Today is the 538th anniversary of Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur, the founder and the first Emperor of the Mughal Empire that ruled in India for three centuries, a descendant of Amir Temur, a military adventurer, a soldier of distinction and a genius poet. His “Memoirs”, also known as “Babur-Nama”, still serve as a unique resource to study history, geography and culture of Central Asia, Afghanistan and India of that period.

Let us share with you one of his masterpieces:

Petal upon petal, my heart is like the rosebud.

If there would be even 100,000 springs it would not open.

If I wished to pass through the garden without the one whose brow is a bow

The flowering cypress would be like an arrow for the eye

and a fire for the heart.

Why should I stroll in the garden in spring,

since in my poem

The beloved’s face is a flower, his/her hair – a hyacinth

and body – a cypress.

Finding ease in the pleasure of union is difficult.

While relinquishing life due to the pain of separation is easy.

O Babur, could I die encircled with sighs about his/her brow.

Even though I encircled that fairy-like realm in my bier.

 

Translated by Stebleva, 1982

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