Mirza Ghalib (27 December 1797 – 15 February 1869 / Agra / British India)
What Cannot Be Said
There's one who took my heart away.
But does she own it? I can't say.
See her as unjust though I may,
Is she a tyrant? I can't say.
She strides a bloodless battlefield
Where there's no battle-axe to wield.
She keeps a wineless banquet-hall
Where there's no bowl to raise at all.
Although she serves wine ceaselessly,
Her fingers bring no cup to me.
Her idol-carving hand is sure,
But you cannot call her Azer
When riots quiet down, why must
You brag of ousting the unjust?
There will be nothing you can say
Of the unjust on Judgment Day.
Within the breast the secret lies
Which none can ever sermonize.
How strange a thing it is that throws
The mind askew till no one knows
How I Ghalib am no believer
But can't be called unfaithful either.
Azer: in the Islamic tradition, Abraham's father who manufactured and served Nimrod's idols. Known as Terah in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
[Trasnlated from Persian ]
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