Quatrain 60

 

گردون نگری ز قدّ فرسودۀ ماست

جیحون اثری ز اشک پالودۀ ماست

دوزخ شرری ز رنج بیهودۀ ماست

فردوس دمی ز وقت آسودۀ ماست

Hedaayat, quatrain 142

 

gardun negari ze qadd-e farsude-ye maast
jeyhun asari ze ashk-e paalude-ye maast
duzakh sharari ze ranj-e bihude-ye maast
ferdows dami ze vaqt-e aasude-ye maast

Our world is worn-weary like us,

and the Jayhun flows with tears we have shed,

Hell, our sparks of anguish held in vain,

Heaven, a pause in time we've gained.

Translation & Discussion of the quatrain:   1. Heaven/the world is an example of our worn out body -نگر= نمونهnegar = nemune  (Anvari, 8.7953, citing this very line) and قدّqadd , body, here not in the "fair'' form as in Hafez, usually "stature"; e.g., Khanlari, 174.9: به قد و چهره هرآن کس که شاه خوبان شد -- "everyone who, by visage and stature, has become king of beauties ..." 2. The Jeyhun/Jayhun (Amu Darya/Oxus) the trace/result/flow of our tears made pure -- see Saidi, note 99, p. 252 on the Oxus. This river-name at least in classical Persian was coupled with the verb کردن = kardan with the meaning of tear up, weep or cause a flood. So tears may be expected when the Jeyhun is mentioned; however, the tears in the context of this roba`i are plentiful and contribute to the flow of this great river. That they are "made pure" or "strained" or "filtered" (the participle پالوده / paalude may refer to tears of the heart filtered through the eyes or the catharsis weeping often produces). This river is now usually called the Amu Darya (with various spellings) and owes its source to the junction of the Panj and Vakhsh rivers at the southwestern tip of Tajikistan where Tajikistan borders Afghanistan. The Greeks and Romans called it the Oxus. I don't how long the name Jeyhun persisted, and it may be called by this name even today in some areas of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. I suppose it's accurate to say that in this "Nile to Oxus" region, the Nile and Oxus were the principal rivers, the Oxus navigable for over half its 1,500 or so miles and was, as some traveler-historian had referred to it in its olden days, "the highway of nations." The Jeyhun would have been well-known to Persians. One trading route, one of the Silk Road routes, crossed the Jeyhun between Bukhara and Marv on the way to Nishapur ... and just east of Bukhara was Samarqand (both Bukhara and Samarqand then large and prosperous cities) 3. Hell the sparks of our pain in vain -- calls to mind -- "the pain in vain" the final mesraa of the source-quatrain in weblog Quatrain 36 (Quatrain 36 devoted to FitzGerald's famous stanza, "The Moving Finger writes"  LXXI, 4th ed.)  

زین پیش نشان بودنیها بوده است

پیوسته قلم ز نیک و بد ناسوده است

در روز ازل هر آنچه بایست بداد

غم خودن و کوشیدن ما بیهوده است

Heron-Allen, 107, from Ouseley 31 and Calcutta 87

zin pish neshaan-e budanihaa budast
payvaste qalam ze nik o bad naasudast
dar ruz-e azal har aanche baayest bedaad
gham khordan o kushidan-e maa bihudast

What was to be was written long ago,
the restless pen spared nothing good or bad.
The first day it set down the rules of life,
our pouting, trying harder -- what a waste of time.

4. Paradise a moment of our time made free (of pain, toil, strife)

 

And FitzGerald, not in the first edition but appearing in editions two, three and four:

Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire,

And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire,

Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,

So late emerg'd from, shall so soon expire.

Stanza LXVII, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen (101-103), offers Ouseley 33 and Calcutta 90 as FitzGerald's sources for the quatrain below, where only the first mesraa varies, gardun kamari az tan-e farsude-ye maast which Heron-Allen translates, "The heavenly vault is a girdle (cast) from my weary body":

گردون کمری از تن فرسودۀ ماست

جیحون اثری ز اشک پالودۀ ماست

دوزخ شرری ز رنج بیهودۀ ماست

فردوس دمی ز وقت آسودۀ ماست

Neither Dashti nor Forughi-Ghani include this roba`i.  It occurs in Nicolas (90) and Saidi has a slightly different reading in each line of the first bayt: ز عمر /ze ‘omr (-e) in the first mesraa and ze cheshme-ye aalude-ye, ز چشم آلودهٔ in the second.  Saidi's rendering:

The world is but a belt of fading years,

The Oxus but the trace of running tears;

And Hell is but the spark of futile toil,

And Paradise a flash of fleeting cheers.

Saidi, quatrain 122 (see Aminrazavi, p. 122)