Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Page of Calligraphy from an Anthology of Poetry by Sa`di and Hafiz

Sa'di (1213/19–92)
Hafiz (probably 1325/6–90)
Sultan `Ali Mashhadi (ca.1440–1520)
Object Name:
Folio from a non-illustrated manuscript
late 15th century
Attributed to present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
11 7/8 x 7 1/2in. (30.2 x 19cm)
Credit Line:
Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1911
Accession Number:
Not on view
This folio, copied by Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi—a renowned master of nasta'liq script—once formed part of an anthology of Persian poetry including selections from the works of Sa'di and Hafiz. It was common practice for valuable manuscripts to be remounted within new margins whether for aesthetic or preservation reasons. The folios of this highly treasured fifteenth‑century manuscript were remounted in the sixteenth century within colored margin papers beautifully painted with diverse scenes in silver and gold.
Inscription: Persian poem by Ḥāfiz in nastaʻliq script:
بگیر طره مه چهره ای و قصه مخوان که سعد و نحس ز تأثیر زهره و زحل است
بهیچ دور نخواهند یافت هشیارش چنین که حافظ ما مست بادۀ ازل است

ای هدهد صبا به سبا مي فرستمت بنگر که از کجا به کجا مي فرستمت
حیفست طایري چو تو در خاکدان غم زینجا به آسمان وفا مي فرستمت
در راه عشق مرحلۀ قرب و بعد نیست مي بینمت عیان و دعا مي فرستمت
هر صبح و شام قافله ای از دعاي خیر در صحبت شمال و صبا مي فرستمت
تا مطربان ز شوق منت آگهي دهند قول و غزل بساز و نوا مي فرستمت
در روي خود تفرج صنع خدا بکن کآینۀ خداي نما مي فرستمت
تا لشکر غمت نکند ملک دل خراب جان عزیز خود به نوا مي فرستمت
ساقي بیا که هاتف غیبم بمژده گفت با درد و صبر کن که دوا مي فرستمت

O lapwing of east wind (the Murshid)! To Saba (the land of true Beloved), I send thee, behold from where (the dense, impure, world) to where (the light, pure, world) I send thee!
Alas! A (glorious) bird like thee in thee dust-heap of grief: Hence to the nest of fidelity (the land of true Beloved), I send thee!

In love’s Path, is no stage of nearness or farness: (Hence, O true Beloved!) I clearly see thee; and prayer, I send thee!

Every morning and evening, the Kafila of prayer for Thy welfare, in company with the (cool) north and east wind, I send thee!

O, Fellow-sitter of my heart! Thou that becomes hidden from sight, prayer, I utter for Thee; praise, I send thee!

So long as grief’s army ruineth not the heart’s country, words and odes (of mine), with melody and modulation, I send thee!

Saqi! Come; for the invisible messenger uttered to me glad tidings, in pain, exercise patience; for remedy of union (with the true beloved), I send thee!
The creation of God, behold (with joy) in thy own face (the mirror, God-displaying displaying); for (since you art careless of the Creator) the mirror, God-displaying, I send thee!
Lest the host of grief should destroy your heart’s kingdom, my dear soul as a hostage I send thee!

Hafiz! The long of our assembly is the mention of thy welfare: make haste (come quickly). A horse and coat, I send thee!

(The Dīvān-i Ḥāfiż, by H. Wilberforce Clarke, Samuel Weiser INC. New York, 1970, vol.1, p. 119. The other poem of Havez appears in same divan.p.188-189.)

Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig (in 1910); [ Gustav Crayen, until 1911; sold to MMA]
Theresienhöhe. "Meisterwerke Muhammedanisher Kunst," 1910.

Sarre, F., H. R. Martin, and Moriz Dreger. Meisterwerke muhammedanischer Kunst auf der Ausstellung München, 1910: Teppiche, Waffen, Miniaturen, Buchkunst, Keramik, Glas und Kristall, Stein- Holz-und Elfenbeinarbeiten, Stoffe, Metall, Verschiedenes. Munich: Bruckmann, 1912. no. 687, ill. pl. 31.

Schulz, Ph. Walter. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei. Vol. vols. I, II. Leipzig: Hiersemann, 1914. pp. 104-105, 164-165.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 77, ill. fig. 44 (b/w).

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