Saturday, December 19, 2015

The drunken moonlight music band

Dec 17 is the night Rumi passed away about 800 years ago and left the world drunk with his worldview. We honor him with a translation of a profoundly spiritual ghazal from his Book of Shams.

Here is a orchestral performance of this ghazal :
from minutes 1:44 to 8:00
دوش در مهتاب دیدم مجلسی از دور مست
Last night, under the moonlight, I spotted a band, in the distance, all drunk  
طفل مست و پیر مست و مطرب تنبور مست
[I saw infants drunk, the old drunk the lute player all drunk
ماه داده آسمانرا جرعه ای زان جام می
 The moon had given the sky a cup from that vat of wine
ماه مست و مهر مست و سایه مست و نور مست
 The moon was drunk, the sun drunk, shadows and light, all drunk
بوی زان می چون رسیده بر دماغ بوستان
When the fragrance of that wine reached the garden'
سبزه مست و آب مست و شاخ مست انگور مست
 the grass went drunk, the stream went drunk, the branches, vines and grapes, all drunk
خورده رضوان ساغری از دست ساقی الست
 Heaven drank a cup given by the Winegiver of the Covenant
عرش مست و فرش مست و خلد مست و حور مست
 so the heavens were drunk, the earth drunk, limbo and all the beings in them, all drunk 
زان طرف بزم شهانه از شراب نیم جوش
 music came from a king's feast, serving half warmed wine making
تاج مست و تخت مست و قیصر و فغفور مست
 the crown drunk, the throne drunk, Caesar and Chinese Emperors, all drunk
صوفیان جمعی نشسته در مقام بی خودی
 a group of Sufis sat deep in the state of Transcendence
خرقه مست و جُبّه مست و شبلی و منصور، مست
their outer coats drunk, their shirts, their belongings, all drunk,
آن طرف جمعِ ملائک، گشته ساقی جبرئیل
 on another side the Angels gathered, Gabriel was the Winegiver
عرش مست و سدره مست و حشر مست و صور مست
 the heavens drunk, the tree in seventh heaven,  judgment day and the herald , all drunk
شمس تبریزی شده از جرعه ای مست و خراب
 Shams [my Master] was affected by one such cup
لاجرم مست است و از گفتار خود معذور مست
So he must be drunk; as a rule drunks can't be held responsible for secrets they divulge!


Unknown said...

Good translation, Thanks for sharing.

Dao said...

It is an accurate and truly beautiful translation! Makes the heart sing -- my heart and soul went drunk!