Saturday Poem

A Ghazal from Ghalib

مقدمِ سیلاب سے دل کیا نشاط آہنگ ہے

خانۂ عاشق مگر سازِ صدائے آب تھا

The waters rise past the rafters in my house.
Their undulant music calms my rage tonight.

I was homeless before: it was a proper life.
Wine-free, woman-free, I had peace all night.

I was sightless in the cave of desire. Outside,
His light shone brilliantly night after night.

Is this nothing to you, that we live or die?
Time was, our pain kept you up all night.

It happened long ago. Afraid of losing us,
She parted the veil till her beauty sang all night.

Glad I stopped him. Ghalib was so rattled,
His tears may have drowned the stars tonight.

translation by M. Shahid Alam
Northeastern University