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Old 11-13-2014, 11:52 AM   #1
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Provisional Translation, Lawh-i-Halih

The tablet Lawh-i Halih Halih Halih ya Bisharat translated "in rhythmic verse" by Sen McGlinn

[McGlinn writes ""Since preparing this (partial) translation I have become aware that both the text which I used and the two texts to which Stephen Lambden referred are very defective. A new translation based on a more accurate text is forthcoming."]

1. The Maid eternal came
from paradise on high,
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hallelujah
O glad tidings!
2. With harp and song[1] She came
with ruby[2] cup[3] [drew nigh],
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hallelujah
O glad tidings!

3. With animated charm,
the [tang and] taste of death,[4]
dancing slowly,[5] chanting [lowly]
[from paradise on high the Maid eternal] came.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hallelujah
O glad tidings!
4. With raven[6] ringlets,
exquisite ruby lips,
from nigh unto God She has come
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hallelujah
O glad tidings!

5. Her[7] eyebrows like daggers,[8]
her lashes many[9] darts,
they struck[10] and pierced our hearts
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hallelujah
O glad tidings!

6. The souls beneath her feet,
the hearts in her embrace,
all things come to nothingness[11]
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hallelujah
O glad tidings!

7. One hand of lilly white[12]
and coal-black[13] ringlets [coiling down]
as serpentine as Moses' staff[14] the Maiden came.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hallelujah
O glad tidings!

8. This psa^lm[15] of David came
with the spi^rit[16] of Christ
from the lote tree divine:[17]
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Halle-lu-jah
O glad tidings!

9. She ca^me with faith's[18] allure
from the Mashriq of Ha^[19] with the shield[20] of Baha^:
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Halle-lu-jah
O glad tidings!

10. She ca^me with beacon[21] [bright]
igni^ted in the Dawn
of the Meeting with God[22] on[23] Mount Si^nai's [sere height]:
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Halle-lu-jah
O glad tidings!

11. This me^lody of life
[from pa^radise on high]
attained to the Loved One of the nightingale[24] of La^![25]
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Halle-lu-jah
O glad tidings!

12. This go^dly maiden came
with glad tidings of union [plucked] from a limb
of the heavenly tree of delight
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Halle-lu-jah
O glad tidings!

13. [Then] this mo^rtal devotee
this bird of earth [and clay]
offered himself[26] in the path of the loved One:
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Halle-lu-jah
O glad tidings!

14. The cru^el[27] sabre fell[28]
upo^n the sweetheart's neck
[it fell as a sword] from fidelity's[29] Court[30]
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Halle-lu-jah
O glad tidings!

Notes:

