||Three Ghazals From Ghalib
Beauty And Truth Are Kin
The King has opened his doorsand purseto poetry.
Lord, do not close again the doors of this treasury.
When night draws her curtain, a thousand stars descend:
Dignified like priests whofor usmake amends.
If I am crazed by love, shall I be duped by friends?
I know their plotting starts before their greeting ends.
Her words are Greek to me, her mind is a mystery.
She has opened up to me: and thats enough for me.
I have immortal longingssince beauty and truth are kin.
The angels gather at my death to wash away my sins.
Although I cannot see her faceshe mesmerizes me.
Filtering through the veil, her beauty staggers me.
Camp at my door, she said, but thenfrom pity or fear
She threw me out speedily, as I unpacked my gear.
The night of grief is dark as evil spirits descend.
The stars look the other way until their caucus ends.
Ghalib, why should I worry? A Prince looks after me,
One who entered Heavens dome without ceremony.
Stringing Pearls in Her Hair
Tonight, the fire in my hearts bright center rises
Skyward, searing mothseven angelsto ashes.
The raintherehinders my ladys promenade.
A flood of tearsherehas drowned my serenade.
She can be seentherestringing pearls in her hair.
HereI try but cannot stanch my never-ending tears.
Red rosestherecast their petals on the waters.
HereI scatter ruby tears, cheaper than rosewater.
SleeplesshereI dash my head against the rocks.
Azure-liddedthereshe sleeps on minks and fox.
My breath flickersherein the dying candlelight.
She treads on rosestherecourted by bright knights.
Therecolor strives with color to brighten her day.
Herenight follows night, with intervening gray.
Suddenly, my tearsin floodoverflow my cup.
I dont know how I had kept them bottled up.
It Wasnt A Bad Life
My strength failsmy sighs lack power tonight.
I camp at her door, blessing her suitors tonight.
The waters rush past the rafters in my house.
Their gentle melody tempers my rage tonight.
I have been homeless beforeit wasnt a bad life.
It was worry-free, woman-free, and peace all night.
Blinded by cravings, it was I who would not see.
His light shone brightlynight after night.
Why dont you care for your bondsmen today?
But yesterday their sighs kept you up all night.
It wasnt long ago when you, afraid of losing us,
Tore off your veils till your beauty shone all night.
Had I not stopped Ghalibhe was so distraught
He would have ranted and raised hell all night.