raat ;hairaan huu;N kuchh chup hii mujhe lag ga))ii miir
dard-e pinhaa;N the bahut par lab-e i:zhaar nah thaa

1) last night-- I am stupefied!-- only/emphatically some silence came over me, Mir
2) the hidden pains were many-- but there was no 'lip of expression'



;hairaan : 'In a state of confusion or perplexity; perplexed, bewildered, distracted, confounded, astonished'. (Platts pp.482-83)


i:zhaar : 'Manifestation, revelation, disclosure, demonstration, publication, display, declaration; statement'. (Platts p.60)

S. R. Faruqi:

The construction 'lip of expression' he has used in one more place. This construction seems to be one of Mir's own invention, and it's very fine [{896,5}]:

dam-zadan ma.sli;hat-e vaqt nahii;N ai ham-dam
jii me;N kyaa kyaa hai mire par lab-e i:zhaar kahaa;N

[keeping silence is not the counsel of the time, oh confidant,
what-all is in my inner-self!-- but where is the 'lip of expression'?]

But in that verse there's a great deal of verbosity, while the present verse is trim and appropriate. The enjoyable thing is that the present verse's 'entanglement of words' [ta((qiid-e laf:zii] does no harm to its trimness, but rather contributes to it. Ghalib rightly said that the joining of words is natural in Persian, and 'Rekhtah imitates Persian'.

The prose of the line will be like this: 'Mir, (I) am stupefied, last night only/emphatically some silence overcame me'. The meaningful 'connection' between 'stupefied' and 'only/emphatically silence overcame me' is very fine. Because even the cause for the silence was probably that having arrived before the beloved, he became stupefied. And now, when she's not before him, he's becoming stupefied at his own stupefaction.

In kuchh chup hii mujhe lag ga))ii everyday speech has been very excellently versified. The simplicity with which 'I am stupefied' has become an interpolated expression is something not within the power of the greatest of great poets. In calling the pains 'hidden', and in establishing words alone as their means of expression, there's the implication that despite the controlling of grief, grief hasn't yet become manifest on the face.

Janab Abd ul-Rashid has searched out an example of the use of 'lip of expression' by Shah Siraj Aurangabadi; but nevertheless it's possible that the primacy would belong to Mir, and Siraj might have followed Mir's first use. Siraj's verse is nevertheless very fine:

jo dekhe gul-ru;xo;N kuu;N laa-ubaalii
bajaa hai gar lab-e i:zhaar baa;Ndhe

[he who woud see rose-faced ones carelessly/irresponsibly--
it's appropriate if he would bind up the 'lip of expression']

[A brief discussion of the correct orthography of laa-ubaalii .] Siraj will have used this expression in the original Arabic sense ('I don't care, I don't mind'). Nowadays the meaning of laa-ubaalii is 'irresponsible, ignorant of the importance of some task or affair'.

In the notes to his essay Abd ul-Rashid has recorded this verse of Jur'at's, that seems an absolutely fit 'reply' to Mir's verse:

;Gunchan-saa;N daftar-e ;hasrat li))e ham yaa;N se chale
sau zabaa;N mu;Nh me;N thii;N lekin lab-e i:zhaar nah thaa

[like a bud, bearing the roll/manuscript of longing, we went from here
there were a hundred tongues in the mouth, but there was not a 'lip of expression']



The exclamatory effect of the first line is heightened by the way 'I am stupefied!' is inserted into the midst of a temporally different scene: an account of something that happened 'last night'. Such a temporal shift is quite unnecessary; nothing would have been easier than for Mir to choose ;hairaan thaa , 'I was stupefied', and thus to create a much simpler, more straightforward thought.

But of course, he didn't choose to do so. And as in


a remarkable complexity is created by this tense shift. For the speaker's 'stupefaction', taking place now, is aroused by the memory of his apparently equally 'stupefied' behavior of last night. And the sign of this stupefaction is that it was impossible to express in words-- it consisted of an extraordinary silence, a 'struck dumb' effect. But of course, the words 'I am stupefied' have burst from the speaker's lips, right in the midst of his account of how he had been struck dumb. SRF rightly points out the pleasure created by this kind of back-and-forth word- and meaning-play.