all peace and tranquillity are lost unto me,
That my tears have engulphed the goods and chattels of patience.

Those unacquainted with the case, call it the sunset's redness,
Though by weeping blood, I even, the sky itself, submerge.

p. 95

Be not misled by the honied words of the deceitful fair;
For they, by this witchery, have whole peoples o’erwhelm’d.

Thus, under the mask of fondness, they slay and destroy one,
Like as though Khizr * were drowned, in immortality's fount.

In such wise, they keep me at a distance, when in their presence,
Like one thirsting for a draught of water, in solicitude drowned.

The pearl of the ocean of their coyness cannot be found,
Though I engulph, without number, the ships of patience therein.

Love's lighted taper, unto the tomb, he hath borne away,
Who carried the arrow of separation, embedded in his heart.

The paper boats of Ḥamīd's cares and anxieties,
The world hath, in the fathomless ocean of amazement, o’erwhelmed.


In what manner shall I hush the sighs of this seared heart?
The nightingales will not be mute, among the roses of the parterre!

The tongue becometh again extricated, like a hero from the melée,
However strongly I seize it with my teeth, that it may silent remain,

Through crudeness and rawness, fermentation, from the vessel ariseth;
But the wise, from their own shrewdness, will taciturn be.

With water only, shall the lamp of thy desire become lighted,
Shouldst thou, like the pearl-oyster, silence, with patience, thy tongue.

p. 96

When the seed is concealed in the earth, it becometh an ear of corn;
Therefore, lock up thine anguish, within the recesses pf thy breast.

The nightingale's wailings, about the rose, are not befitting;
For the moths consume themselves, in silence, on the red flame.

Like as the straw and the yellow amber * attract each other,
Thus, with silent tongue, do loving friends, each other invoke.

As the mother, the innocent cause of her infant's death, mourneth silently; 
So, inaudibly, the heart-enamoured utter their sighs and wails.

How could he entertain honourably his sugar-mouthed guest,
Should Ḥamīd's sweetness-raining, thoughtful strains be hushed?


My heart hath gone out, as a help in the fight, a look to obtain;
And to the right and to the left are discharged the arrows of sight.

With the ardour I am filled with, my heart throbeth and beateth,
Like as the infant springeth and boundeth, in its mother's arms.

By the hand of the forsaken, peace of mind cannot be grasped—
When do the heart-scorched, from a handful of water, find relief?

The stars, in their gladness, at my union with the beloved,
The tamborine beating, have thrust their fingers through.

p. 97

By the recollection, every moment, of the mole of my beloved,
A musk-pod, as it were, becometh broken upon my head,

The Rustams * of patience and abstinence, like little children,
Take shelter, in retirement, from the crushing blow of love.

At the fountain of union's attainment, I die, with lips parched,
From the burning fever of the dread of separation.

Since the self-willed, like Ḥamīd, they have made humble,
Love's pomp and grandeur are not without mishaps and blows.


From the fire and fever of separation defend us!
Preserve us, O God, from the fierce flames of Hell!

They make earth and heaven tremble on man's account
Shield us, alas! from the great tyranny of the fair!

Evil destiny made it my grievous lot, unto life's end,
To be ever departing, alas! from the sweet-lipped ones.

Though I, through reverence, cannot look upon her face;
Yet, for the courtesy of the ungracious ones, alas! alas!

The lot of the love-born, in comparison with the damned,
Is, alas! very many times more horrid and abominable.

Who deem the tormenting of lovers to be a virtuous act—
O, guard us, and defend from this creed of the fair!

Who cannot utter, with the tongue, what the heart wisheth—
From the desires of such lovers, O save and rescue us!

p. 98

The morning, whose dawn is called the morn of doom—
From the night of such morning, O save us, and preserve!

Thou sayest, that Ḥamīd should be debarred from the fair—
Alas, O monitor, that thou shouldst speak such monstrous words!


O necessity! what a terrible calamity art thou,
That changest man's nature into that of the dog!

The Muḥammadan, thou makest follow Hindū rites,
And the Hindū, the usages of the Faithful to observe,

Kings and Princes thou makest stand at the door,
Of their crowns deprived, and from their thrones driven.

Even the free and unrestrained birds of the air also,
Thou entanglest, helpless and paralyzed in the net.

The tutor likewise, in the sight of his own scholar,
Thou makest even more contemptible than the fowl.

Since by them, man cannot be exempted
From the tax of necessity's urgent demands,

Say then, from all power and dominion soever,
And in empire's sway, what advantage is there?

Unto the opulent, infinite Deity, this is exclusive,
That He is wanting in nothing, whatsoever it be.

The raising up of Ḥamīd, too, shall be effected,
From out of the waves of affliction, and of grief!

p. 99


The friendship of this world's friend is false and hollow:
From the tulip thou seekest permanence, unavailingly. *

Like unto one who vainly calleth to a goose for a porringer, 
So absurd, hath become, the hope of any constancy.

Since no one is the gainer from a friend's friendship,
Let not this unprofitable, gainless trade be entered on.

He, who in his necessities, craveth aught from fate's revolutions,
Unavailingly, runneth after the lightning's bright gleams.

To-morrow, thy manliness will be, from thy acts, seen;
Therefore, in boasting, raise no foolish noise, to-day.

Speaking, without acting, is mere trouble and vexation:
The kernel of desire, by this absurdity, cannot be obtained.

He, who may open his mouth unto the mean and base,
Rendereth the pearls of his own speech worthless, altogether.

When, thereby, its own rent garment it cannot gather together,
The rose, unreasonably, laugheth, at the weeping of the dew. 

Since, in the flame, O Ḥamīd! the moth uttereth no cry,
The wailing of the nightingale for the rose, is utterly vain.

p. 100


Keep thy face for ever wet with the water of thy tears;
For in these waters can be seen, the lustre of the pearl.

The lamp of Joseph's countenance at that time became lighted,
When his brethren made it red, by their cuffs and blows.

The tree that is obscured, will be backward in giving fruit,
Until it shall be brought, face to face, with the sun.

Like the rose, thy face shall glow before every one,
If thou but wash the face of the heart with blood.

The darksome stain of thy eagerness will not disappear,
Till, with patience's pearl-powder, thou cleanse not the face.

The patient and submissive, from prudence and bashfulness,
Are unable to look upon their own faces, the mirror within.

He who beareth the blister of toil and labour, upon his hand,
Will gaze, without apprehension, on the surface of the gem.

Unto the wise, a display of knowledge is a great defect
The lustre of the gem changeth the mirror to an earthen plate.

If thou seek after distinction in the court of the adored,
Like as the mirror, smear over thy face with ashes and dust.

The ardent longing of Ḥamīd containeth naught of sinfulness;
It only seeketh everywhere, for that which it hath lost.


Since the world's pomps and vanities are accounted nothing,
Only the worthless man will boast of such nothingness.

p. 101

The existence of the transitory world is as the lightning's flash;
And by the light of a meteor, no affairs can be disposed of.

The world's lusts and vanities, are but the phantoms of a dream;
For when the sleeper again awaketh, they will be naught.

From this world, every man departeth, mouth filled with gall;
For it hath never yet made sweet any one's disposition.

Notwithstanding they fought and struggled so together,
Neither Alexander nor Darius carried the least thing hence.

He, who is acquainted with the world's deceptions and deceits,
Neither tradeth nor trafficketh in its markets, in the least.

Since the integrity of friendship cannot be preserved,
The friendship of this world's friends is, than nothing, less.

This embryonic thing, no one hath brought to perfection;
For its permanence is no longer than the lightning's flash.

O Ḥamīd! he who is free from its cares and vexations,
Is perfectly indifferent regarding the world's people too!


