Translation of a new ghazal by Alisher Navoi

It’s not wind that smells of musk, it’s Leila who unbound hair,

Not red tulips on the mount, it’s Mejnun’s blood in despair.


On one side – me, on the other – my beloved in lilac’s mirror,

We reflected our visage, that’s not at all a rose-briar.


It’s my afflicted souls’ bird, not the enchanted nightingale

Who – the flower in the garden – to my sweetheart would compare.


When the wind blew over the hyacinth, I called to mind my sweet’s braid,

I became insensible; indeed it’s not from love affair.


Before the jonquil’s golden cup my spirit is like fine curtain

Which is taken as a hostage, it’s not the wine straining tool ware.


Don’t say no joy in my distress like in nightingale’s sad singing,

If its wail does not bring gladness, my wound too is not a nightmare.


In my heart orchard I fancied over the cypress the flower,

In truth, to tell the flower’s finer than my belle would be unfair.


Hey, good-lookers in the parkland, don’t be proud of your beauty,

Of the last year’s flowers like you, where are they, no one’s aware.


The beauty passed a bowl to me and the rose to the nightingale,

Who is as drunk as me, Navoi, but not like me up in the air.



(Translated by A’zam Obid)