Hafez Poems – Eight of Our Favorites from the Divan of Hafez ( In English )

Hafez Poems

Hafez (also known as Hafiz ) is one of our favorite mystical Sufi poets …

We remember his work with eight of our favorite Hafez poems from one of his best known works of poetry — The Divan of Hafez ( translated into English by Gertrude Lowthian Bell ) [available as a FREE ebook here ] …


Poetry Books
by Hafez


Not All the Sum
of Earthly Happiness

English translation by Gertrude Lowthian Bell

Not all the sum of earthly happiness
Is worth the bowed head of a moment’s pain,
And if I sell for wine my dervish dress,
Worth more than what I sell is what I gain !
Land where my Lady dwells, thou boldest me
Enchained ; else Fars were but a barren soil.
Not worth the journey over land and sea.
Not worth the toil !

Down in the quarter where they sell red wine.
My holy carpet scarce would fetch a cup —
How brave a pledge of piety is mine,
Which is not worth a goblet foaming up I
Mine enemy heaped scorn on me and said :
“ Forth from the tavern gate ! ” Why am I thrust
From off the threshold ? is my fallen head
Not worth the dust ?

Wash white that travel-stained sad robe of thine I
Where word and deed alike one colour bear,
The grape’s fair purple garment shall outshine
Thy many-coloured rags and tattered gear.
Full easy seemed the sorrow of the sea
Lightened by hope of gain — hope flew too fast !
A hundred pearls were poor indemnity.
Not worth the blast.

The Sultan’s crown, with priceless jewels set,
Encircles fear of death and constant dread ;
It is a head-dress much desired — and yet
Art sure ’tis worth the danger to the head ?
’Twere best for thee to hide thy face from those
That long for thee ; the Conqueror’s reward
Is never worth the army’s long-drawn woes,
Worth fire and sword.

Ah, seek the treasure of a mind at rest
And store it in the treasury of Ease ;
Not worth a loyal heart, a tranquil breast.
Were all the riches of thy lands and seas I
Ah, scorn, like Hafiz, the delights of earth,
Ask not one grain of favour from the base.
Two hundred sacks of jewels were not worth
Thy soul’s disgrace !

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