Shroud well the sight from the black eyes’ glances!
Arise not, but, from drawn swords, guard well thine head!

Before love, the asceticism of a century is as nothing:
From a thousand bales of cotton, keep off a single spark!

Unto thy human form, a road of dire peril is affection:
Guard well thyself: on the path of danger enter not!

Love hath made reprobates of many simple devotees:
Mountains on mountains of ice, from the sun's face screen!

p. 102

No other attainment will avail thee, in love's affairs,
Save one—the gift of madness—of which, be then beware!

Like as the naked man, from sharp swords himself shieldeth,
Do thou, from the morning curses * of the afflicted, thyself guard!

Cold sighs are not good for the novice in ardent love—
Keep the pinching wind, carefully, from the fresh wound!

Love and affection, with conceit and vanity, cannot exist:
Guard well the guide's breath and footsteps, in this path!

Shouldst thou, O Zephyr! go in the direction of the beloved,
Be mindful of the message, respecting Ḥamīd’s aspirations!


When black antimony is applied unto dark eyes, 
From one dark calamity, another hundred spring.

Black eyes, and sable locks, and dark eyebrows—
All these are gloomy misfortunes—man-devourers.

No one is able to guard himself; even from one ill;
Yet on me, a hundred misfortunes are heaped, one on the other.

I am neither accounted among the living, nor the dead;
For love hath placed me, absolutely, the two states between.

What now, indeed, is either name or fame unto me?
Wherefore doth the bare-headed, woe-begone, beat his breast?

p. 103

If thou, O monitor! tallest thyself as wise as Plato,
Unto me, in sooth, thou art but Majnūn's crazy brother. *

I will now embrace the paganism of sable ringlets,
If thou givest any of thy admonitions unto me.

O fool! love hath vanquished many powerful ones:
Why then, on the strength of thy hypocritical austerity, so elate!

What idol is it, O HAMĪD, that is resting on thy heart,
Unto which, thou art ever, in adoration, bent down!


Were the looks constantly directed to every fair one's face,
How long, in love, would the saint's sanctity stand?

"As thou eatest of every tree, one, at least, will be poison"—
This axiom hath been tested throughout the world.

In one short moment, love turneth into ridicule
The saint's century of piety, and the empire of the prince.

It will drag him away disgraced to the market-place,
Though the hermit be sitting, a hundred seclusions within.

Love's affairs cannot be conducted by the wisest counsels—
The body cannot be cast into the fire, by any safe plan.

The languid eyes, far-reaching, have my heart reached,
Though the arrow of the lax bow but tardily striketh.

It is ever, either the jingle of the anklets of the beloved,
Or the clanking chains of love's distracted ones.

p. 104

Though the mart of the fair be crowded with misfortunes,
They are not, by rebuke of saint, or ascetic, restrained.

Every breath, every step, it placeth at the breast malediction's sword;
And separation from the beloved, sick unto death, hath Ḥamīd made!


The fragrance of the flowers of this world's garden is gone;
And the kind disposition of its fair ones hath, also, departed.

Neither the nature of my love for the idols leaveth me,
Nor hath the proneness to tyranny left them either.

How will love, O monitor! leave me now,
When, from head to foot, it hath entered at every pore?

My soul would make efforts to depart and leave me,
If the pursuit of the fair were to leave my heart.

The heart, gone forth in the search of the youthful, cannot be found:
He is lost, who, at night, towards the distant fire, proceedeth.

This river Abā Sind, * which appeareth to our view,
Is but a small rivulet, exuded from the ocean of my tears.

My friend, I conceive, hath gone over to my rival's counsels;
Since observance of that vow, ’twixt her and me, hath ceased.

To obtain justice on them lieth in no one's power, Ḥamīd!
The blood of the slain, by the dark-eyed, is shed and gone!

p. 105


Soften, O God, the heart of the guardian * with benevolence!
Make this Hindū, somewhat of a Muslim unto me!

My patience, make into a sharp sword, for love's sake;
And the marplots, with their own doubts, cut to pieces therewith!

Since the hearts of the fawn-eyed take fright therefrom,
Change the whole of my prosperity to a desert wild!

Apply fire unto the dwelling of my faith and worldly goods!
On this plea, at least, make me a guest, for love's own sake!

Give unto destruction the goods and chattels of my existence,
That may not be illumined with the lamp of the dear one's face!

Either, for me renew the period of union with the beloved,
Or, in separation, let my term of life but a moment be!

Since she acteth, at all times, on giving ear unto my enemies,
Make my friend somewhat ashamed of conduct like this!

My adversaries cast me into the burning flames of separation—
Preserve me, O God! like as Abraham,  save Thou me!

O Ḥamīd! to-day, look stedfastly on the face of the beloved;
For to-morrow, thou wilt wring thy hands, and grieve for her.


To thyself thou speakest well, but actest not rightly:
What is this thou sayest—what is that thou doest?
Thou wouldst reap wheat, where thou didst barley sow;
But the good cometh when thou actest worthily.

p. 106

Day and night, for the sake of the flesh's lusts,
Thou takest the trouble to count the hairs of thy head;
But in seeing the truth, like unto the hare,
With eyes wide open, thou puttest thyself to sleep.

Shouldst thou, upon the impaling stake, be placed,
Or shouldst thou be precipitated into a well,
Thou hast neither those eyes nor those ears,
By means of which, thou mightest hear or see.

The very branch, actually, on which thou sittest,
Thou cuttest off—thou actest like one that is blind:
Thou plantest thorns in the midst of that path,
On which, every moment, thou thyself journeyest.

If any worldly loss should come upon thee,
Thou lamentest thereat, and makest thine eyes red;
But though faith and religion should leave thee altogether,
Thou makest that a matter of not the least concern.

For the sake of sweet-flavoured and dainty victuals,
Thou, willingly, acceptest a hundred heats and colds:
No dog, even, for the sake of its belly, would practise
Such despicable acts, as those that thou committest.

Sometimes, thou usest force; at others, entreatest
At times, actest with humility; at others, with pride:
This one body, for the sake of the world's lusts,
Thou now makest a dog of; and now, a wolf.

At that time, brightness cometh upon thee,
When thou causest darkness in another's house:
The funeral entertainment is, unto others, sorrow;
But thou turnest it into a joyous bridal feast.

p. 107

Any matter, however vile and base it may be,
Meeteth with entire approval, thy heart within.
Thou neither feelest shame, nor accountest it a fault,
However improper the act that thou committest.

Now, thou becomest a monk; now, turnest priest:
Sometimes, blackenest the eyelids; * at others, dressest in green. 
At times, a strolling singer, with hand to forehead, bowing:
Sometimes, a soldier, thou takest to sword and dirk.

At times, thou heavest sighs; at others, weepest:
Sometimes, speakest choleric words; at others, cold ones.
All these are caused through the promptings of the flesh—
Thou turnest water into fire, O thou sensualist!

Though the worship of God is incumbent upon all,
Neither do these things constitute it, nor dost thou perform.
Say then, in what employment wilt thou delight—
Wilt thou, with an ox, or with an ass, amuse thyself!

If the favour of the Almighty be essential unto thee,
Thou wilt renounce for thyself all vanity and pride.
Thou wilt, thyself, tread carnality under thy feet;
And wilt, upon another spot, thine eyes direct.

Thou wilt seize contentment with thy hands:
Thou wilt consider carnality and the devil thieves.
Thou wilt follow in the steps of the good, always:
With heart, and with tongue, thou wilt imitate them.

p. 108

What canst thou by thine own evil disposition against others effect?
Thou wilt merely bring injury and calamity, upon thyself!
Thou fallest into a well of thine own free-will:
Then what complaint against Ḥamīd bringest thou?


