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O Beloved, upon this river of wine, launch our boat-shaped cup,
And into this river throw those weeping with envy, too.
Winebringer, throw a cask of wine into my boat,
For without that–for forty days and nights on the open sea–
I will die of thirst.
I am lost in this city and can no longer find the Winehouse door.
Please help me to find that street again where Love resides.
Bring me a cup of wine that is dark red and smells like musk.
Don’t bring me that expensive brand that tastes like money
and smells like lust.
Even though I am drunk and worthless, be kind to me,
And on this dark heart shine the light of Your smile.
If it’s sun at midnight that you desire, throw the veil from
The face of the rose, and you will have all the light you need.
If I die, don’t let them bury me in a dusty grave;
Take my corpse to the Winehouse and throw me into a cask of wine!
Hafiz, if you have had enough of this world and all its violence,
Then take up the cup, and from the inside let this liquid love make peace.
–Khw?ja Šamsu d-D?n Mu?ammad H?fiz-e Š?r?z? (????? ????????? ???? ???? ??????), Ghazal No. 377 (ca. 1370)(T.R. Crowe transl., Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved: 100 Poems of Hafiz, reproduced with kind permission of the translator.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Estimated total calories members of Congress burned giving Bush’s 2002 State of the Union standing ovations:
A fertility scientist named Panayiotis Zavos announced that he had created human-cow embryos that were theoretically viable, but denied that he planned to allow such a hybrid to be implanted in a woman’s womb. “We are not trying to create monsters,” he said.
A statistician determined that the five most common first names among New York City taxi drivers are Md, Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammad, and Mohamed.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”