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


Stanza 1.—The second line of this poem is as often quoted as any, perhaps, in the Divan: " Yàd bàd àn ruz-i-gàràn, yàd bàd!" A man will set it upon a letter to an absent friend, even when he is not particularly anxious that days gone by should be preserved from oblivion; and how often must the simple little line have been used by those to whom its very simplicity made it more poignant than pages of sentiment!

Stanza 3.—The Zindeh Rud was a river that flowed past Isfahan. There are unfortunately no longer rose-gardens upon its banks, for it disappeared completely in the terrible earthquake which occurred in the spring of the year 1853. I suspect from internal evidence that this poem was sent to some friends of Hafiz living at Isfahan, upon whom the passionate appeal need refiect no discredit, since it may quite possibly be merely the Oriental way of writing a letter of thanks. At the same time, in spite of this rational explanation, it must be acknowledged that the meaning of the name Zindeh Rud is River of Life. I tremble to think into what a slough of mysticism the innocent little stream might be induced to guide us!