Although free from grief and sorrow, am I never;
Still, that I meddled in love's affairs, regret I never.

Though my goods be plundered, and my neck stricken,
The one to turn from the moon-faced, am I never.

In the acquirement of a single straw's weight of love,
To be obstructed, by either faith or religion, am I never.

Whether my head be firmly placed, or be it severed,
The one to rejoice or grieve thereat, am I never.

Though I stake both life and goods, on the heart-ravishers,
Reproached therefrom, the world before, am I never.

Like one bereaved of his senses, in love's affairs,
Thinking of mine own profit or injury, am I never.

To me, O monitor! say naught regarding patience;
For the ear-giver, unto such speeches, am I never.

Whose sweet face hath not, thus, amazed me ever,
On such a charmer yet, set eyes have I never.

Why should my dear one, on HAMĪD a kiss bestow,
When, of such beneficence as this, worthy, am I never.

p. 109


Though I have become crushed by the multitude of my sorrows,
I cannot be patient, nor can I, from the fair abstain.

Let all the offerings and sacrifices of the world, be an oblation,
Unto the reproaches, upbraidings, and coquetry of the fair.

When I cast my eyes on their beauty, sweetly blooming,
The fresh-blown flowers of spring are nothing to me.

Before the sleepy, languid glance of my love, I wonder,
That with a lax-strung bow, they, so sharply, strike.

She raiseth uproar in the privacy of the secluded,
When this peace-disturber displayeth her charms, unto them.

She dischargeth a thousand darts, right into my heart,
When, in anger, she turneth her eyes, sharply, on me.

Why would any one, entreatingly, ask aught of them,
Were not the upbraidings of the fair, with honey mixed?

The sweet creatures, by their duennas, * avert the evil eye;
For in front of the melon-bed, the black shard will be placed. 

If he hath not pressed the lips of the sugar-lipped ones,
How hath Ḥamīd's tongue become a scatterer of sweets?


Patience and forbearance, turn man's nature into fire:
The malevolent and the ill-willed, on its flame, shall be straw.

p. 110

Fire reacheth the evil-minded, from their own persons—
The Phœnix maketh its own nest, a furnace for its body.

The arrows of the pangs of the oppressed, strike home—
None of the discharges are harmless—none miss the mark!

The world-enamoured are, of all fools, the greatest;
For, like the baby, they show eagerness for the flaming fire.

Every man, who, after a pestilence, desireth a market,
In his eagerness for physic, the worthless fellow, poison taketh.

They, who look for perfection out of arrogance, are fools;
For, in foul water, the necessary ablutions cannot be performed.

No one can restrain the passions from manifold wickedness:
No one can prevent fire from consuming straw.

When one benefit, out of a thousand such, thou hast not realized thereby,
Out upon such shameless, such execrable longings as those!

The world, slumbering in the sleep of negligence, heareth him not,
Though Ḥamīd shouteth, as loud as the peal of a bell.


Be not grieved at the departure of this world's wealth!
Be not sorrowful if out of thy foot cometh a broken thorn!

The flesh's lusts and vanities, God hath given captive unto thee;
Then do not thou, the captive of thine own slaves, become!

Godliness and piety cannot exist with conceit and egotism:
In this matter, without a guide or instructor, be thou not!

p. 111

There is no bridle that can be placed in the mouth of passion;
Then let it not be trained up, as a reprobate and robber, by thee!

Where is the scar of a single brand? where that of a thousand?
Enter not, then, into schemes for increasing worldly wealth!

Say, is the light or the heavy load, the best for the head?
Indigence, for thee, is good: do not thou a lordling become!

The Almighty hath given thee ears to hear, and eyes to see;
Then do not, wittingly, like one, blind, from the precipice fall!

With smiling face and unclouded brow, unto the world become
Its injustice-receiving target; but, the arrow, become thou not!

All other bonds soever, O Ḥamīd! are easy to be borne;
But, at least, let thy neck be, from the chain of avarice, free!


My friend observeth none of the usages of affection towards me!
Alas, my dark, dark destiny! shine out a little on me!

Let me some day, at least, to mine own, that lip press,
That every hour sippeth up the very blood of my heart!

Through her unkindness, even yet, thou rubbest thine eyes with thy hand:
Then why, after the fair, runnest thou again, poor wretch?

My friend, through coquetry or playfulness, speaketh incoherently to me,
Or her lips adhere together, from the sugar of their sweetness.

The load of love, which neither earth nor heavens can bear—
With what strength wouldst thou raise it, thou improvident one?

p. 112

Alas, that I had not become enamoured, when I first fell in love!
Now, whatever it is, this must be, with a good grace, borne.

Gazing upon the countenances of the beautiful, is Ḥamīd's calling;
The eyes of the coward only, become dazzled at the gleam of the sword!


Really, this existence, so to say, is altogether worthlessness,
Since, in the world, I pass my life away, absent from my friend.

I cannot imagine what unfortunate, hard grain I am,
That I do not become ground, between the mill-stones of absence.

The sable locks and fair countenance of my beloved,
I behold in every thing, white or black, in the world.

I use my tongue in such a manner, through helplessness,
That I may my friend regain, either by falsehood or by truth.

If other folks, by alchemy, transmute dust into gold,
I, by the alchemy of love, have turned gold into dust.

Where is love? and where too, shame and modesty's fear?
Where there is shame or modesty, dancing cannot be. *

If thou seekest a dear-one, for her, shed thou rivers of tears;
For, in the waters of this ocean, that pearl can be found.

From the door of worthy and base, he preserveth both breath and step
Whoever wandereth about frantic, in desert and in wild.

p. 113

Ḥamīd styleth that person a mere worshipper of idols,
Who, with manifest hypocrisy, performeth his duty unto God.


When the dear friend who departed, unto her friend returneth,
In truth, ’tis as if the Messiah drew near unto the dead!

Disjunction from the adored is a dire, and a black calamity;
God forbid any follower of Islām, into such affliction fall!

In such wise, hath separation caused my confidence to fail,
As when, all at once, a fiery dragon might one confront.

Through bashfulness, I am unable to look upon her sweet face—
Bleared eyes become wholly dazzled by the lightning's flash.

Neither will the promises of the fair be, hereafter, fulfilled,
Nor will the Phœnix fall entrapped, in any one's snare.

Do not become altogether hopeless of desire's attainment;
For the Almighty bringeth to the ground the birds of the air.

Since I have taken up my residence, the city of sorrow within,
For me, there is no laughter or joy, without sorrow after.

Through excessive fear of the dread morn of separation,
In the presence of the rosy-cheeked one, I like the taper weep.

By this, thy non-appearance, thus, full-well, I know,
That, either to-day or to-morrow, unto Ḥamīd, bringeth death.


O thou constant endurer of misery in the cares of the flesh!
O thou, happy in this affliction, and in doing injury unto others!

p. 114

No one obtaineth the slightest benefit, or advantage from thee:
Indeed, thou art like a thorn ever buried in the side of others!

Thou wilt, one day, become a captive, like unto the hawk;
Since, day and night, thine own species' flesh, hath thy food become.

Let not the sighs of the afflictions of the oppressed strike one;
For, from their gasps and sobs, whole regions to perdition go.

The execrations of the oppressed pass not harmless, Ḥamīd
The shaft of the archer striketh the target unerringly!


At the present time, extinct is the principle of sincerity!
That which is taken now, is but the empty name of sincerity!

I discover nought else, whatever, save duplicity and deceit,
Though I have carefully examined the horoscope of sincerity.

Let any one, with the finger, unto me a single man point out,
Whose acts are in accordance with the usages of sincerity.

As though folks, festive songs, over a dead bride, should sing;
So entirely hollow and doleful are the drum sounds of sincerity.

