اجزای پیالهای که درهم پیوست
به شکستن آن روا نمیدارد مست
چندین سر و پای نازنین و بر و دست
در مهر که پیوست و به کین که شکست
Dashti, quatrain 22, p. 248
ajzaa-ye piaalei ke darham peyvast
be shekastan-e aan ravaa nemidaarad mast
chandin sar o paa-ye naazanin o bar o dast
dar mehr-e ke peyvast o be kin-e ke shekast
As clay is turned, cups rise and come awake,
Vessels no drunk would ever wish to break.
Lovely faces, deft hands, nimble feet
what love forms them, what spite these lives to take?
Another said -- "Why, ne'er a peevish Boy
Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
And He that with his hand the Vessel made
Will surely not in after Wrath destroy!"
Edward FitzGerald, Stanza LXII (1st ed)
That earthen bowl of such exquisite make,
Not even drunkards would attempt to break;
So many lovely heads and dainty hands --
For whom He makes, for spite of whom does break?
Ahmad Saidi, quatrain 66
Behold these cups! Can He who deigned to make them,
In wanton freak let ruin overtake them,
So many shapely feet and hands and heads --
what love drove Him to make, what wrath to break them?
E. H. Whinfield, quatrain 42
Translation & Discussion of the quatrain: 1. The parts of a cup which have been joined/assembled --the cup has components or "members," اجزا which correspond to the heads, feet, trunks and hands of human forms, which we see below. And these cup parts are recycled from the dust or clay of those humans who have gone before. 2. The smashing of them no drunk will allow --besides "the drunk," مست carries with it the sense of careless, heedless, mindless. 3. So many lovely heads and legs and breasts and hands --The third line has a number of variations, two of which I would like to mention here: چندين سر و پای نازنين از سر دست , the Ouseley manuscript which FitzGerald used, and Hedaayat's reading (quatrain44) چندين سر و ساق نازنين و کف دست. I like the Ouseley reading -- these lovely people were assembled with a turn of the hand, effortlessly, and then smashed in the same way. The Hedaayat variation, کف دست, kaf-e dast, brings to mind the hand of the potter who shapes the clay with the palms or palm side of his hands, carefully, skillfully, lovingly, although of course kaf-e dast directly refers to the creation, the human creation. Through this image, Hedaayat' s reading reinforces the bewilderment and anger expressed in the last two lines of the quatrain. 4. Assembled in love of whom and smashed for hate of whom.
In attempting to rhyme all 4 lines, the third eluded me and I decided not to force it. I liked the idea of the clay rising on the wheel and coming to life as a cup -- a simple cup but made as I have said above, with care and skill. In line 3, the epithets, lovely, deft, nimble are three ways of translating the Persian نازنین and they give life and movement to hands and feet. To translate "what (kind of) love" ... "what (kind of) spite" seemed a good way to express the emotion and to let the reader think about the meaning.