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|Shemsuddin Mahommad, alias Hafiz|
Teachings of Hafiz
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WHAT is wrought in the forge of the
living and life--
Like an empty cup is the fate of each,
The span of thy life is as five little
Consider the rose that breaks into
What though I, too, have tasted the salt
of my tears,
* Stanza 2.--These lines are exceedingly mysterious, as, indeed, is the whole poem. I have looked for an explanation of them in other editions of Hafiz, but have found little more than a bare translation of the Persian words. For the meaning of this stanza, see Introduction, p. 74.
Sidreh and Tuba are two trees in the Garden of Paradise. The former is the abode of the angel Gabriel. Concerning the latter Sale says: "They fable that it stands in the palace of Mahommad, though a branch of it will reach to the house of every true believer; that it will be laden with pomegranates, grapes, dates, and other fruits of surprising bigness, and of tastes unknown to mortals. So that if a man desire to eat of any particular kind of fruit, it will immediately be presented to him; or if he choose flesh, birds ready dressed will be set before him, according to his wish. They add that the boughs of this tree will spontaneously bend down to the hand of the person who would gather of its fruits, and that it will supply the blessed not only with food, but also with silken garments and beasts to ride on, ready saddled and bridled and adorned with rich trappings, which will burst forth from its fruits; and that this tree is so large that a person mounted on the fleetest horse would not be able to gallop from one end of its shade to the other in a hundred years."--Introduction to the Koran.
Stanza 4.--He means either facilis descensus Averni, or, more probably, that a great number of those upon whom the orthodox look askance will be found to have equal claim to reward, since the distinction between Sufi and orthodox is in fact nothing.
Stanza 5.--"The lovers of wine"--that is to say the Sufis, who will be equally indifferent whether he comes to them with or without trailing clouds of human approbation, since they will judge of his worth by a different standard.
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