Story of the minstrel

Story of the minstrel

Story of the minstrel who began to sing this ode at the banquet of the Turkish Amír: “Art Thou a rose or a lily or a cypress or a man? I know not. What dost Thou desire from this bewildered one who has lost his heart? I know not” and how the Turk shouted at him, “Tell of that which you know!” and the minstrel’s reply to the Amír. حکایت آن مطرب کی در بزم امیر ترک این غزل آغاز کرد گلی یا سوسنی یا سرو یا ماهی نمی‌دانم ازین آشفته‌ی بی‌دل چه می‌خواهی نمی‌دانم و بانگ بر زدن ترک کی آن بگو کی می‌دانی و جواب مطرب امیر را

مطرب آغازید پیش ترک مست در حجاب نغمه اسرار الست
In the presence of the drunken Turk the minstrel began (to sing of) the mysteries of Alast under the veil of melody.
من ندانم که تو ماهی یا وثن من ندانم تا چه می‌خواهی ز من
“I know not whether Thou art a moon or an idol, I know not what Thou desirest of me.
می‌ندانم که چه خدمت آرمت تن زنم یا در عبارت آرمت
I know not what service I shall pay Thee, whether I shall keep silence or express Thee in words.
این عجب که نیستی از من جدا می‌ندانم من کجاام تو کجا
’Tis marvellous that Thou art not separate from me, (and yet) where am I, and where Thou, I know not.
می‌ندانم که مرا چون می‌کشی گاه در بر گاه در خون می‌کشی
I know not how Thou art drawing me: Thou drawest me now into Thy bosom, now into blood.” 
هم‌چنین لب در ندانم باز کرد می‌ندانم می‌ندانم ساز کرد
In this fashion he opened his lips (only) to say “I know not”: he made a tune of “I know not, I know not.”
چون ز حد شد می‌ندانم از شگفت ترک ما را زین حراره دل گرفت
When (the refrain) “I know not” passed beyond bounds, our Turk was amazed and his heart became sick of this ditty.
برجهید آن ترک و دبوسی کشید تا علیها بر سر مطرب رسید
The Turk leaped up and fetched an iron mace to smite the minstrel’s head with it on the spot;
گرز را بگرفت سرهنگی بدست گفت نه مطرب کشی این دم بدست
(But) an officer seized the mace with his hand, saying, “Nay; ’tis wicked to kill the minstrel at this moment.”
گفت این تکرار بی حد و مرش کوفت طبعم را بکوبم من سرش
He (the Turk) replied, “This endless and countless repetition of his has pounded my nerves: I will pound his head.
قلتبانا می‌ندانی گه مخور ور همی‌دانی بزن مقصود بر
O cuckold, (if) you don’t know, don’t talk nonsense; and if you do know, play (a tune) to the purpose.
آن بگو ای گیج که می‌دانیش می‌ندانم می‌ندانم در مکش
Tell of that which you know, O crazy fool: don’t draw out (repeat continually) ‘I know not, I know not.’
من بپرسم کز کجایی هی مری تو بگویی نه ز بلخ و نه از هری
(Suppose) I ask, ‘Where do you come from, hypocrite, eh?’ you will say, ‘Not from Balkh, and not from Herát,
نه ز بغداد و نه موصل نه طراز در کشی در نی و نی راه دراز
Not from Baghdád and not from Mosul and not from Tiráz’: you will draw out a long journey in (saying) ‘not’ and ‘not.’
خود بگو من از کجاام باز ره هست تنقیح مناط اینجا بله
Just say where you come from and escape (from further discussion): in this case it is folly to elaborate the point at issue.
یا بپرسیدم چه خوردی ناشتاب تو بگویی نه شراب و نه کباب
Or (suppose) I asked, ‘What had you for breakfast?’ you would say, ‘Not wine and not roast-meat,
نه قدید و نه ثرید و نه عدس آنچ خوردی آن بگو تنها و بس
Not qadíd and not tharíd and not lentils’: tell me what you did eat, only (that) and no more.
این سخن‌خایی دراز از بهر چیست گفت مطرب زانک مقصودم خفیست
Wherefore is this long palaver?” “Because,” said the minstrel, “my object is recondite.
می‌رمد اثبات پیش از نفی تو نفی کردم تا بری ز اثبات بو
Before (until) you deny (all else), affirmation (of God) evades (you): I denied (everything) in order that you might get a scent of (perceive the means of attaining to) affirmation.
در نوا آرم بنفی این ساز را چون بمیری مرگ گوید راز را
I play the tune of negation: when you die, death will declare the mystery.


 

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