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A sample of Tahirih's famous poetry
Should I

Should I unveil my scented hair
I'll captivate every gazelle
Should I line my narcissus eyes
I'll destroy the world with desire
To see my face, every dawn
Heaven lifts its golden mirror
Should I chance to pass the church one day
I'll convert all Christian girls

In pursuit of your love, O darling
Enamored of afflictions, I am
Why do you shun me so?
Weary of your separation, I am.

You've veiled your face
You've dishevelled your hair
You've abandoned people
Just as secluded, I am

You're the milk and you're the honey
You're the tree and you're the fruit
You are the sun and you are the moon
A speck, an iota, I am.

You're the palm and you're the date
You are the nectar-lipped beloved
A distinguished master, you, dear love,
An insolent slave, I am.

You are the Mecca and you are the One
You're the temple and you're the shrine
You're the beloved, the honored one
The miserable lover I am.

"Come to me!"
Love said alluringly
"Free of pride and pretense,
Manifestation of the One, I am."

Tahereh is but floating dust at your feet
Drunk by the wine of your face,
awaiting your blessing
A confessing sinner, I am.

I would explain all my grief
Dot by dot, point by point
If heart to heart we talk
And face to face we meet

To catch a glimpse of thee
I am wandering like a breeze
From house to house, door to door
Place to place, street to street

In separation from thee
The blood of my heart gushes out of my eyes
In torrent after torrent, river after river
Wave after wave, stream after stream

This afflicted heart of mine
Has woven your love
To the stuff of life
Strand by strand, thread to thread

O slumbering one, the beloved has arrived, arise!
Brush off the dust of sleep and self, arise!

Behold, the good will has arrived,
Come not before him with tears, arise!

The mender of concerns has come to you,
O heavy hearted one, arise!

O one afflicted by separation,
Behold the good tidings of the beloved's union, arise!

O you, withered by autumn,
Now, spring has come, arise!

Behold, the New Year brings a fresh life,
O withered corpse of yesteryear, up from your tomb, arise!

[~translation from the book "Veils and Words. The Emerging Voices of Iranian Women Writers" by Farzaneh Milani~]
The thralls of yearning love

The thralls of yearning love
constrain in the bonds of pain and calamity
These broken-hearted lovers of thine
to yield their lives in their zeal for thee.
Though with sword in hand my Darling stand with intent to slay,
though sinless I be,
If it pleases him this tyrant's whim,
I am well content with his tyranny.
As in sleep I lay at the break of day
that cruel Charmer came to me,
And in the grace of his form and face
the dawn of the Morn I seemed to see;
The musk of Cathay might perfume gain
from the scent those fragrant tresses rain,
While his eyes demolish a faith
in vain attacked by the pagans of Tartary.
With you who condemn
both love an wine
for the hermit's cell and the zealot's shrine,
What can I do?
for our Faith divine you hold a thing of infamy?
The tangled curls of thy darling's hair,
and thy saddle and steed are thy only care.
In thy heart the Absolute hath no share,
nor the thought of the poor man's poverty.
Sikandar's pomp and display be thine,
the Kalantar's habit and way be mine,
if it please thee,
I resign, while this,
though bad, is enough for me,
The country of 'I' and 'we' forsake;
thy home in Annihilation make,
Since fearing not this step to take,
thou shalt gain the highest felicity.

[~ From "Tahirih the Pure" by Martha Root ~]
Melody's: (Tahirih 1)

Your deed, Tahirih, was a mighty trumpet blast.
Your call, Tahirih, released us from our past ways.
Your words, Tahirih, proclaimed the Promised One.
Your name, Tahirih, 'Crown of Gold' and 'The Pure One'.

I was asleep but then your charm awakened me.
I faced the silent dawn; your love it spoke to me with beauty.

You endured, Tahirih, fierce winds of calamity.
You stood, Tahirih, through trials and difficulties.
O bold Tahirih! Nightingale of mysteries!
Your face, Tahirih, has set all people free!

You scattered veils and brought the sunlight to our eyes.
You lifted up our hearts and bade us to arise in triumph.

The taste, Tahirih, of the wine of Revelation.
Gave you, Tahirih, the power of your station.
Your fame, Tahirih, the Blessed Bab extolled you.
Your way, Tahirih, the Glory of God has chose you.

Never was there one so strong and pure in chastity.
From out your soul the truth was born immortally; I love you.

Your mind, Tahirih, eternal treasured vision.
Your faith, Tahirih, sails the ocean of His Kingdom.
O 'Solace of the eyes', the shining Day Star called you.
O Scholar of the skies, embracing love and certitude.

You offered us the taste of God's felicity.
You opened up our hearts to magic mysteries, you sweet-heart.

You layed, Tahirih, a firm and real foundation.
You turned, Tahirih, your face unto a new age.
O bride of sacrifice, you hastened to His light.
O pristine, cherished one, you reached majestic heights.

Your spirit set ablaze all tried and yearning souls.
While in your breast there shone the true angelic hosts of heaven.

You threw, Tahirih, aside all imitations.
You were, Tahirih, the rose of emancipation.
O sure Tahirih, you burst our chains asunder.
Your gifts, Tahirih, are a mine of secret wonders.

'You can rape and rob and take this earthly life from me.'
'But try and touch my soul, you can't! I've won this victory!'

O brave Tahirih! I see the stars have fallen.
O wise Tahirih! Your brilliance dimmed them all, and
Your song, Tahirih, I hear the nations sing!
O 'Mother of the World', your triumph is humanity's!

Melody's: (Tahirih 2)

(First two verses originally composed in French by a Malagasy
girl in Madagascar. Music by Bruno Randimbiarson.)

A flame of fire, brilliant and splendid she was.
A courage and strength unyielding like the hearth.
Scholarly and brave, indomitable Tahirih.
Persian poetess with a mighty character.
She shocked the Imams, confused the authorities.
By her sweetness and power, she quickened the hearts with ease.
She defended the poor, heartened the abandoned ones
With a vision so keen to smash all prejudices.
Her parents and friends returned only harm and reproach
But her life was confirmed and aided by the Lord of Hosts.


Tahirih! Tahirih! Tahirih! Tahirih! Tahirih! Tahirih!

Tahirih never feared the ridicule heaped on her.
She would never deny the Source of her beauty and power.
She cast off her desire and attachment to this earthly world.
Then she gave up all she had in exchange for the priceless pearl.
She predicted the day that she would be martyred.
She continued her prayers while waiting for the soldiers.
In white wedding attire, she beamed like an eager bride.
Then asking pardon for hurts, she bade her friends sweet good-bye.
She never ceased spreading the Truth of her Faith far and wide.
Then her hour came, strangled at thirty-five.

Shining star in the night, a love piercing every veil.
She was God's trumpet blast, she conquered every evil.
A heart of pure gold, her mind a resplendent jewel.
Sweet water of life, a perfume for the seekers well.
"If you ever feel grief, here is a golden key.
Rejoice in the gladness of your heart, then follow me."
She faced every storm, overcame all calamities.
In her love for God, she drank from the seven seas
The Wine of Life and Immortality.
You can kill me now, but you can't stop women's ascendency.

[~ Melody by Jim Woodbridge / Words by Jim Styan ~]
Tahirih Qurratu l-`Ayn


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