When the occupation of father and son, is dissimulation,
What then remaineth of the colour and odour of sincerity?

Because hypocrisy hath destroyed the taste of the world's mouth;
Hence poison of the infernal tree * is the sweet savour of sincerity.

Examine closely the cottages and the mansions of the world:
Say, hath any one laid on their walls a single layer of sincerity?

p. 115

The world containeth none sincere; but should such be found,
Then, Ḥamīd is the special and obedient servant of sincerity.


Every rebel is brought to submission, by sincerity:
Every shameless one is made ashamed, by sincerity.

Like the sun, its brightness shall become world-irradiating—
Every brow, that uprightness and sincerity may illumine.

I will be answerable if it come not, and crouch at his feet,
If one act, with sincerity, unto the most ravenous beast.

No shears soever can, with its mouth, any bond sever,
That shall have been made strong and durable, by sincerity.

Like as when, on the rising of the sun, light appeareth;
Thus sincerity life bestoweth, at every breath and footstep.

Like as the morning dawneth, so shall the bud blossom,
When sincerity, its smiling mouth, to laugh shall incline.

Those things, which the sorcerer by his enchantments effecteth,
Are as nothing, compared to what is effected by sincerity.

Forthwith, the hardened old infidel of a thousand years,
Is made a seeker of Islām's true faith, by sincerity.

From the race of hypocrites, O Ḥamīd, guard thyself,
Lest, with their deceit, they turn rotten thy sincerity!


To this degree, art thou become absorbed in thine own selfish objects,
That the interests of others are good for nothing, in thy sight.

p. 116

When the feasible wishes of others are so difficult unto thee,
What remedy wilt thou devise, as to thine own impossible ones?

Until, of thine own free will, thou carry out the wishes of others,
How, by the means of them, shall thy ends be effected?

"Where there is no object, what is the object?"—so the proverb runneth;
Hence, for the lamp, the nightingale no solicitude showeth.

Dost repeat a prayer, that with such vehemence thou criest?
Calling upon the Almighty, is not the object of thy invocations!

Without being summoned, folks around the lamp assemble,
Because, with silent mouth, it mentioneth its aims and wishes.

In all this amount of trouble, that he taketh on himself,
The giving of advice and admonition is the only object of Ḥamīd.


Were there any chance of thy exhortations taking effect on me,
Then, O monitor! unto me, thou wouldst have given admonition.

Love hath made my eyes more wanton, even, than the locust's, *
Whilst thou, unjustly, stirrest about in them the rubbish of advice.

I had not been o’erwhelm’d to this degree, in the ocean of grief,
Had admonition, whether little or much, into my heart entered.

Like as the state of the dead, past all remedy, becometh;
So the heart, by love despoiled and ravaged, giveth not ear to advice.

p. 117

When, O counsellor! will they become acceptable unto lovers—
These monk-and-hermit-approved expostulations of thine?

From counsel, what alleviation doth the poor lover obtain?
To the snake-and-scorpion-stung, what availeth admonition?

’Midst the uproar and tumult of the assembly of reprobates,
Can a secret and whispered homily, at any time, be heard?

Love hath ever condemned me to far worse punishment,
Whenever I have listened, the admonitions of others unto.

I will not then, O mentor! unto thy counsels give ear;
For, as fate will have it, I, HAMĪD, hold advice unlucky.


When men covet, from their fellow-men, any worldly object,
Their human nature, from this covetousness, that of a dog becometh.

The foot of their modesty trippeth and stumbleth, perpetually,
When they, by the flesh's lusts incited, upon covetousness seize.

Thro’ covetousness for the grain, the free bird becometh ensnared;
And this thy covetousness also, will, speedily, bring calamity on thee.

The bitter words of rectitude and truth, will all be left by them,
Who sweeten their mouths with the confection of covetousness.

The colour of their friendship will, speedily, be demolished,
When one friend hath any want requiring to be satisfied by another.

p. 118

This single drop of water becometh a pearl within its breast,
When the oyster, towards the ocean, all covetousness escheweth. *

The difference between royalty and beggary, ceaseth, altogether,
When the king satisfieth not the beggar's craving covetousness.

The stranger leave out; for, verily, though it were father or mother,
God forbid, that any one should be under necessity to another!

Pestilence is far preferable, O Ḥamīd! than that covetousness,
Which, for the sake of the flesh's lusts, coveteth aught from others.


Be not captivated by the friendship of this world's people—
This shameless, this faithless, this barefaced world!

Like unto dogs, that snarl and fight over a rotten carcass,
Thus, in the world, its insolent people squabble and contend!

They neither inquire about, nor cast a look upon each other—
Back to back, pass along the world's acquaintances and friends.

The peevish, ill-tempered, disagreeable ones, are left behind;
Whilst cruel fate hath removed from us the sweet and charming!

Thine eyes, indeed, will not be pleased with a single one of them,
Shouldst thou bend thy looks upon the people of this age!

Since their hands are wholly withdrawn from what is right,
Wherefore may not the world's folks be, in calamity, immersed?

Lying and duplicity have become sweeter to them than sugar;
But like poison, the world's people have spitten out truth!

p. 119

They will not leave thee, O Ḥamīd! in thy decency, and repute;
Since the base and infamous have become the great ones of the age.


I perceive in friendship together, the vile, deceitful world;
By which means its people have forfeited the country of truth.

It appeareth unto me, merely poison mixed with sugar,
This, than honey or than sugar, more seemingly, loving world.

Be mindful never to sit in the assembly, at any time soever,
Of this, without hurt, and without detriment, woe-begone world!

When is the brightness of any one's face agreeable or pleasing,
In the dark eyes, of the unto-justice-blear-eyed world?

Let it be an oblation on the altar of a single grain of modesty,
The hundred-weight-lascivious, wanton, shameless world!

In reality, it is but a useless shell, without a kernel,
The present race of mankind in comparison to the past.

The hand, from toil blistered over, is, truly, Yaman * in itself;
Then why, in search of rubies, doth the scabby world wring its hands?

From the vile and base, it behoveth well, the heart's secret to guard—
In the flower-garden, the foul and filthy world is not admitted.

What do the sound and healthy ken of Ḥamīd's heart's pangs?
Only the afflicted know, the state of the suffering world!


When my love for thy sweet face became noised abroad,
The love of Majnūn and of Lailā,  became an empty jest.

p. 120

That, which appalled, even Majnūn, within the tomb,
Such a grievous calamity, unto me, hath love assigned.

Tho’ his head, like the taper's, disappeareth at every respiration;
Still, no one should consider himself, from this love, exempt.

In the hands of the sorrow-stricken, it placeth harp and rebeck,
When, in the court-yard, love seateth the bridal train.

Fire, kindled by way of jest, blazeth up in real earnest;
And love, made in sport, hath brought many unto tears.

The brokers of sense and reason, lose their occupation, entirely,
When love, on its own account, beginneth to traffic and trade.

Like as by applying fire, one setteth dry straw in a blaze,
In the same manner, doth love, piety and austerity unto.

Doth any one, a false claim and a true, in one breath, prefer?
How then shall sincere love, remain concealed one moment?

He never again obtaineth a smile from the rosy-cheeked ones,
Though love caused Ḥamīd to weep, like unto the dew.


If kings have a liking for the throne and the sceptre,
Lovers have a partiality for ruin and desolation.

There is no such injurious effect, in the agony of love,
That those afflicted with it, desire any cure.

Like Joseph, he will descend into the well of grief,
Who hath a desire for the ascension unto gladness.

My heart hath now grown cold with regard to passion:
It hath a yearning towards the waves and billows of woe

p. 121

Wittingly, the prince of reason engulpheth himself,
Who hath a longing for the taxes of the country of love.

