“The 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. 

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

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

The Paradise of heaven mirrors forth Your charming face

Your prickly rose and thornless narcissus do I embrace

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

The secrets of Your self—that lovely face I find perfect

The heavens turn, the stars revolve 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

To look upon Your face, my heart and faith I’d gladly trade

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

So long as Your attractive form continues to 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