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Poems from the Divan of Hafiz, by Getrude Lowthian Bell, [1897], at


Stanza 1.—This poem is addressed to the Vizir of Sultan Oweis of Baghdad, Hadji Kawameddin, who founded a college for Hafiz in Shiraz. With true Persian exaggeration the poet must needs write to his patron much in the same terms in which a lover would write to his mistress; but his words, though they sound strangely to our ears, are nothing more than the Oriental way of saying, "Awake, my St. John!"

The mystical interpretation of the first few lines is said to be: As the wine glows in the cup like the reflection of a ruddy cheek, so in the goblet of my heart I have seen the reflection of God, the true Beloved.

Stanza 6.—It is related that upon a certain occasion when Hafiz was feasting with the Vizir in the latter's garden, a servant handed to him a goblet of wine, and as he took it he saw in it the reflection of the crescent moon overhead. The incident suggested this verse to him. I should say that the anecdote was of doubtful authenticity.

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