1. i.e., chanting
2. hamra, any shade of red.
3. a goblet, chalice.
4. Fana, spiritual annihilation, nothingness, death to the self.
5. raqas, a kind of slow rhythmic dance.
6. muskin, musky or jet black
7. lit: her two eyebrows
8. The Ganj-i Shayigan here has tayf, a phantom, rage or madness. Stephen Lambden says that the INBA mss reads sayf, sword or sabre.
9. lit: hundred arrows.
10. In my reading, the subject of the verb 'come' in this sentence is the Maid's bewitching projectiles. Stephen Lambden reads 'she came' here.
11. Or, the universe of death came. Again, in my reading the Maid of heaven is not the subject of the verb 'come' here. Stephen Lambden has "All souls in her path, all hearts in her embrace -- massacred when she came."
12. In Exodus 4:7, Moses puts his hand in his bosom and takes it out completely white with leprosy. He puts it back into his bosom and it is healed. This is a sign which he could have used before Pharoah, although he does not actually do so in the story as told. In the Qur'an, 7:108 the demonstration is actually made before Pharoah: Moses pulls his hand from his bosom and it emerges white, an auspicious sign, with no mention of leprosy or of subsequent healing. In Yusuf 'Alii's commentary the 'whiteness' is a white light shining from the hand. In Persian baizii means either whiteness or purity. Thus it seems unlikely that there is any overtone of the Exodus version - white with leprosy - to be read here.
13. Ganj-i-Shayigaan has sauda, trade or profit. I have read it as sauda' means both black and passion or sensuality (contrasting to white and purity in the previous half-line). So the white and black in this line may refer to divine law and divine love. I would be grateful for any suggestions of an English idiom which combines blackness and passion.
14. The Persian here is simpler: "like Moses' snake".
15. naqme, a soft sweet voice, or a melody or song.
16. We should probably understand the spirit which Christ breathes into the 'dead' to revive them. The resurrection of Lazarus is a proof of Christ's station, just as the Moses' hand and staff are proofs of his station, and the Psalms are a witness to David's inspiration. New life is one of the key themes of the poem.
17. Lahut, of the divine nature.
18. In the sense of her faithfulness, rather than our faith in God.
19. Possibly Hahut, or Huwa (he), as in the Ayyam-i-haa.
20. lit. 'protection'.
21. lit. the light of guidance.
22. Literally, with the light of guidance from the dawn of meeting (subh-liqaa). I have assumed that we are to read liqaa as a shortened form of liqaa'llaah, the meeting with God, which would normally refer to the resurrection but in the context of Mount Sinai is more likely to refer to Moses' encounter with God. It must be admitted, against this reading, that if liqaa is to be read as liqaa'llah it should have a final hamza, comparable to bahaa' in the previous verse (which is a shortened form of Bahaa'u'llaah). It would also be theoretically possible to read sabh as sabah, the flash of steel, and liqaa as a military encounter, in which case the maid bears the light of guidance from the flashing [of swords] in battle.
23. The text reads baa tuur-i-Sinaa, which would be with Mount Sinai. I am reading it as bar tuur-i-Sinaa.
24. The nightingale, the 'lover of the rose' in poetry, and an emblem of romantic love. The nightingale is also an epithet applied to Mohammad, 'the nightingale among the crows', (where the crows are presumably the poets of Mecca). The song of life (the maid) is coming to the presence of the One for whom the nightingale of Laa warbled His melodies.
25. Laa, could be 'no' (in Arabic), but seems more likely to be the letter L, perhaps meaning the realm of Lahut.
26. I am reading fadaa aamad as a compound 'to come as a sacrifice', which would seem to imply voluntary sacrifice, self- sacrifice. There is no explicit reflexive in the Persian text.
27. jafaa', oppression, injustice or inequity is also used poetically of a mistress who wounds the heart or withholds her favours.
28. lit. 'came'.
29. wafaa', fidelity, loyalty or fulfillment, has the connotation of faithfulness to a promise, loyalty to an oath. One reading of these two verses is that Bahaa'u'llaah, in response to the Maiden, has offered 'himself' - that is, his human self - as a sacrifice in the same sense that Christ surrenders himself to the will of God with the words "Thy will not mine be done". In this verse the offer is accepted: God's outstanding promise of "Him Whom God will make manifest" will be fulfilled in the person of Bahaa'u'llaah, which entails a kind of death for Miirzaa Husayn- 'Alii.
30. 'arsh, a throne (esp. the throne of God) or palace. In this case perhaps the place from which judgement is delivered.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Sen McGlinn

(Provisional Translations, Lawh-i-Halih (McGlinn Trans))
 
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:23 PM   #2
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From: Quilimari,Chile
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When reading the above, my mind went to this poem...........

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON
 
Old 11-14-2014, 01:17 PM   #3
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Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 531
So many awesome yet-untranslated scriptures!!

Makes me think the Baha'i community should work together to create some sort of online Arabic/Persian language teaching tool, specifically tailored to helping people read the scriptures. It'd allow us to not only read the more poetic books in their original languages, but would also give us many more potential translators of the texts as well!!
 
Old 11-14-2014, 02:39 PM   #4
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Joined: Oct 2011
From: Quilimari,Chile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
So many awesome yet-untranslated scriptures!!

Makes me think the Baha'i community should work together to create some sort of online Arabic/Persian language teaching tool, specifically tailored to helping people read the scriptures. It'd allow us to not only read the more poetic books in their original languages, but would also give us many more potential translators of the texts as well!!
Dear friend I am not sure what you meen by an online Arabic/Persian language teaching tool.
To learn any language takes a great deal of time and effort, of course if you are young you have a greater chance than if you are older.

So yes I would encourage the young to learn Farsi or Arabic, but for me it is far too late.

The reason the world has been asked to decide on one universal language.
 
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