What compassion do the amorous eyes of the fair possess,
When they always have a desire for an occasion to slay?

Ḥamīd will, at all events, bear the burden, notwithstanding;
Since he nourisheth a fondness for thy capricious ways.


O, when are the sorrows of love so easy to be borne,
That they shall suffice for any one's food and raiment!

Speak not unto me, O monitor! regarding modesty or shame:
From any apprehension of water, what have the naked to dread?

Love placed me as far from patience, as earth from heaven;
And, unto the firmament, no one's comprehension can reach.

Affection hath completely set free my heart from control:
With it, I am unable to exercise any power over patience.

Thro’ the roofed building, the sun's rays penetrate not—
The heart, by one sorrow rent and torn, is good indeed.

When will he find peace of mind, even seated on a throne,
Whose heart may be always pining after some fair face?

The association of the beloved, with a rival, is the same to me,
As though one should, together, purity and impurity mix.

How shall Ḥamīd obtain any relief from the fair,
When, over him, power of life and death, God, to them, hath given?

p. 122


Though thou mayst speak with warmth or anger;
Or, though thou mayst, to staff, or to bludgeon take;

With all this useless absurdity, O blockhead!
Thou wilt not be able to effect aught against fate.

That which was to happen to thee, hath come to pass,
Whether the matter of a straw, or of a hundred thousand.

Save resignation, there is no remedy soever,
For this pain and trouble, beyond all doubt.

Whoever sayeth aught about that which hath occurred,
Nonsense talketh—he striketh at a fly, the water upon. *

Do not, O fool! become, from a trifling of success,
Like unto the drum, for announcement inflated.

There will not be grief and sorrow upon man for ever,
Nor will there be mirth and gladness every moment.

A person may, sometimes, be gay and cheerful;
At others, from care, he may be melancholy and distressed.

At times, starving, with intestines doubled up;
At others, gorged with food, even up to the throat.

At times, he becometh a lion, appropriating the plain;
At others again, he becometh the mere rat of a burrow.

p. 123

Where is lamentation? where is the song of gladness?
Where the plundered? where the Uzbak * that harried him?

Were the actions of fate, ever of one uniform colour,
The firmament would not be thus spotted with stars.

The tyranny and injustice are not upon thee alone,
Of fortune's ever changing, inconstant revolutions.

In these troubles and vicissitudes, many other folks
Are thy companions, and are, hand in hand, with thee.

Ever unto distance remote, direct thou thy sight:
Even from the heavens, the earth-supporting-fish unto. 

There is a dart embedded in the heart of every one,
Discharged therein by the ruthless hand of fate.

This fearful pestilence, indeed, hath reached
Every house, and every dwelling-place, unto.

It, however, behoveth, that in this net of calamity,
The prudent bird should be careful not to flutter.

Ḥamīd's resignation hath to songs of gladness turned,
Through the tyranny and oppression of every dastard.


Every chieftain, who contemplateth the injury of his clan,
Should make the ease of Jamāl,  a mirror for himself.

p. 124

From beneath his own feet, he cutteth away the branches,
Who nourisheth, in his heart, evil towards his friends.

That chieftain, in the end, shall abominable remain,
Whose envy exciteth him to the injury of his own kin.

He who coveteth the lives and goods of other people,
Ere his desire be fulfilled, shall lose his own life and goods.

Indeed, he will himself fall into it—such is the proverb—
Who is guilty of the crime of digging a well for others.

Strife and bloodshed shall first arise in their dwellings,
Who long to see others, in contention and slaughter engaged.

Whoso may be powerless over his own hands and feet,
With what power against his foes, shall he contend?

p. 125

"By strangers’ aid, without one's own, bravery cannot be shown"—
This howl raise Jamāl and Jalāl from the tomb.

Should the hawk pounce upon the quarry of the falcon,
It effecteth nothing, but tireth itself in bootless tugs and pulls.

Hundreds cannot take the victory from thousands;
Save the All-Powerful should, specially, the advantage decree.

Whoso advanceth his foot beyond his own bounds,
Destiny will trample him, like Jamāl, under foot.

He, who, by force, decketh himself out, in others’ garments,
Shall use them, all soiled and dirty, to bandage his own wounds.

No one hath yet won over the good fortune of strangers to himself;
Moreover, by entertaining such ideas, he throweth his own away.

Every moth, that flieth about, upon this flambeau;
Like unto Jamāl, will only consume itself thereon.

The base man, who is ambitious of acquiring reputation,
Plagueth himself to thread a needle by the lightning's flash.

A result such as this will, upon himself, return,
Whosoever, in requital of good, giveth evil back.

Neither goodness, nor virtue, is manifested by the base;
Nor doth the sweetest water affect the bitter fig. *

"If thou bringest up a wolf's whelp, it springeth upon thee"—
To our state, and that of Jamāl's also, this saying applieth.

As Yazīd was infamous, on account of Ḥasan and Ḥusain;
So was Jamāl a disgrace unto us, were any one to ask.

p. 126

That which hath happened, is from the same necessity,
As maketh the timid hare spring on the dog, to terrify it.

Whatever those unacquainted with the case say, let them say:
The informed, however, take our plea into due consideration.

Other people will always get burnt * on their account,
Who abandon the sword's defence, for the shelter of walls.

Truly, the Almighty hath made the Khudrzīs infamous by Jamāl:
Indeed, whatever happeneth to mankind, their own acts bring about.

Since in traffic, profit and loss have, from the beginning, existed,
Wherefore, upon the broker, do mankind thus cast blame?

These, O Ḥamīd! are the customs and usages of the time,
That one showeth his grief at another's death: the other, his joy.


Until thou, against the belly, makest a determined stand,
By mildness thou wilt not escape from the Uzbak's hands. 

Neither doth a stone, forsooth, grow soft, nor an enemy, a friend;
Then do not be beguiled, O mean one! into the belly's servitude.

It is not advisable to show ever so little kindness to the belly—
The pilfering hostess satisfieth herself by a snack from each dish.

How can there be a place therein for the remembrance of thy God,
When thy belly, with eatables, is constantly crammed?

If thy heart desire, that thy body should be resplendent,
Take example of the pinched-up belly, from the firmament, itself. 

p. 127

Crave not, for thy belly, aught soever from fortune,
For it will merely give thee the new moon in thy bowl. *

From a slight blow, this turban will fall unto the ground,
Which, from pride, thou placest so jauntily, one side of thy head.

Consider the belly more contemptible than all else besides,
If thou desire the standard planted, on Heaven's pinnacle.

That thou shouldst show no affection towards the world's people,
Is, beyond all doubt, the safe and the peaceful side.

Thro’ this thine own meekness and humility, O Ḥamīd!
Thou art dust in the eyes of the conceited and the proud.


Many, many times have I rent my garment before thee;
Still thou hast not removed thy guardians  from my path.

Save causing thee to upbraid, and set thy face against me,
Of no other use, to me, my offerings and oblations became.

The child playeth not thus with shards and with stones,
Like as I gamble away, upon thee, my religion, and my faith.

When to such a pitiless one as thou art, I gave up my heart,
I, certainly, thrust my own self into calamity's jaws.

There are none of constancy's or fidelity's wares therein;
For the fair, in their shops, barter naught but hollowness itself.

When I come upon the paraphernalia of the heart-ravishers,
The goods and chattels of my self-control become naught to me.

p. 128

Should I erect a hundred castles of patience round my heart,
I see no safety for myself, from the inroads of the fair-faced ones.

A thousand times over, they will be thankful for their condition,
Should I narrate, unto the damned, the way my life passeth.

Shouldst thou, O Ḥamīd! come under the aspersion of love,
Account as profit, not yet acquired, this mulct of thine.


