“My heart You’ve taken from the friend—and from the stranger, too…”

The following is my translation of a ghazal composed by Ustád Muḥammad-ʻAlí Salmání, the Baháʼí barber of Baháʼuʼlláh, to Whom this poem is addressed. The verses of this translation follow an AABB rhyme scheme and are set to iambic heptameter. 

My heart You’ve taken from the friend—and from the stranger, too

Both friend and stranger harbor in their hearts their love for You

I strive to mirror forth the flow’ry gardens of Your face

Your thorny rose and harmless narcissus do I embrace

A mirror of my heart I’ve made; God grant it may reflect

The secrets of Your self—that wondrous face I’d fain protect

The heavens turn, revolving stars and planets run their course

They circle round Your holy sanctum day and night perforce

To see Your winsome face have every people sought their way

No matter drunk or sober, sleeping or awake be they

A look upon Your face, and now my life You’ve hand’ly swayed

Your sorc’rous eyes, Your dang’rous curls that down Your face cascade

Until Your graceful stature and Your charm do not remain

Both show’r of spring and sanguine torrent of my eyes will rain

The cry of love I’d raise though painful death be well in store

Though it be hangman’s noose or wrathful crowd I stand before

Apart from praises of Bahá, no work have I perused

All other books and tracts and scrolls and such have I refused

A typescript of the original Persian text of this ghazal appears below.

دل ز اغيار جدا بردی و از يار جدا
عشقِ تو يار جُدا وَرزَد و اغيار جدا
پروَرَد عكسِ گلستانِ جِنان باغِ رُخَت
گلِ با خار جدا، نرگسِ بی‌خار جدا
دل چو آئينه نمودم كه در او جلوه كند
سرِّ اسرار جدا، طلعتِ دلدار جدا
طوف بر گِردِ حريمِ تو شب و روز كند
چرخِ دَوّار جدا، ثابت و سيّار جدا
هر گروهی به رهی طالبِ ديدار تواند
مست و هشيار جدا، خفته و بيدار جدا
از نگاهی به رُخَت دين و دلم را بردند
چشمِ سَحّار جدا، طُرّۀ طَرّار جدا
تا بوَد نازِ قدِ سروِ تو، بارَد به چمن
ابرِ آذار جدا، ديدۀ خونبار جدا
نعرۀ عشق زنم گر بكِشند و بكُشند
بر سرِ دار جدا، بر سرِ بازار جدا
خوانده‌ام نيست به‌جز وصفِ بهاء حرفِ دگر
كلِّ اَسفار جدا، دفتر و طومار جدا