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O Land Mine!
Rhyme and Reason
Faiz Ahmad Faiz
(Tr. by:Asif Iftikhar)


O Land Mine!1.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz2


In every lane yours, O Land mine, my heart I lay

Where “No head shall rise!” now the way

Stealthily to the tryst, must your love proceed

And guard its life ‘n limb night ‘n day 

For those with heart, now this the decree

Stones ‘n wood in prison, and dogs roam free 


Suffice for the hand oppressive as excuse

The few love-crazed that proclaim your name

The plaintiff and the judge both venal plain

Who be counsel, from whom one justice obtain? 


But one who will not give up, still goes on

‘Tis how he does night and day, of you forlorn: 


Now that the light through prison hole has faded

My heart sees stars parting your hair

Now that my chains are bright and un-shaded

I know the dawn in your visage did appear 


Thus, I live in thoughts of today and the ‘morrow

In the shadow of prison walls ‘n door, my sorrow 


Such has been the rift between Creation and oppression

Neither their ritual nor mine new for the eye to see

In such manner have my kind watered flowers in the fire

Not new is their defeat, not new my victory 

For this reason I don’t complain of the sky

Even forlorn of your love, my hope won’t die 

If away today, tomorrow we’ll be one

This night of separation is no great ordeal

If rival’s moon is bright today, so it be!

‘Tis ephemeral apotheosis is not real! 


Those who in your love keep strong

Know the panacea for every wrong! 


(Translated by Asif Iftikhar, Montreal, August 14, 2003) 







1. On the independence day of my beloved country, I dedicate this translation to all the oppressed people on God’s earth. His Justice shall come – Here or in the Hereafter. 

2. The translator wishes to thank Mr Yasir Hashmi and Mrs Salima Hashmi for their permission to publish this humble translation

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