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Not Worth the toil!

Shams al-Din Hafiz 1315 (Shiraz) – 1390 (Shiraz)

NOT all the sum of earthly happiness
Is worth the bowed head of a moment's pain,
And if I sell for wine my dervish dress,
Worth more than what I sell is what I gain!
Land where my Lady dwells, thou holdest me
Enchained; else Fars were but a barren soil,
Not worth the journey over land and sea,
Not worth the toil!

Down in the quarter where they sell red wine,
My holy carpet scarce would fetch a cup
How brave a pledge of piety is mine,
Which is not worth a goblet foaming up!
Mine enemy heaped scorn on me and said
'Forth from the tavern gate!' Why am I thrust
From off the threshold? is my fallen head
Not worth the dust?

Wash white that travel-stained sad robe of thine!
Where word and deed alike one colour bear,
The grape's fair purple garment shall outshine
Thy many-coloured rags and tattered gear.
Full easy seemed the sorrow of the sea
Lightened by hope of gain--hope flew too fast
A hundred pearls were poor indemnity,
Not worth the blast.

The Sultan's crown, with priceless jewels set,
Encircles fear of death and constant dread
It is a head-dress much desired--and yet
Art sure 'tis worth the danger to the head?
'Twere best for thee to hide thy face from those
That long for thee; the Conqueror's reward
Is never worth the army's long-drawn woes,
Worth fire and sword.

Ah, seek the treasure of a mind at rest
And store it in the treasury of Ease;
Not worth a loyal heart, a tranquil breast,
Were all the riches of thy lands and seas!
Ah, scorn, like Hafiz, the delights of earth,
Ask not one grain of favour from the base,
Two hundred sacks of jewels were not worth
Thy soul's disgrace

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Shams al-Din Hafiz

Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی‎), known by his pen name Hafez (حافظ, Ḥāfeẓ, 'the memorizer; the (safe) keeper' and as "Hafiz", was a Persian poet who "lauded the joys of love and wine but also targeted religious hypocrisy". more…

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    "Not Worth the toil!" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 29 Jul 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/34674/not-worth-the-toil!>.

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