"At Dawn the Friend Came to my bed":
An early fruit of the Supreme Pen

By Julio Savi

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #118
Centre for Bahá'í­ Studies: Acuto, Italy
June 30 – July 4, 2013
(see list of papers from #118)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 16, pages 273-339
© 2015, ‘Irfán Colloquia


    This paper attempts to analyse a poem revealed by the Blessed Beauty, both in its form and in its contents. This poem seems a qaá¹£ídih. The features of qaá¹£ídih are briefly explained. Some of the literary devices used in the poem are described. Of the four major themes of Persian lyrical poetry as described by Bausani, that is 'wine, love, springtime and mystics,' only wine is absent. Associated with springtime motifs are a number of nature tropes. Also theological and scriptural motifs are used in this poem. Moreover, this ode offers didactic themes, the early seeds of the new mystical way that Bahá'u'lláh was opening to His lovers. This poem also has many biographical references. Qaá¹£ídihs can be usually divided into three parts. In this ode, the first part tells the state of the lover. In the second part, usually a eulogy of the addressee of the poem, only two verses, 15 and 16, depict the Beloved. The other verses continue portraying the Poet, in His relation with the Beloved, and especially in His faithfulness to His love for the Beloved. In the third part, usually a petition to the addressee of the poem, the Most Great Spirit is implored, His advent is invoked, for the good of all "mortals," "pilgrims and companions" on the spiritual path.

    Bahá'u'lláh's poem which begins with the verse Sa ̇ar ámad bi bistar-am Yár, "At dawn the Friend came to my bed," is one among eight Persian poems he signed "Dervish." In this poem Bahá'u'lláh adopts a loose form of qasidih, introducing formal and thematic innovations and making several exceptions to the classic model of this poetical form. The whole poem is a kind of dialogue between the Beloved and the Poet as a lover.

    See also the ghazal "O Cup-Bearer, give me a drop:" A hymn to love offered by the Blessed Beauty.


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