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20. Sep 2006

How long will she thus stand unveiled before me

     How long will she thus stand unveiled before me,
     Shrinking and shy in maidenly distress,
     How long, my dazzled eyes, can ye contemplate
              Her blinding loveliness!

     No rest is for my heart by love tormented,
     It cannot even win the peace of death;
     How long shall it endure with resignation
              The pain it suffereth!

     Like shifting shadows come the great and mighty,
     And live their splendid day, and hurry past;
     And who can tell how long the changing pageant
              Of fleeting life shall last!

     O look on me, unhappy Asif, driven
     As dust before the wind across the street;
     How long has Love ordained that I should suffer
              Beneath the passing feet.

Mirza Ghalib (1797 — 1869)