Ghazal: Half-Way Through the Night


Half-way through the night
                                    she came by the side of my bed
Wine in hand, blouse torn
                                    and her hair all over the place
With laughter and tears in her eyes
                                    mockery in her voice
She laid her head on me
                                    and plaintively said
Asleep so soon my love?
                                    you will be love's infidel
If you do not worship wine
                                    when you are given it;
Forget all that talk of sin
                                    whining hypocrites
Since the day the world began
                                    we have had our fill
Whatever was put before us
                                    we drank and we didn't care
If it was the wine of paradise
                                     or the dregs of a bad year
O Hafiz many a vow like yours
                                     has been broken beyond repair
By a girl with a flask of wine
                                     and disorder in her hair.


                               Persian; trans. Geoffrey Squires


Hafiz, Persian, trans. Geoffrey Squires, Delos 2, 1968.