SRF's translation comes, with his permission, from Mir Taqi Mir: Selected Ghazals and Other Poems, translated by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019. Murty Classical Library of India; Sheldon Pollock, General Editor. Ghazal 4, pp. 15-19.

S. R. Faruqi:

(1) My tears red as blood, like pieces of my liver, glimmering on my eyelashes, last night.
Sleepless I somehow saw them, all through the night.

(2) If only there came a day when she fulfilled her promise!
I spent all my nights as hope-filled nights.

(3) She swept her long hair from her face--
and I don't know where the time went that whole night.

(4) I wept when you weren't by my side.
I wept so much that every watch of the night seemed to stand still like a whole night.

(5) Oh, the days when the power of blood coursed through my heart.
I would suddenly wake up and weep through two whole watches of the night.

(6) You were somewhere else, absorbed in doing your hair.
And, well, it too just somehow passed, the lover's night.

(7) News came from somewhere: the saqi might come!
I fainted with joy and, quite insensate, spent that whole night.

(8) Dear friend, could words ever tell of the fire that burns in my heart?
The moment I spoke a word about it last night,
(9) what happened was the candle shed tears
from evening till the crack of dawn.

(10) If I wake up without you sharing my bed,
it seems impossible to get through the rest of the night.

(11) That day of union? It was spent as if
it was one of disunion, a whole night.

(12) Last night was the night of union, and at just one of her ravishing ways
I could surely die, last night.
(13) My sleepy fortune was wide awake:
she and I met together at my house last night.
(14) She made one of her amorous plays
as she started and woke up last night.
(15) Were she to show her full face it would be dawn,
though there still remained one more watch of the night.
(16) She hid her face behind her hair and asked:
"Tell me, Mir, how much is still left of the night?"



(inspired by SRF's translation)

(1) On my eyelashes were liver-flecks, last night.
I cherished them in my eyes, last night.

(2) If only, one day, she had kept her promise!
Time passed in expectant hope, every night.

(3) She lifted her curls from her face--
I didn't know where it had gone, the night.

(4) When you were not with me, then I wept.
Watch after watch refuses to pass, in the night.

(5) Those were the days, when there was blood in the liver!
My tears would burst out in a flood-- then flow for half the night.

(6) There, you kept on arranging your curls.
Here too it somehow passed, the lover's night.

(7) Word was that the Cupbearer was coming!
I swooned away-- for the whole night.

(8) My friend, I can't describe the burning of my liver!
When words came to my tongue, last night,
(9) The candle was moved to shed tears,
from evening till dawn came, last night.

(10) When my eyes open at night, without you
Then it's hard to see it passing, the rest of the night.

(11) The day of union passed-- but as if
there passed in separation a whole night.

(12) Last night was the night of union. At a single one
of her airs and graces, I could have died, last night.
(13) My 'sleeping fortune' had awakened-- at last
she arrived and was with me at my house, last night.
(14) She began to look at me sideways,
when she awoke with a start, last night.
(15) It would have been dawn, if she had shown her face
although there was still a watch left of the night.
(16) But, hiding her face in her curls, she asked,
'Mir, how much now remains of the night?'


Zahra Sabri:

Zahra Sabri is a special guest translator for this site.

(1) Flecks of my liver were on my eyelashes last night
I bore them in my eyes last night

(2) I wish such a day had also come when she kept her word
Each night of mine has passed in hope

(3) She moved back her tresses from her face
I have no idea at all where the night went

(4) When you weren’t by my side, then in tears
Each bit of the night has crawled by so slowly and haltingly

(5) What days they were, when there was blood in my liver!
I would sit there, shedding tears, for much of the night

(6) There, you just kept on adorning your tresses
And here too, night passed somehow for your adorer

(7) Heeding news of the beautiful Cupbearer’s imminent arrival
For me, the night passed entirely in a state of heedlessness

(8) What should I say of the burning of my liver, oh companion?
When words came to my lips last night
(9) This became the state of the gathering – the candle wept
Last night, from evening till the break of dawn

(10) When I wake up in the night without you
It doesn’t appear possible then to get through the night

(11) The day of union has passed in such a way, as if
The night of separation has perhaps been endured

(12) Last night was the night of union. One coquettish gesture
Of hers was enough to take my life last night
(13) My slumbering fortune had awoken
At long last, she arrived at my home last night
(14) She started casting coquettish sidelong glances
When she woke up suddenly last night
(15) It would have been morning if she had unveiled her face
Even though many hours of the night still remained
(16) But hiding her face behind her ringlets, she asked:
“How much of the night do you think remains now, Mir?”