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Selected Poems from the
Divani Shamsi Tabriz

I.

If thou art Love's lover1 and seekest Love,
Take a keen poniard and cut the throat of bashfulness2 .
Know that reputation is a great hindrance in the path3 ;
This saying4 is disinterested: receive it with pure mind5 .
Wherefore did that madman6 work madness in a thousand forms,
That chosen wild one7 display a thousand wiles?
Now he rent robe, and now sped o'er mountain,
Now sipped poison8 , and now chose death9 .
Since the spider10 seized prey so large,
Behold what the snare of My Lord the Supreme11 will do!
Since the love of Laila's face had such value,
How will it be12 with "He took His servant by night"?
Hast thou not seen the divans13 of Waisa and Ramin?'
Hast thou not read the tales of Wamiq14 and Adra?
Thou gatherest up thy garment lest the water should wet it:
Needs must thou plunge15 a thousand times in the sea16 .
Love's way is all lowliness17 and drunkenness:
For the torrent runs down: how should it run upward?
Thou wilt be as the bezel in the ring of lovers18
If thou art the bezel's thrall19 , O master.
Even as this earth to the sky is thrall20 ,
Even as the body to the spirit is thrall.
Come, say, what did the earth lose21 by this connexion?
What kindnesses has not the reason done to the limbs?
It behoves not, son, to beat a drum under a quilt;
Plant, like brave men, thy banner in the midst of the desert22 .
Hark with the soul's ear23 to the sounds innumerable
In the hollow of the green dome24 , rising from lovers' passionate cry.
When the strings of thy robe25 are loosed by the intoxication of love,
Behold heaven's triumph and Orion's bewilderment!26
How the world, high and low, is troubled
By love, which is purified from high and low27 !
When the sun28 goes up, where stayeth night?
When the joy of bounty came, where lagged affliction?
I am silent29 . Speak thou, O soul of soul of soul,
From desire of whose face every atom grew articulate

 

˜

 

II

Our desert hath no bound,
Our hearts and souls have no rest.
World in world has ta' en Form 's image ;
Which of these images is ours ?
When thou seest in the pathway a severed head,
Which is rolling toward our field,
Ask of it, ask of it, the secrets of the heart :
For of it thou wilt learn our hidden mystery.
How would it be, if an ear showed itself,
Familiar with the tongues of our songsters ?
How would it be, if a bird took wing,
Bearing the collar of the secret of our Solomon ?
What shall I say, what think ? for this tale
Is too high for our limited and contingent being.
How keep silence, when every moment
Our anguish grows more anguished ?
Partridge and falcon alike are flying together
Mid the air of our mountain-land ;
Mid an air which is the seventh atmosphere,
At the zenith whereof is our Saturn.
Are not the seven heavens below the empyrean ?
Beyond the empyrean is our revolution.
What place here for aspirations toward the empyrean
and the sky ?
Our journey is to the rose-garden of union.
Leave this tale. .Ask not of us,
For our tale is wholly interrupted.
Salahu 'lhaq u din will declare to thee
The beauty of our Sultan, the King of kings.

˜

 

III

Yestereve I delivered to a star tidings for thee :
'Present' I said, 'my service to that moon-like form.'
I bowed, I Said: . Bear that service to the sun
Who maketh hard rocks gold by his burning.'
I bared my breast, I showed it the wounds:
Give news of me,' I said, , to the Beloved whose drink is blood.'
I rocked to and fro that the child, my heart, might become still;
A child sleeps when one sways the cradle.
Give my heart-babe milk, relieve us from its weeping,
O thou that helpest every moment a hundred helpless like me.
The heart's home, first to last, is thy city of union :
How long wilt thou keep in exile this heart forlorn ?
I speak no more, but for the sake of averting headache,
O Cup-bearer, make drunken my languishing eye.

 

˜

IV

David said: ' O Lord, since thou hast no need of us,
Say, then, what wisdom was there in creating the two worlds ? ,
God said to him: ' O temporal man, I was a hidden treasure ;
I sought that that treasure of loving kindness and bounty
should be revealed.
I displayed a mirror-its face the heart, its back the world
Its back is better than its face-if the face is unknown to thee.'
When straw is mixed with clay, how should the mirror be successful ?
When you part the straw from the clay, the mirror becomes clear.
Grape-juice does not turn to wine, unless it ferment awhile in the jar .
would you have your heart grow bright, you must take a little trouble.
The soul which issued forth from the body-my king saith to it :
Thou art come even as thou wentest: where are the
traces of my benefactions ? ,
'Tis notorious that copper by alchemy becomes gold :
Our copper has been transmuted by this rare alchemy.
From God's grace this sun wants no crown or robe :
He is cap to a hundred bald men and cloak to ten naked.
Child, Jesus sate on an ass for humility's sake :
How else should the zephyr ride on the back of an ass ?
O spirit, make thy head in search and seeking like the
water of a stream,
And O reason, to gain eternal life tread everlastingly the
way of death.
Keep God in remembrance till self is forgotten,
That you may be lost in the Called, without distraction
of caller and call.

 

˜

V

A garden-may its rose be in flower to Resurrection!
An idol-may the two worlds be scattered o'er his beauty!
The prince of the fair goes proudly forth to the chase
at morning ;
May our hearts fall a prey to the arrow of his glance !
From his eye what messages are passing continually to mine!
May my eyes be gladdened and filled ,with intoxication
by his message!
I broke an ascetic's door. with a prayer he banned me,
Saying, , Go, may all thy life be without peace. I
No peace, no heart is left me, on account of his prayer,
by the Friend!
Who thirsts for our blood-may God befriend him!
My body is like the moon which is melting for love,
My heart like Zuhra's lute-may its strings be broken
Look not on the moon's waning nor on Zuhra's broken
state;
Behold the sweetness of his affliction-may it wax a
Thousand fold!
What a bride is in the soul! By the reflection of her face
May the world be freshened and coloured like the hands
of the newly-married !
Look not on the fleshly cheek which corrupts and decays ;
Look on the spiritual cheek-may it be sweet and agreeable !
The dark body resembles a raven, and the body's world winter;
Oh, in spite of these two unpleasants may there be
eternal spring !
For these two unpleasants subsist by the four elements
May the subsistence of thy servants depend on something
other than these four.

