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Love's parting

By Manoochehri (died 1041)
Translated by Edward Granville Browne
February 20, 2002
The Iranian

O tentsman, haste, and strike the tent, I pray!
The caravan's already under way;
The drummer sounds already the first drum;
Their loads the drivers on the camels lay.
The evening-prayer is nigh, and lo! tonight
The sun and moon opposed do stand at bay,
Save that the moon climbs upwards through the sky,
While sinks the sun o'er Babel's mountains gray,
Like two scales of golden balance, when
One pan doth upwards and one downwards weigh.
"O silver cypress! Little did I think
To see so swiftly pass our trysting-day.
We are all heedless, but the moon and sun
Are heedful things, whose purposes ne'er stray.
My darling, wend thee hence, and weep no more,
For fruitless are the hopes of lovers aye.
with parting Time is pregnant; know ye not
Needs must the pregnant bring to birth one day?"
When thus my love beheld my state, her eyes
Rained tears like drops which fall when lightnings play.
That she crushed pepper held within her hand
And cast it in her eyes thou wouldest say.
Drooping and trembling unto me she came
Like throat-cut bird, whose life-blood ebbs away,
Around my neck like sword-belt flung her arms,
And on my breast like belt depending lay.
"O cruel," cried she; "by my soul I swear
My envious foes rejoice through thee this day!
Wilt thou, what time the caravan returns
Return therewith, or still in exile stay?
Perfect I deemed thee once in all thy deeds,
But now in love imperfect, well-a-way!"

Thanks to John Mohammadi for searching and forwarding the contents of this page.

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