Collected Poems of Henry Derozio: Preface by Manu Samriti Chander; Edited by Amardeep Singh

Ode: From the Persian of Hafiz

Say, what's the rose without the smile 
   Of her I deem more fair, 
And what are all the sweets of spring 
   If wine be wanting there? 
O! who will pause the choice to doubt 
   Of walks where music rings, 
Or bowers in richest bloom without 
   The notes the Bulbul sings? 
In vain the cypress waves, in vain 
   A thousand flowrets sigh, 
Without the cheek whose tint excels 
   The tulip's crimson dye! 
Yet what are lips where sweetness clings, 
   And cheeks where roses dwell, 
Without the kiss, the joy, the bliss 
   Of pleasure's potent spell? 
The wine and garden both are sweet, 
   But sweetest wine and grove 
I loathe, if there I cannot meet 
   The face and form I love.
The brightest, fairest works of art 
   That skilful hands devise 
Are nought, without the hand and heart 
   Of her I fondest prize. 
And what's my life ?—perhaps a coin— 
   A trifling coin at best— 
Unheeded e'en by passer-by, 
   Unfit for bridal guest. 

March, 1826. 

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