In memory of the beloved
we drank a wine;
we were drunk with it
before creation of the vine.

The full moon its glass, the wine
a sun circled by a crescent;
when it is mixed,
how stars would look!

If not for its bouquet,
I would not have found its tavern;
if not for its flashing gleam,
how could imagination picture it?

Time preserved nothing of it
save one last breath,
concealed like a secret
in the breasts of wise men.

But if it is recalled among the tribe,
the worthy ones
are drunk by morn
without shame or sin.

From the depths of the jars
it arose, though truly,
nothing remained
save a name.

Yet if one day
it crosses a man’s mind,
then joy will dwell in him,
and anxiety depart.

Could the tavern mates see
the seal of its jar,
without the wine that seal alone
would make them drunk,

And could they sprinkle it
on a dead man’s earth,
the spirit would return to him,
his body revived.

Could they fling
into the shadow of its trellised vine
a sick man on the point of death,
disease would flee him;

Could they bring a cripple
near its tavern, he would walk,
and from mention of its flavor,
the dumb would talk.

Could breaths of its bouquet
spread out in the east,
one stuffed-up in the west
would smell again;

And wer a touching palm
tinged by its cup,
one would not stray at night,
a star in hand.

Could it be unveiled in secret
to the blind, he would see,
and from the strainer’s sound,
the deaf would hear.

Were the riders
to seek its soil
with one scorpion-stung among them,
the poison would not harm him.

Could the wizard write
the letters of its name
on the brow of one struck by the jinn,
the tracings would cure and cleanse him,

And were its name inscribed
upon the army’s standard,
all beneath that banner
would fall drunk from the sign.

It refines the morals
of the tavern mates
and guides the irresolute
to resolution’s path;

He whose hand never knew munificence
is generous,
while one lacking in forbearance
bears the rage of anger,


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