Physics 162b home page
For years my heart had been searching for Jamshid's magic cup
Inquiring of strangers for its own perquisite;
Demanding from beachcombers on the ocean's fringe
A pearl which is outside the oyster of Space and Time.
Last night I took my perplexities to the Old Magian,
Who had the insight to deal with mysteries.
I found him merry and laughing, a wine cup in his hand,
Enjoying the panorama reflected in its depths.
I said, "When did the Wise One give you this cosmic tankard?"
He answered, "When He enameled the vault of the sky.
"Poor sufferer -- and God was with him all the time --
Who know Him not, and deified remoteness.
"The juggling with the Selfhood -- the Samaritan warlock
Faking the wonders of Moses' rod, and his white hand."
He said, "Our friend who ended on the gallows --
His only crime was this -- blabbing of secrets.
"But if God's holy Angel would deign once more his grace,
Others might do the wonders the Messiah worked."
I asked, "Why has my Love this strand of hair to bind me?"
"It is your lovesick heart, Hafez, frets at that chain."
-- Hafez, (1326(?)-1389), translated from the Persian
by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs
Contact albion at brandeis dot edu