Thy face hath shamed the rose, and thy tresses, the spikenard:
The nightingale forsaketh the parterre, and flieth unto thee.

From how long since, indeed, dost thou inflict, and I endure?
Bravo unto thy tyranny, and unto this resignation of mine!

My heart, thro’ jealousy, becometh lacerated within my breast,
When the senseless comb runneth its fingers thy ringlets thro’.

When smiling, thy rosy lips reveal their beauties,
Exactly like unto the rose-bud, when it unfoldeth its leaves.

The whole world, through injustice, had become desolate,
Had kings shown such arrogance and indifference as thou!

Though I observe a thousand fasts of patience and austerity;
With a single glance towards me, thou subvertest them all.

How long shall I dry thy tyranny's tears with my sleeve?
Wherefore is the bridge not constructed on the waters of the flood?

For with love, as with quicksilver, there is no repose, save in death! *
How long then am I to live, when I am in agitation ever

p. 129

O Ḥamīd! the fair maids of the Sarraban * tribe have no equals;
Whether it is in Egypt, or in Kanæān —in Kabūl or Kashmīr.


Wherefore doth the possessor of beauty boast of loveliness?
It will, of itself, become the pointed at, like the new moon.

Though one should call it a ruby a thousand times over,
The crowfoot's red berry  therefrom, doth not to a ruby turn.

Whoever aspireth after the beauty of the Scythian-like fair, §
Like the ant, merely for his own destruction, acquireth wings. §§

Just as the child playeth and gamboleth with earth and mud;
So sporteth the poor lover, with his property and his life.

Expel selfishness from thy heart, if thou wouldst love pursue;
For without that deficiency, this perfection existeth not.

This doctrine of love is an ecstacy, from beginning to end;
And for the utterance, even of a word, there is no power here.

Is this a black mole upon the forehead of my beloved?
Or is it Bilāl ** arisen, the summons unto prayer to sound?

p. 130

Defend us from the patronage of the self-conceited, be he ever so liberal:
The mouth gasping thro’ hunger, is good; but not opened, to beg.

Envy not, O possessor of riches, the poverty of Ḥamīd!
This poor blanket, for that shawl, I will not exchange with thee!


Though I adjure thee again and again, a thousand times,
Or give counsel unto thee, in a hundred different ways,

Neither my monitions, nor my entreaties touch thee—
What calamity am I? what abomination fallen in the path?

If these are not the marplot's counsels, what then are they,
That my admonitions make no impression on thy ear?

Such joy as thou displayest in cruelly torturing me,
Such delight the nightingale showeth not, even for the rose.

In love, since I live on less than half of a dying breath,
Death is a hundred times preferable, to such existence as this.

Since they talk to me of patience, when separated from thee,
The admonishers chew, out of place, these cuds of monition.

Ask no promises of me regarding the affairs of love;
Else, why is it, that poison is not with relish swallowed?

As one, that from the sheath, half draweth a sword on another,
In such wise, do thy white arms daunt and terrify me.

A nightingale, like Ḥamīd, there would not be among them,
Were not the Sarrabans * a garden, thro’ their maidens fair.

p. 131


How unseemly, how culpably, thou pratest, O addle-head one!
Wherefore from the Almighty, askest thou not pardon for this.

Thou grievest long enough about thy modesty and good name;
But, in the affairs of the world, who more dastard than thou?

Thou showest no concern about religion, though it should be destroyed—
Thou misguided—thou shameless—thou unworthy creature!

Just as the child giveth pearls and jewels, in exchange for bread;
In such wise playest thou, for the world, thy faith away.

What! thou, who givest thy heart to the world, seekest grace!
Thy life passeth bootlessly away, thou sifter of the wind!

The foolish man yearneth after the goods of the world;
And the baby capereth along, astride the cane horse. *

Nothing unlawful, is a whit more pleasant than the lawful;
But thy own sister and daughter are foul-nosed,  in thy sight.

Thou hast not, in the least, swept it with the broom of repentance—
The path of death, thou hast left, in the same thorny state as before.

Since thou hast kept the field against men, good and brave,
Unto the smiting-sword of Ḥamīd's intellect be all praise!


Though thou canst manage to give it good food, and fine clothes;
Still, thou wilt not be able to exempt the body from the fire of hell.

p. 132

Until thy body shall be decked out in the garments of piety,
Plume not thyself on the mere adornment of the person.

These acts, which passion, to-day, prompteth thee to commit,
I perceive in them, for thee, death and destruction to-morrow.

Since by death, thou becomest like unto a putrid carcass,
Do not become, in life, like unto a musk-deer of Khut̤an. *

Fools, that they may gain the world thereby, their faith barter;
But such like buying and selling as this, the wise practise not.

Save thee, by whom both grave and resurrection are forgotten,
Know, that every stranger seeketh his own country to reach.

From the goblet which is full, no sound proceedeth ever;
But thro’ deficiency and emptiness only, thy notoriety ariseth.

Since here thy sitting is among the wicked, and the unworthy;
Flatter not thyself, that there, thou shalt, with the just, arise.

Unto thee, O Ḥamīd! the wise and the prudent will give ear;
But what know the ignorant, concerning thy stringing of pearls. 


How many lions hath fortune made a spectacle of,
Into whose dens, both dogs and cats, now fearless enter!

When destiny, in its own dire pitilessness, cometh,
It casteth down stones, upon the furnace of glass.

Destiny maketh that head a plaything for dogs,
Within whose domain, the lion dared not place his foot.

p. 133

In the conflict with fate, they fled far away,
Whom the world feared to enter into contest with.

The teeth, by which those iron-like pulse were masticated,
God knoweth what acids have rendered them thus blunt.

By the tears of what unfortunate, was that fire quenched,
That, enwrapped in its flames, distant hills and dales?

Like unto a scorpion, insignificant and contemptible dieth
That man, whose envenomed sting, maketh others weep and wail.

The skilled in language must have arranged the rhymes of Ḥamīd;
Otherwise, no one would have entered them upon any page.


Since thou confessest unto ignorance, it proveth thy sense is good;
But when thou boastest of thy wisdom, thou art then unwise.

When thy comprehension reacheth not unto thine own faults,
How then knowest thou aught about the shortcomings of others?

If thou hast preserved thy heart from the deceits of the flesh,
Then mayest thou say unto it, verily thou art wise!

Seeing that thou hast no conception of religion in thy heart,
Thou, foolishly, pleasest thyself—thou art but lip-wise.

But wherefore is not the thief of thine own abode seized by thee,
When thou pointest out others’ stolen goods, and knowest the robber too?

First repair thine own ruined and dilapidated affairs,
If, in truth, thou knowest a plan for restoring them.

Since, O heart-ravisher! all my wishes, thou fulfillest,
How wonderfully well must thou, the heart of Ḥamīd know!

p. 134


Whom love may make lighter, even than a feather,
Consider that person heavier than the mountain of Ḳāf. *

When, with the ashes of abjectness, it shall become daubed,
The mirror of their hearts, shall clear, and bright become.

Though the fool may prate and vapour before the wise;
The roasting grain will not, in the least, crack the pan.

With eyes that see, and ears that hear, thou showest thy malice:
Art thou not, unto the breath and footstep of the Messiah, blind?

If a person shut not his eyes, purposely, on what is unlawful,
The stranger's shoes can be easily recognised upon his feet.

Since Ḥamīd stretcheth forth his hand to the chin of the beloved,
O! would that the branch of the willow did apples yield!


Thou shouldst not take amiss, O beloved! my gazing upon thee;
For the nightingales fly and flutter, continually, about the rose.

Any worthiness of association with thee, in myself, I see not;
Hence have the pupils of mine eyes, from looking, wholly ceased.

