Let the darkness of the night and the heart,

Meddle not with what the Saqi* has brought,

O ye in the tavern of the outlawed - the bold,

Drink, lest you stop asking why, when and what.

This soul of mine was not like this when I was young,

Filled with the ideals of youth were many songs sung,

Till I encountered hate, jealousy, deception and death,

My cherished goals lie decaying like fodder and dung.

With a book of verses, a bread loaf and wine,

I and thou underneath a bough did recline,

Hoping it would all be our paradise enow,

Yet how we changed as our youth did decline!

Now often do I go where I used to, with you,

Hoping to discover all those old joys anew,

When my thoughts did not wander away and afar,

When you for me mattered most, and I too for you...

The dawn rustles still and the birds, still they hum,

And like yesteryears I too do come,

But you, O my soulmate, where have you gone?

Look, without you, what I have become!

Now the morning lark does not give me hope,

I find myself tethered at the end of a rope,

Without you, my soulmate, I exist - do not live,

Can't you take me too beyond the edge of the slope...

Come O my soulmate, come back from the stars,

I have searched for you even on Venus and Mars,

My nights I have spent looking far and wide,

For you, for so long, with my wounds and scars.

Let not the red rose mock my heart's blood,

Let the futility revive and like a fresh bud,

Let me be with you wherever you are,

For you am I still something, otherwise dead mud.

The history of love is not yet replete,

With my tale of sorrow -- It is incomplete,

When your face on the horizon outshines Orion,

I know that my love too won't be obsolete.

I drink the red wine to refresh my hope,

For, the barbs of the heartless, act like a dope,

I know that I can't ever efface the past,

So, to be there again, with wine I elope.

How to  tell you what your going has done,

How this existence has become cumbersome,

No matter what hour, minute or second it is,

An age without you has left me undone.

Come O my love, ere it's too late,

I am prepared to defy the decree of fate,

A love as the one between you and me,

May destroy many worlds, even heaven's gate.

And ere to my Lord I start complaining,

As to why autumn came at the time of spring,

And ere I question his Will and His plans,

Like you, make me too a bird on the wing.

Let our love renew the signs on the sky,

Let Troilus smile and Cressida not sigh,

Let Perseus not be enchained in the swirl,

Let the myths become truths with you and I.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

*SAQI: A beautiful veiled lady who serves wine in a maekhana (tavern).

Composed on December 4, 2007, in Karachi...thinking of the pure soul I loved.

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