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Hafiz

Hafiz ("one learned in the Hadiths," or sayings of Mahomet) is the name generally given to Shems-ed-Din, the great lyrical poet of Persia. Little or nothing is known of his life, but he is thought to have died about 1388 A.D. He was said to have received his inspiration from El Khizar, a mythical saint, who gave him a draught of the water of life. So sweet were the contents of his Divan that the author of the collection was called Chagarlab ("sugar-lip") by his contemporaries. He also obtained the name of Lishan-ed-Ghayd ("voice of mystery") from the fact that his beautiful images were held to imply the mystic doctrines of Sufi philosophy. An English translation of a selection from the Odes of Hafiz was made in 1802 by Richardson from a Latin version; and Sir William Ouseley, Bicknell, S. R. Robinson, and others, have translated specimens. The whole Divan has been rendered into German, but no complete English version has yet appeared.

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