Those eyes of thine, at last, carried away my heart from me,
Notwithstanding with endurance and patience I guarded it.

Art thou aware of thy raids and onslaughts, or art thou not,
Seeing that thou hast pillaged the abode of my resignation?

p. 135

The stones of resentment and hatred, rain down upon my head,
When I behold my rivals, around the door of thy dwelling gathered.

Let Khizr * be the gate-keeper of those gates, and those walls,
Whence thy coming and going—thy exit and entrance, may be.

When that smile of thine, in thy chin, a well-like dimple dug,
Then was it, that I perceived my own falling helpless therein.

I would, at that time, have concealed this dejection of mine,
Had I any idea, that from thee I should have comfort received.

Throughout the whole world there is quiet and tranquillity;
But the Mughal  of sorrow for thee, hath, against Ḥamīd, risen.


Whereas I discovered the science of the alchemy of love,
Therefore, this earthy form of mine hath sallow become.

When the fair, their spells and incantations commence,
They cast burthens upon the back of forbearance and control.

With prayers upon my lips, I fell in love in my heart
Verily, the lion hath devoured me, whilst seated by the hearth.

It heareth not the wails of the nightingale in the parterre;
For this reason the mountain partridge laugheth so loudly.

I have sunk down, to this degree, in the ocean of love,
That I remember not whether I am of the sea, or of the land.

So sore distressed am I, with dried up heart and humid eyes,
That Majnūn seemed insignificant and contemptible to me.

p. 136

The bitterness of separation will not pass down my throat,
Notwithstanding I eat, along with it, the sugar of association.

Tears too, in the time of adversity, severed themselves from me
Alas, one's own, as well as strangers, are but prosperity's friends!

How wonderfully gorgeous thou makest simple things, O Ḥamīd!
May thy penetrating conceptions never come under the evil eye!


When a superior entereth into contention with an inferior,
Through folly, he exchangeth a shawl for a woollen blanket.

He who calleth another, the son of a dog, is, himself, a dog;
For the son of a man affiliateth not another on a dog.

Than this, that at a dog thou shouldst fling a stone or a clod,
It is far better, that thou shouldst throw him a cake of bread.

Now, out upon such like name and indication,
That may set up for thee the staff of injury and ill!

The acts of youth cannot be practised in old age
Therefore, old woman! with gilded paper ornament not thy head. *

Every proceeding harmonizeth with its own proper season—
White hair suiteth not for side locks, nor for back ones either. 

Plodding about in the world, is of no advantage whatever—
Then what have I to do with the embraces of this old hag?

p. 137

Let not the inferior sit in the dwelling of the superior!
Let not wool be vended at the market price of silk!

Since, unto such pure white admonitions, it giveth utterance,
God forbid that the tongue of Hamīd should falter ever!


Since thou art occupied in giving ear unto envy and covetousness,
Tho’ thou shouldst the possessor of treasures become, a poor beggar art thou.

Sovereignty and dominion shall follow thee, like a shadow,
If thou art content, like the Ḥumā, upon dry bones to live. *

Wherefore then, cast away life and faith, for the sake of the belly?
Why, O why! dost thou, broken-down-asses, upon roses graze?

Like unto dogs, that circle round about the putrid carcass,
Thus thou, for protection, to worthy and unworthy payest court.

Thy human nature will become that of the dog by this covetousness;
Therefore, guard well thy integrity by patience, if thou art wise.

Greediness and envy will bring such calamities upon thee
As may never have befallen any one—so hereafter wilt thou say.

Safety from Hell's burning flames, cannot be effected by this,
That thou shouldst gay clothes don, eat delicacies, and extol thyself.

In this world, restrain thy violent passions by devotion and piety,
If thou entertain the desire of salvation, in the world to come.

Since in love, thou endurest such an amount of affliction,
Thou form of Ḥamīd! what a terrible calamity art thou!

p. 138


God forbid that the mouths of affliction be opened on any one;
For these mouths, in agony, are the very mouths of dragons!

That which, very speedily, levelleth the strong fortress with the plain,
Is either the evil mouths of cannon, or the mouths of enmity.

Tremble at the words from a single mouth of the oppressed,
Tho’ a thousand tongues may offer prayers for thy long life.

When the blast of the sigh of the woe-begone reacheth them,
It filleth, with ashes and dust, the mouths of flattery and deceit.

Whom the inflammation of deep-drawn sighs shall strike,
The mouths of that person's wounds shall never, never close.

Have those folks made sweet with words those speaking mouths,
Which, to charm, have the power of the mouth of the Messiah?

When it receiveth the blow of the injuries of the oppressed,
The soundest mouth is more useless made, than a hole in a wall.

O, where are those tongues, so enchanting and bewitching,
Which make the mouths of denial, in confession, to assent!

Now, thou hast laid the hand of silence upon thy tongue,
Since thou, O mouth! didst feel the blow of the fist of reply.

The morning shall not dawn upon their night of sorrow,
Against whom, every morning, mouths maledictions utter.

Ḥamīd hath thus torn to pieces the slanderous world,
Like the hungry dogs, when they place their mouths to the game


Thou meltest me, every moment, in a hundred ways;
But thou showest not, unto me, the tinge of attachment.

p. 139

All unprofitably, during the reign of thy tyrannical beauty,
Anchorites bring under cultivation patience and austerity.

To the sight, become manifest, in every wrinkle of thy brow,
The signs and portents of the torments of the judgment-day.

Who, with thy sanguinary eyes, may contract acquaintance,
In their families will be woe and misery for evermore.

Whereas, I go about searching every portal and gateway,
I seek the threshold of the door of thy dwelling to find.

How shall I bring myself before the sword of thy countenance,
When the mirror, itself, recoileth from the edge of it?

Since, the "Night of Power" of thy curls became its portion, *
What night-watching is fallen to the good fortune of the comb!

I, Ḥamīd, twist and twine myself about, unavailingly,
Like unto a serpent on the treasure of the faces of the fair. 


Although on thy sitting and rising thou mayest be hailed "Thy sacrifice;" 
Yet, when thou sittest at another's door, thou sprawlest on the stake.

p. 140

Account not this lowliness humiliation; for it is, truly, wealth,
That upon thine own mat, poor and distressed, thou reclinest.

Out upon that rising, and that sitting, though it be upon a throne,
That ever sitteth down in enmity, and, in animosity, ariseth!

From the head of that masnad* thou wilt contemptible arise,
Shouldst thou press, like a burden, on the heads of the poor.

By pity and sympathy, strive to gain the hearts of people,
If, like the taper, thou wouldst sit pre-eminent, all others above.

Wherefore dost thou not tremble at seeing the tears of the oppressed?
Why sittest thou tranquil and undisturbed, on the face of the flood?

Regard him not, who neither himself consumeth, nor bestoweth on others,
That thus, like unto a serpent, upon a hidden treasure reclineth.

This world is neither the abode of stability, nor of peaceful repose;
Yet still, foolishly, thou standest fast at the bridge's head.

The ruby of honour and fame, O Ḥamīd! thou wilt acquire,
If, in meekness, with the poor and humble, thou sittest in the dust.


Like as thou art all powerful over me, so is thy guardian;
For although he is the dog of thy door, he is the master of me.

Though he may do me a thousand injuries, I will not return them—
For thy sake, civility towards him, is expedient unto me.

p. 141

Whatever wrongs thy heart desireth, heap them upon my head;
Since every thing improper of thine, is meet and proper for me.

Though thy coldness drew out the very breath from my body,
What matter, since solicitude for thy love, is a substitute for it?

At the yearnings of this maddened heart, I am confounded;
For I know not, in the least, what thing it desireth from thee.

