Aur Iss Khidmat-e-Paigham-e-Sehar Ko Chorun
Enough of this sun‐and‐moon neighboring glory—
Enough of this office of heralding dawn!
Iss Bulandi Se Zameen Walon Ki Pasti Achi
Worthless to me the abodes of the planets,
Lowly earth‐dwelling is more than these heights
Subah Ka Daman-e-Sad Chaak Kafan Hai Mera
I inhabit, to heaven but a realm of extinction,
Dawn’s skirt of the hundred‐fold rent for my shroud:
Saqi-e-Mout Ke Hathon Se Saboohi Peena
To live, to die daily my fate, to be poured
The morning‐draught first by the cup-bearer Death.
Iss Ghari Bhar Ke Chamakne Se To Zulmat Achi
Thankless this duty, this station, this dignity—
Better the dark then to shine for one hour!
Qa’ar-e-Darya Mein Chamakta Huwa Gohar Banta
No star would I be, if it lay in my will,
But a gleaming white pearl in the cavernous sea,
Chor Kar Behr Kahin Zaib-e-Guloo Ho Jata
And then, if too fearful the strife of the waves,
Leave ocean, and hang in some necklace—what joy
Zeenat-e-Taj-e-Sar-e-Bano-e-Qaisar Ban Kar
It would be there to glitter as beauty’s bright pendent,
A gem in the crown of an emperor’s consort!
Khatam-e-Dast-e-Suleman Ka Nageen Ban Ke Raha
What fragment of stone, if its destiny smiled,
Might not flash in the ring on the finger of Solomon?
Hai Guhr Haye Giran Maya Ka Anjaam Shikast
But glory of all such in this world must vanish,
The rich gem must vanish at last.
Kya Woh Jeena Hai Ke Ho Jis Mein Taqazaye Ajal
That alone Lives, that need have no acquaintance with death:
Can that be called life, that hears death’s importunity?
Kyun Na Gir Jaun Kisi Phool Pe Shabnam Ho Kar!
If, making earth lovely, our end must be thus,
Let me rather be changed to a flower‐falling dewdrop,
Kisi Mazloom Ki Aahon Ke Shiraron Mein Rahun
A speck in the gold‐dust that paints a bride’s forehead,
A spark in the sigh that a wounded heart breathes—
Kyun Na Uss Biwi Ki Ankhon Se Tapak Jaun Main
Or why not the glistening tear‐drop that rolls
Down the long lashes fringing the eyes of a lady
Sooye Maidan-e-Dagha, Hub-e-Watan Se Majboor
Whose lord, in chain armour enmeshed, must set forth
To the battlefield, hurried by love of his country,
Jis Ki Khamoshi Se Taqreer Bhi Sharmati Ho
—A woman whose face like a picture shows hope
and despair side by side, and whose silence shames speech:
Aur Nigahon Ko Haya Taqat-e-Goyai De
her patient thoughts built on her husband’s firm soul,
Her looks from their modesty borrowing eloquence,
Kashish-e-Husn Gham-e-Hijar Se Afzoon Ho Jaye
That hour of farewell when the rosy cheek pales
And the sorrow of parting makes beauty more beautiful!
Saghir-e-Didah-e-Purnam Se Chhalak Ho Jaun
There, though she locked up her heart, I would gleam,
One waterdrop split from her eye’s brimming cup,
Ishq Ka Souz Zamane Ko Dikhata Jaun
To find in the dust an immortal new life,
And teach to the world the long passion of love.