The following poem is by Hazrat Amir Khusraw. The Persian text is mixed in the qawwali with other verses, like lines of shaykh Sa'di. It contains a dialogue between a lover and his Beloved:
The translation is by a Chishti pir of Ajmer (I've not checked if the qawwals use the same version):
I said: 'What is bright like the moon?'
He said: 'The cheek of Mine'.
I said: "What is sweeter than sugar?'
He said: 'The talk of Mine'.
I said: 'What of the ways of the lover?'
He said: 'It should be faithfulness'.
I said: 'Do not show cruelty'.
He said: 'It is the work of Mine'.
I said: 'What is death for a lover?'
He said:'Pangs of My separation'.
I said: 'What is the cure for life?'
He said: 'The envy of My beauty'.
I said: 'What puts swiftness to shame?'
He said: 'The speed of Mine'.
I said: 'Are you a beautiful damsel or fairy?'
He said: 'I am the King of the beautiful'.
I said: 'What of humble Khusraw?'
He said: 'He is a lover of Mine'.
This is the first rubâ’i, quatrain,
of the Divân of Hâfez and in Persian it sounds thus
Joz naqsh-e-to dar nazar nayâmad mâra.
Joz kuy-e-to rahgozar nayâmad mâra.
Khvâb âr che khosh âmad hameh ra dar ‘uhdat
Haqqâ ke be chesham dar nayâmad mâra.
Nothing comes in our eyes except Your face.
Except Your lane we have no other path to trace.
If it is so that as a duty sleep comes joyfully to everyone,
But, in truth, our eyes it does not grace.
are some of his other quatrains.
The transcription of the Persian text has
been followed by its English translation.
Bar gir sharaab tarab angiz o biyaa
Penhaan ze raqib-e sefle be-sitez o biyaa
Ma-shnav sokhan-e khasm keh be-neshin o
Be-shnav ze man in nokte keh barkhiz o biyaa
Take wine, be joyful
Unknown to your mean guardian, persist and
Don’t listen to the words of the enemy
saying: ‘Sit down and don’t
Listen to my subtle saying: ‘Arise
Mâhi ke qaddesh besarv mimânad
Âine bedasto ruye khod miârâst
Dastâr che pishkashesh kardam koft
Waslam talabi ze hai khiâli ke turâst
A moon whose stature
was straight like a cypress,
Held a mirror in her hand and adorned her
When I presented her a handkerchief she
‘You seek union with me? You have
quite some imagination!’
khurshîd tora bande shodast
Tâ bandeye to shodast tâ bande
Ze ân ruî ke az shu'â'-e
nur-e rokh-e to
Khurshîd-e monîr-o mâh
tâ bande shodast
You are the full
moon and the sun has become Your slave,
By serving has become Your slave.
For this reason – that from the splendour
of the light of Your face,
The illuminating sun and the moon have become
man oftâdeh-e în dâm shavî
Ay bas keh kharâb bâdeh-o jâm
Mâ 'âsheq-o rend-o mast-o 'âlam
Bâ mâ maneshîn agar na
bad nâm shavî
If you are entrapped
in this snare like me,
O, often ruined by wine and cup you’ll
We the lovers, the rogues, the intoxicated
will burn the world:
Do not sit with us or ill of name you’ll
Har ruz dilam
zîr-e bârî degarast
Dar dîdeye man ze hajr khârî degarast
Man jahd hamîkonam qazâ mîguyad
Bîrun ze kefâyat-e to kârî degarast
Every day my heart
carries another burden;
Because of separation, in my eye there is
I kept on striving, but fate kept on saying:
‘Beyond what is enough for you, there
is another task’.
keh rokhash rawshanîye khur begereft
Gard-e-khatt-e u cheshmeye kawsar begereft
Delha hameh dar châh-e zanakhdân
Ângah sar-châh-ra be-'ambar
My moon whose visage
the brightness of the sun took,
Turning around His down, the fountain of
She threw all the hearts into the dimple
of that chin
And the mouth of that well with amber took.
Ni qesseh-ye ân shama`-e chegel be-tavân
Ni hâl-e del-e sukhteh del be-tavân
Ghamm dar del-e tang-e man az ânast
Yek dust keh bâ u ghamm-e del be-tavân
Neither the tale
of that candle of Chegel one can tell,
Nor about the state of the burnt heart one
There is grief in my distressed heart because
Not one friend to whom the grief in one’s
heart one can tell.
donya besetam mîarzad
Nai lazzat-e hastîyash-e alam mîarzad
Na haft hezâr sâleh shâdîye
În mehnat-e haft ruz-e gham mîarzad
the treasures of the world have no value;
During grief the delights of existence have
The seven thousand years of joy of the world
Compared to the sorrow of seven days of
adversity have no value.
gol qarâbaye pardâz shavad
Narges behavâye maî qadah-e
Fârigh-e del ânkasî keh
Ham dar sar-e maîkhana sar-andâz
When the rosebud
an emptier of flagons becomes,
The narcissus in desire of wine a maker
of goblets becomes.
Independent of heart is that one who like
Even at the gate of the tavern intrepid
ze bar hamnafsî mîâyad
Shâdî bedelam azu basî
Paîwasta az ân ruî konam
Kaz rang-e dîm buye kasî mîâyad
This rose, which
from the Friend may come,
Produces a joy that often from Him in my
heart may come.
Ever and anon, therefore, I consider it
as a companion of Him,
So that from the colour of its appearance
the scent of Someone may come.
shabâbast sharâb aulîtar
Bâ sabz-khattân bâda-e
'Âlam hama sar besar rebâtîst-e
Dar jâye kharâb ham kharâb
It is the time
of youth, wine is better,
For one with a youthful beard, pure wine
The world is from end to end a ruined inn:
In a ruined place to be ruined as well is
gereft gerd-e vîrânaye 'omr
Va aghâz porî nihâd paimânaye
Bîdâr shou ay khwâja keh
khush khush bekashad
Hammâl-e zamâna rakht az khânaye
The torrent surrounded
the circle of this ruined life
And established the beginning of the fullness
of the cup of life.
Awake, o master, so that the porter of time
Will happily and merrily carry your goods
from your house of life.
Tâ hokm-e-qazâî âsmânî
Kâr-e-to hamîsha kâmrânî
Gar jâm-e-may ze dast-e-to nosh konam
As long as the
decree of heavenly fate shall be,
Your work always one of happiness shall
If I may drink from the wine-cup of your
Then the source of eternal life it shall
labat goft labam aab-e-hayaat
Goftam dahanat goft ze hay hobb-e nabaat
Goftam sokhan-e to goft Haafez goftaa
Shaadiye hame latifeye guyaan-e salavaat
I said that
your lip said: ‘My lip is the water
I said that your mouth said: ‘Careful,
it is love’s sugarcandy’
I said that your speech said: Hafez has
‘It is the joy of all those who with
subtlety say their prayers’.