|The fame of Ghalib has long been buried in the ground.|
Mahdi Majruh dwells in the city of the silent.
In exile, Death broke the win-jar of Amir,
But in the eyes of the assembly still resides the intoxication of the wine of Amir.
But today, my fellow singers, the whole garden is in mourning.
The bright candle has been extinguished. The company of poetry is lamenting.
The nightingale of Delhi made its nest in that garden,
Where its nightingale fellow-singers are in the garden of existence.
Dagh is dead. Alas! His corpse brings adornment to our shoulders.
The last poet of Shajahanabad is silent.
|Where is that elegant rakishness now? The coquettish style?|
The fire of youth was ever hidden in the camphor of his old age.
The desire that Dagh’s words expressed are in everyone’s heart.
The Layla of meaning with him was unveiled; with us she is hidden in the drapes of the camel-litter.
Now, who will ask of the morning breeze the secret of the peace of the rose?
Who will understand the mystery of the nightingale’s lament in the garden?
He never neglected reality when his thoughts took flight.
The bird kept its eye on the nest as it flew.
|There will be others to show us the delicacies of a subject—|
The way that the finer points of their thought soar to the sky!
There will be those who paint pictures of the bitterness of time to make us weep
or show us a new world engendered by their imagination.
In this garden more nightingales of Shiraz will be born.
There will come forth myriad magicians, those who possess the art of spells.
From the temples of verse will arise thousands like Azar
And new wine-pourers will give us wine to drink from new measures.
Many commentaries will be written on the book of the heart.
There will be, oh dream of youth, many an interpretation of you.
But who will draw exactly the picture of love?
The archer has been taken away, who will fire the arrow at the heart?
|I sow the seeds of tears in the soil of poetry.|
You also weep, oh earth of Delhi! I weep for Dagh.
Oh Jahanabad! Oh wealth of the assembly of verse!
Your garden has once more today been trampled by autumn.
That colourful flower of yours has departed like perfume.
Ah! The dwelling-place of Urdu is bereft of Dagh.
Perhaps there was no great attraction in the dust of his native-land.
That full-moon was hidden in the soil of the Deccan.
The wine-pourers who were there have been taken from us and the tavern is empty.
As a monument to the assembly of Delhi only Hali remains.
|The injustice of death makes desire weep tears of blood.|
The hunter of death fires his arrow in darkness.
But my tongue can utter no complaint.
The colour of the autumn is also the cause of the garden’s permanence.
These are all the effects of the one universal law:
The perfume leaves the garden; the rose-plucker bids farewell to the world.
Translated by: D.J. Matthews