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The Rubaiyat of Rumi

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15 selected poems

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1

Time bringeth swift to end
The rout men keep;
Death’s wolf is nigh to rend
These silly sheep.

See, how in pride they go
With lifted head,
Till Fate with a sudden blow
Smiteth them dead.

2

Thou who lovest, life a crow,
Winter’s chill and winter’s snow,
Ever exiled from the vale’s
Roses red, and nightingales:

Take this moment to thy heart!
When the moment shall depart,
Long thou ‘lt seek it as it flies
With a hundred lamps and eyes.

3

The heavenly rider passed;
The dust rose in the air;
He sped; but the dust he cast
Yet hangeth there.

Straight forward thy vision be,
And gaze not left or night;
His dust is here, and he
In the Infinite.

4

Who was he that said
The immortal spirit is dead,
Or how dared he say
Hope’s sun hath passed away?

An enemy of the sun,
Standing his roof upon,
Bound up both his eyes
And cried: ‘Lo, the sun dies!’

5

‘Who lifteth up the spirit,
Say, who is he?’
‘Who gave in the beginning
This life to me.

Who hoodeth, life a falcon’s,
Awhile mine eyes,
But presently shall loose me
To hunt my prize.’

6

As salt resolved in the ocean
I was swallowed in God’s sea,
Past faith, past unbelieving,
Past doubt, past certainty.

Suddenly in my bosom
A star shone clear and bright;
All the suns of heaven
Vanished in that star’s light.

7

Flowers every night
Blossom in the sky;
Peace in the Infinite;
At peace am I.

Sighs a hundredfold
From my heart arise;
My heart, dark and cold,
Flames with my sighs.

8

He that is my souls’ repose
Round my heart encircling goes,
Round my heart and soul of bliss
He encircling is.

Laughing from my earthy bed
Like a tree I lift my head,
For the Fount of Living mirth
Washes round my earth.

9

The breeze of the morn
Scatters musk in its train,
Fragrance borne
From my fair love’s lane.

Ere the world wastes,
Sleep no more: arise!
The caravan hastes,
The sweet scent dies.

10

If life be gone, fresh life to you
God offereth,
A life eternal to renew
This life of death.

The Fount of Immorality
In Love is found;
The come, and in this boundless sea
Of Love be drowned.

11

Happy was I
In the pearl’s heart to lie;
Till, lashed by life’s hurricane,
Life a tossed wave I ran.

The secret of the sea
I uttered thunderously;
Like a spent cloud on the shore
I slept, and stirred no more.

12

He set the world aflame,
And laid me on the same;
A hundred tongues of fire
Lapped round my pyre.

And when the blazing tide
Engulfed me, and I sighed,
Upon my mouth in haste
His hand He placed.

13

Though every way I try
His whim to satisfy,
His every answering word
Is a pointed sword.

See how the blood drips
From His finger-tips;
Why does He find it good
To wash in my blood?

14

Remembering Thy lip,
The ruby red I kiss;
Having not that to sip,
My lips press this.

Not to Thy far sky
Reaches my stretched hand,
Wherefore kneeling, I
Embrace the land.

 

15

I sought a soul in the sea
And found a coral there;
Beneath the foam for me
An ocean was all laid bare.

Into my heart’s night
Along a narrow way
I groped; and lo! the light,
An infinite land of day.

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‘Persian Poems‘, an Anthology of verse translations edited
by A.J.Arberry, Everyman’s Library, 1972

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Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

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It’s all in One contained.
Understand the One and forge the rest.
Shake off your ways of an apostate pest
Leading to the grave to hell and to torture
Rid your mind of dreams of disaster
This is how is the argument maintained
It’s all in One contained.

What use is it bowing one’s head?
To what avail has prostrating led?
Reading Kalma you make them laugh
Absorbing not a word while the Quran you quaff
The truth must be here and there sustained
It’s all in One contained.

Some retire to the jungles in vain
Others restrict their meals to a grain
Misled they waste away unfed
And come back home half-alive, half-dead
Emaciated in the ascetic postures feigned
It’s all in One contained

Seek your master, say your prayers and
surrender to God.

It will lead you to mystic abandon
And help you to get attuned to the Lord
It’s the truth that Bulleh has gained
It’s all in One contained

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Another Translation:

by Suman Kashyap

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At this one point,all talk ends.

Hold tight to this point, forget your calculations,
Leave the miserable state of unbelief,
Do not torment yourself with the fear of death and hell,
For these are imaginary fears.
Only into such a house will the truth enter.
At this one point, all talk ends.

For no reason you abrade your forehead on the ground,
You display reverence at the mehraab,
You recite the Kalma to entertain a listener.
But knowledge does not enter your heart.
Can the truth ever remain hidden?
At this one point, all talk ends.

Many return from Mecca as hajjis,
Blue shawls across their shoulders.
They profit from the merit earned by haj.
Who can admire such behavior?
Can the truth ever remain hidden?
At this one point, all talk ends.

Some withdraw to the forest,
Eat a single grain a day.
Bereft of understanding, they exhaust the body,
And return home in bad shape,
Their life sucked dry with useless fasting and prayer.
At this one point, all talk ends

Hold fast to your murshid
Become a devotee of all creation,
Intoxicated, carefree,
Without desire, indifferent to the world.
Let your heart be fully clean.
Bulla asks, can the truth then be stopped?

At this one point,all talk ends

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Abida Parveen


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Translation:

I have learnt a secret
A secret I’ve learnt

He is the same
From this end to that.
It’s only we
Who fuss like a brat

I have learnt a secret
A secret I’ve learnt

To win over Sass
He comes as Punnun
I am wedded to Innayat
Who cares not for caste.