Even in association, it weepeth on account of separation
What wonderful dignity hath it been the heart's fortune to acquire!

Now, taking thy love into account; again, considering its tyranny;
At one breath the heart is impetuous, and at another it is repentant.

May the Almighty keep the thoughts of thee, ever present in my breast!
Then what mattereth it, whether thy face may present, or absent be?

Though Ḥamīd, from the beloved, desireth the hand of society;
Yet what poor beggar hath a patent of nobility acquired?


87:* A prelate, a doctor learned in the law, a venerable old man.

87:† A priest, a learned man.

88:* The term "placing the hand on the hip," is similar to one's scratching his head, or putting his finger in his mouth, when entirely at a loss what to do.

90:* See Raḥmān, Poem XIX., first note.

90:† The chikor is the bartavelle or Greek partridge; and the redness of its legs refers to the custom amongst Muḥammadans of dyeing the hands and feet, by young people, on festive occasions; and is a symbol of joy.

90:‡ Potiphar's wife.

91:* Referring to the hateful rule of the Mughal Emperors of Hindūstān, from the days of Bābar to the foundation of the Afghān monarchy by Aḥmad Shāh, which all Afghāns cry out against.

92:* Yaman—Arabia Felix, celebrated throughout the East for its tulips and its rubies.

92:† A country of Chinese Tartary, famous for its musk, and the beauty of its women.

94:* The Persian Gulf.

95:* See note at page 48.

96:* Oriental anime, or species of amber, which has the virtue of attracting straws.

96:† This refers particularly to Afghān mothers very often becoming the innocent cause of the death of their infants, from falling asleep whilst giving suck at night, and the nipple being in the infant's mouth, the weight of the breast itself suffocates the child.

97:* Rustam—the Persian Hercules, and the hero of the celebrated epic poem of the Shāh Nāmah by Firdousī.

99:* The tulip is considered the frailest flower of the garden.

99:† Children, in Afghānistān, when they see wild geese, run after them crying out to give them a cup.

99:‡ The rose is said to be laughing when it is wet with the drops or tears of dew, which is unreasonable; for by the dew's moisture, the rose's garment, which, as a bud, was gathered together, becomes rent or full- blown.

102:* It is supposed that the complaints and the curses of the oppressed are most effective at the dawn of day.

102:† See note at page 39.

103:* See note at page 29.

104:* The Father of Rivers—the Afghān name for the Indus.

105:* See second note at page 26.

105:† See note at page 80.

107:* Anointing the eyelids with antimony on festive occasions, and also to increase their blackness.

107:† Green is the mourning colour of Muḥammadan countries.

109:* See second note at page 26.

109:† It is the custom to stick up a piece of a broken black pot in melon grounds, to avert the evil eye, in the same manner as they raise up scarecrows in England to keep the birds away.

112:* Referring to public dancing in the East, the occupation of a certain class of females, and confined to them only.

114:* The infernal tree mentioned in the Ḳur’ān, the fruit of which is supposed to be the heads of devils.

116:* The fixed, staring eye of the locust, is an emblem of immodest eyes, that never look down.

118:* They say, in the East, that pearls are formed by the oyster receiving a single drop of rain-water in its shell.

119:* Yaman—Arabia Felix, said to be famous for its rubies.

119:† See note, page 29.

122:* There is a certain fly or beetle that skims along the surface of the water, and is difficult to strike; hence the doing of any absurd or useless thing, is like attempting to strike it.

123:* The name of a tribe of Tartars, residing to the north of Bālkh, notorious robbers.

123:† From the pinnacle of heaven to the bottom of the uttermost abyss. According to Muḥammadan theories, the earth is supported by a fish.

123:‡ Jamāl Khān, of the tribe of Mohmand and clan of Khudrzī, about the year h. 1122 (a.d. 1711), during the governorship of Nāsir Khān, p. 124 Ṣūbah-dār of Kābul, was raised to the chieftainship of his clan, during which time he plundered and destroyed the village of Æsau, one of his own tribe. About this time, the marriage of Jalāl, son of Jamāl, was about to be celebrated; and the Ṣūbah-dār himself sent the sum of two thousand rupees towards its expenses. Æsau, however, bent upon taking revenge, and Jamāl's clan being weak in proportion to his own, he sent his spies to bring him intelligence when his enemy should be occupied in his son's nuptial ceremonies, to fall upon him. On the night of the marriage, therefore, he assembled his friends and clansmen, and came upon Jamal's village. Jamul, though totally unprepared for such an attack, came out to meet his enemies; but having been badly wounded, he had to seek shelter within the walls of his own dwelling. On this, Æsau set it on fire; and Jamal, with his son and family, and the parties assembled at the celebration of the wedding, to the amount of upwards of eighty men, women, and children, were consumed. According to the Poet Hallman, Gul Khān was the only friend who stood by Jamal on this occasion, and was burnt to death along with the others; thus proving his friendship by the sacrifice of his life. Æsau was of the same tribe as Ḥamīd himself; and the poem above seems to have been written in reply to one by Raḥmān, who takes the part of Jamal, by way of defending Æsau.

125:* The name of an Indian tree (Ficus Indica.)

126:* Alluding to Gul Khān and others, mentioned in preceding note.

126:† See note at page 123.

126:‡ Referring to the hollowness of the heavens, as apparent to us.

127:* Darweshes and Faḳīrs carry a bowl, in which they receive alms.

127:† See second note at page 26.

128:* What chemists term "killing mercury."

129:* The name of one of the two grand divisions of the Afghān tribes, inhabiting the tracts about Peshāwar, and to the north.

129:† Canaan.

129:‡ A plant bearing a red berry, the ranunculus or crowfoot.

129:§ The Turks or Scythians have generally fine countenances and large dark eyes, hence the Muḥammadan poets make frequent use of the word to express beautiful youth of both sexes.

129:§§ There is an insect called an ant by the Afghāns, which, on its wings appearing in the spring, comes forth and falls a prey to the birds.

129:** The name of the negro mu’aẓẓain or crier, who announced unto the people when Muḥammad prayed.

130:* See first note at page 129.

131:* Children in Afghānistān ride on a long reed for a horse, as they do in England upon a stick.

131:† That is to say, what is foreign is good.

132:* A district of Chinese Tartary, famous for its musk.

132:† The composition of poetry is termed, stringing pearls.

134:* A fabulous mountain, supposed to surround the world, and bound the horizon.

135:* See note at page 48.

135:† Figuratively, a tyrant. See note at page 91.

136:* Women in Afghānistān ornament their hair by sticking patches of gilt paper in it, on festive occasions in particular, if they do not possess ornaments more substantial, in the shape of golden ducats.

136:† The hair of young females is either plaited into numerous small plaits, or divided into three large ones, one on each side of the head, and the other hanging down the back.

137:* The Humā is a fabulous bird of happy omen, peculiar to the East. It exists on dry bones; never alights; and it is supposed that every head it overshadows will, in time, wear a crown. See Attila, by the late G. P. R. James, Chap. VI.

139:* Laylatu-l-ḳadr, or shab-i-ḳadr—the night of power—is the 27th of the month Ramaẓān, and is greatly revered on many accounts, but more particularly as being the night on which the Kur’ān began to descend from heaven. On its anniversary, all orthodox Muḥammadans employ themselves throughout the night in fervent prayer, imagining that every supplication to the Omnipotent, then put up, will be favourably received.

139:† Every buried treasure is supposed to be guarded by a serpent or a dragon.

139:‡ "I am thy sacrifice"—a respectful and endearing form of answer, in use amongst the Afghāns, Persians, and others.

140:* A carpet and cushion at the upper part of a room, and accounted the seat of honour; but it generally refers to the large cushion which kings sit on as a throne.

Next: Introduction