Why – Mazun – D. Wilde’s English Poetic Rendition


Far be it from me
to start arguing
about the cosmic
proprieties of love,
but consider:

God mixes water
with a little clay
and makes it walk –
and in its form and motion
puts the tidal power
of the moon –

But then he makes it all –
the blackness of an eyebrow,
and the way a braid
can catch a glint of light,
and how a woman’s lips
can purse just so –
he makes it all forbidden!

Why the love-slick,
Sweet, quick-witted girls
if what he wants
is undivided prayer?
If love is such debauchery,
why give us wine
to start with?

The moth won’t burn
without the candle.
The nightingale would keep
its head without the flower.
If Layla hadn’t broken faith,
Majnun would not
have wandered in the desert.

What I’m saying, I’m afraid,
is that both God’s essence
and his beauties irretrievably
are in my inner heart.

Why these troubled words
have leapt from love’s fire
and burnt into Ma’zun’s talk –
I wonder.