I have learnt a secret
A secret I’ve learnt

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Abida Parveen:

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Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

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There is a thief in the folds of my arms.
Whom shall I tell?

There is a thief in the folds of my arms
He has, of late, escaped on the sky
No wonder there is a stir in the sky
And the world there is a hue and cry.
Whom shall I tell?

The Muslims are afraid of fire
And the Hindus dread the grave
Both of them have their fears
And keep on sharpening their staves.
Whom shall I tell?

Ramdas here and Fateh Muhammad there
This has kept them emitting spleen
Suddenly their quarrel came to an end
When someone else emerged on the scene.
Whom shall I tell?

There was furore in the flushed sky
It reached Lahore, the capital town
It was Shah Inayat who crafted the kite
It’s he who moves it up and down.
Whom shall I tell?

He who believes, he alone has known
Everyone else id floundering
All the wrangling came to an end
When Bulleh came to town.
Whom shall I tell?

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

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Abida Parveen

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Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

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Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Aaj pe ghar ay nikal ni

Sack the gon-gman
My love has come home today

Gharri gharri gharyal bajavey
Rain wisal di piya ghatawey
Merey man di baat jey pawey
Hathoon chasey gharyal ni

He strike the gong time and again
And shortens my night of dance and song
If he were to listen to me
He would throw away the gong

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Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Sack the gong-man

Ikahd baja bajey sohana
Matrab sukhrra maan sohana
Bhlla soam, salat, dogana
Mudh piyalla deen klaal ni

Here is the unstruck melody
With a master player and a colorful hue
I’ve forgotten, my prayers and fasts
The barman offering cups of brew

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Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Sack the gong-man

Dukh diledar uth gaya sara
Mukh dekhaan tey ajab nazara
Rain wadhi kuch karo pasara
Din aggey dharo diwal ni

Seeing him is an enchanting sight
One forgets all aches of life
Let the night spread out long
And the morn wait a strife

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Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Sack the gong-man

Toneey kaman kesey batry
Sehrey aaye wadey wadeerey
Taan jani ghar aya merey
Ranh likh warehey is naal ni

I have indulge in magic a lot
With necromancers and many a seer
Now that he has comeback home
We’ll live together a million years

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Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Sack the gong-man

Bulleya shah di seej pyaari
Ni main taar noharey tari
Kiweain Kiweainmeri aai waari
Hin wichran hoya mhaal ni

He has saved me from many a hazard
Bulleh’s bed is cosy and warm
After much wait my turn has come
No happenstance may do us harm
Sack the gong-man

Gharyal diyo nikal ni
Aaj pe ghar ay nikal ni

Sack the gong-man
My love has come home today

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Abida Parveen

[ Download MP3 ]

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Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

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Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Eko Alif terey darkar

Enough of learning, my friend!
An alphabet should do for you

Ilm n awey wich shumar
Jandi umer, Nahi aytebar
Eko Alif terey darkar
Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar

To it there is never an end
An alphabet should do for you
It’s enough to help you fend.
Enough of learning, my friend!

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Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

Parh parh, likh likh ladain dher
Dher kitabaan, cho pheyr
Kerdey chanan, Wich unheyr
Pecho: “Rah?” tey khabar n satar

You’ve amassed much learning around
The Quran and its commentaries profound
There is darkness amidst lighted ground
Without the guide you remain unsound

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Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

Parh perh shekh mashaikh khawein
Ultey masley gharoon bata dein
Bey ilmaan noon lut lut khawein
Jhotey Sachey karain aqrqr

Learning makes you Sheikh or his minion
And thus you create problem trillion
You exploit oyhers who know not what
Misleading them with wild opinion

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Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

Parh parh nafal namaz guzarien
Achian bangaan changha mari
Manber tey chaRRh waaz pukarein
Keeta teeno ilm khawar

You meditate and you say your prayers
You go and shout at the top of the stairs
You cry reaching the high skies
It’s your avarice which ever belies

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Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

Jed main sabaq Ishq da parhaya
Derya dekh Wahedat da warria
Ghuman gheraan dey wich uRRia
Shah Inayat laya paar

The day I learnt love’s lesson
I plunged into the river of devine passion
An overwhelming gale. I was confused and lost
When Shah Inayat cruised me across

Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar
Enough of learning, my friend!

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Shazia Manzoor

[ Download MP3 ]

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Junoon

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Sain Zahoor & Noori

[ Download MP3 ]

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You meditate and you say your prayers
You go and shout at the top of the stairs
You cry reaching the high skies
It’s your avarice which ever belies

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Translation:

by Kartar Singh Duggal

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Ghonghat ohley na luk sajna
Main mushtaq dedar de haan

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Terey bajh dewani hoi
Tokaan kardey luk sbhoi
Jeker yaar karey diljoi
Taan faryaad pukaar de haan

Without my love, I feel like mad,
People around me laugh at me.
He should come and cheer me up,
This alone remains my plea,

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Ghonghat ohley na luk sajna
Main mushtaq dedar de haan

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Muft dukandi jandi bandi
Mil mahi jind aweien jand
Eik dam hijr nahi main sahndi
Bulbul main gulzar de haan

Your slave is being auctioned free
Come my love and rescue me
No longer can I perch elsewhere
I am the Bulbul of your tree

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Ghonghat ohley na luk sajna
Main mushtaq dedar de haan

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Bulleh Shah owh kon utam tera yaar
Ows dey hath Quraan hey owsey gul zanaar

Bulleh! Who is He?
A queer type friend!
He has the Quran in His hand and
And in the same the holy thread

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Abida Parveen

[ Download MP3 ]

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Shahida Parveen

[ Download MP3 ]

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