O what a happy season this!
O what a joyous time!
The meadows are star-spangled with
Fresh flowers in spring’s prime.

Like partridge-wings the ground is pied
With variegated flowers.
How bountiful the waterfall!
What diamonds it showers!

Of roses and of tulips what
A riot meets the eye!
The breezes frolicsomely roll
On miles of greenery.
Have you seen mirrored in the stream
The self-admiring bud?
What fascinating beauty and
What unabashed self-pride!

O what a mellifluous song,
In what a lovely tune,
From some bird hidden in a tree,
Singing as if alone!

The starling and the nightingale
With song resuscitate
The spirit in the body and
Old longings in the spirit.

From high-perched nests up in the trees
The songsters’ warblings seem
To cascade down and mingle with
The babblings of the stream.

You would think God had graciously
Sent down His Paradise
And placed it at a mountain’s foot
For human ears and eyes
To hear and see, in order to
Spare man the long suspense
And agony of waiting till
He’s ready to go hence.

What better things could I wish for
In such a pleasure- garden
Than wine, a book, a lute and ah!
A fair companion?

My life, O moon-faced Saqi, for
A single gracious boon:
Awaken in me memories
Of forebears long since gone.

Come pour into my empty glass
The stuff which has no name,
Which lights the soul up like a lamp
And burns it like a flame.

I pray to you make tulips grow
From my exhausted clay
And build a paradise from dust
Now mouldering away.
O don’t you know that east and west,
From Kashghar to Kashan,
There is going up one grand song
Replete with life’s elan?

The peoples’ eye has shed at last
That purest of all tears
Whose magic can compel the rose
To grow on prickly pears.

But oh! this poor Kashmiri who,
In slavery born and bred,
Is busy carving idols from
The tombstones of the dead.

His mind is blank and quite devoid
Of any higher thought;
So ignorant of his own self
And by self-shame distraught!

His master goes clad in fine silk,
All woven with his sweat;
But tatters, patches, rags and shreds
Are all his body’s lot.
There is not in his eye the light
Of vision that reveals,
Nor does there in his bosom beat
The living heart that feels.

Come pour a drop upon him of
Your soul-enkindling wine,
And from his smouldering ashes make
A spark leap up and shine.