For, if I did, who knows?
The bulbul might forget the rose,
The Brahman worshipper
Adoring Lakshmi's grace
Might turn, forsaking her,
To see my face;
My beauty might prevail.
Think how within the flower
Hidden as in a bower
Her fragrant soul must be,
And none can look on it;
So me the world can see
Only within the verses I have writ—
I will not lift the veil.
What more have I to do with being anxious to keep my name undishonoured when friends seek to disgrace me?
Seek not relief from the prison of grief, O Makhfi; thy release is not politic.
O Makhfi, no hope of release hast thou until the Day of Judgment come.
Even from the grave of Majnun the voice comes to my ears—"O Leila, there is no rest for the victim of love even in the grave."
I have spent all my life, and I have won nothing but sorrow, repentance, and the tears of unfulfilled desire:—
Long shalt thou wait, thy heart within thee burning,
Looking thus forward to thy home-returning.
But now what home hast thou, unfortunate?
The years have passed and left it desolate,
The dust of ages blows across its gate.
If on the Day of Reckoning
God say, "In due proportion I will pay
And recompense thee for thy suffering,"
Lo, all the joys of heaven it would outweigh;
Were all God's blessings poured upon me, yet
He would be in my debt.
Let no one know the secrets of thy love. On the way of love, O Makhfi, walk alone. Even if Jesus seek to be thy companion, tell him thou desirest not his comradeship.
Never the lost Beloved have ye caressed:
Better that ye were broken than like this
Empty and cold eternally to rest.
O useless eyes,
Never the lost Beloved for all these years
Have ye beheld: better that ye were blind
Than dimmed thus by my unavailing tears.
O foolish springs,
That bring not the Beloved to my abode;
Yea, all the friends of youth have gone from me,
Each has set out on his appointed road.
O fading rose,
Dying unseen as hidden thou wert born;
So my heart's blossom fallen in the dust
Was ne’er ordained His turban to adorn.
It is Thy memory;
I turn to flee, but fall; for over me he casts his snare,
Thy perfumed hair.
Who can escape Thy prison? no mortal heart is free
From dreams of Thee.
But an idolater,
I bow before the image of my Love,
And worship her:
No Brahman I,
My sacred thread
I cast away, for round my neck I wear
Her plaited hair instead.
On the Day of Judgment we should have had much difficulty in proving that we were true believers, had we not brought with us our belovèd Kafir idol as a witness.