Hafiz The Prince of Persian Lyric Poets

February 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mohammed Schems-Ed-Din Hafiz the prince of persian lyric poets is to us the most familiar of all the poets of the East with the exception of Omar al-Khayyami.  He was born at Shiraz and is known to have been a contemporary of Dante.

In Persia his odes are considered worthy of comparison with the Koran itself.  He is Persia’s immortal poet, and to this day the beautiful dark-eyed Shiraz maidens may be seen on their annual pilgrimage to his sacred tomb bearing their bouquets of roses bound round with the brightly coloured silken handkerchiefs, which they themselves have fondly woven.  These the pilgrims place at his grave where they consult his oracular odes for information about their future.

Many are the stories told of the odes of “the Anacreon of the East” having been opened at random to be consulted by kings and leaders.  Even at his death in 1388, when some Mohammedans in Shiraz forbade his burial according to their rites, owing to his having violated the laws of the Koran his friends on opening his works are said to have read :-

“O ! turn not your steps from the obsequies of Hafiz?

For tho’ immersed in sin, he will rise into paradise.”

Notwithstanding his fame, for his works have been classics to millions of people for many centuries, he seems to have died a poor man.

This text has been taken from The Preface of Hafiz The Prince Of Persian Lyric Poets published in October 1912. 

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