˜

VI

O thou who art my soul's comfort in the season of sorrow,
O thou who art my spirit's treasure in the bitterness of dearth !
That which the imagination has not conceived, that
which the understanding has not seen,
Visiteth my soul from thee; hence in worship I turn
toward thee.
By thy grace I keep fixed on eternity my amorous gaze,
Except, O king, the pomps that perish lead me astray.
The favour of that one, who brings glad tidings of thee,
Even without thy summons, is sweeter in mine ear than songs.
In the prostrations of prayer thought of thee, O lord,
Is necessary and binding on me as the seven verses.
To thee belongs mercy and intercession for the sin of infidels :
As regards me, thou art chief and principal of the stony hearted.
If a never-ceasing bounty should offer kingdoms,
If a hidden treasure should set before me all that is,
I would bend down with my soul, I would lay my face
in the dust,
I would say, Of all these the love of such an one for me!
Eternal life, methinks, is the time of union,
Because time, for me, hath no place there.
Life is the vessels, union the clear draught in them ;
Without thee what does the pain of the vessels avail me?
I had twenty thousand desires ere this ;
In passion for him not even ( care of) my safety remained.
By the help of his grace I am become safe, because
The unseen king saith to me, , Thou art the soul of the world.'
The essence of the meaning of " He " has filled my heart and soul;
"Au" cries the street-dog, and neither have I third or second.
The body, at the time of union with him, paid no regard
to the spirit ;
Tho' incorporeal, he became visible unto me.
I aged with his affliction, but when Tabriz
You name, all my youth comes back to me.

 

˜

O thou who art my soul's comfort in the season of sorrow,
O thou who art my spirit's treasure in the bitterness of dearth !
That which the imagination has not conceived, that
which the understanding has not seen,
Visiteth my soul from thee; hence in worship I turn
toward thee.
By thy grace I keep fixed on eternity my amorous gaze,
Except, O king, the pomps that perish lead me astray.
The favour of that one, who brings glad tidings of thee,
Even without thy summons, is sweeter in mine ear than songs.
In the prostrations of prayer thought of thee, O lord,
Is necessary and binding on me as the seven verses.
To thee belongs mercy and intercession for the sin of infidels :
As regards me, thou art chief and principal of the stony hearted.
If a never-ceasing bounty should offer kingdoms,
If a hidden treasure should set before me all that is,
I would bend down with my soul, I would lay my face
in the dust,
I would say, Of all these the love of such an one for me!
Eternal life, methinks, is the time of union,
Because time, for me, hath no place there.
Life is the vessels, union the clear draught in them ;
Without thee what does the pain of the vessels avail me?
I had twenty thousand desires ere this ;
In passion for him not even ( care of) my safety remained.
By the help of his grace I am become safe, because
The unseen king saith to me, , Thou art the soul of the world.'
The essence of the meaning of " He " has filled my heart and soul;
"Au" cries the street-dog, and neither have I third or second.
The body, at the time of union with him, paid no regard
to the spirit ;
Tho' incorporeal, he became visible unto me.
I aged with his affliction, but when Tabriz
You name, all my youth comes back to me.

˜

VII

That moon, which the sky ne'er saw even in dreams, has returned
And brought a fire no water can quench.
See the body' s house, and see my. soul,
This made drunken and that desolate by the cup of his love.
When the host of the tavern became my heart-mate,
My blood turned to wine and my heart to kabab.
When the eye is filled with thought of him, a voice arrives :
W ell done, O flagon, and bravo, wine!
Love's fingers tear up, root and stem,
Every house where sunbeams fall from love.
When my heart saw love's sea, of a sudden
It left me and leaped in, crying, , Find me.'
The face of Shamsi Din, Tabriz's glory, is the sun
In whose track the cloud-like hearts are moving.

˜

VIII

The man of God is drunken without wine,
The man of God is full without meat.
The man of God is distraught and bewildered,
The man of God has no food or sleep.
The man of God is a king 'neath darvish-cloak,
The man of God is a treasure in a ruin.
The man of God is not of air and earth,
The man of God is not of fire and water.
The man of God is a boundless sea,
The man of God rains pearls without a cloud.
The man of God hath hundred moons and skies,
The man of God hath hundred suns.
The man of God is made wise by the Truth,
The man of God is not learned from book.
The man of God is beyond infidelity and religion,
To the man of God right and wrong are alike.
The man of God has ridden away from Not-being,
The man of God is gloriously attended.
The man of God is concealed, Shamsi Din ;
The man of God do thou seek and find!

 

˜

IX

Every moment the voice of Love is coming from left and right.
We are bound for heaven: who has a mind to sight-seeing ?
We have been in heaven, we have been friends of the angels;
Thither, sire, let us return, for that is our country.
We are even higher than heaven and more than the angels ;
Why pass we not beyond these twain ? Our goal is majesty supreme.
How different a source have the world of dust and the pure substance !
Tho' we came down, let us haste back-what place is this ?
Young fortune is our friend, yielding up soul our business;
The leader of our caravan is Mustafa, glory of the world.
This gale' s sweet scent is from the curl of his tresses,
This thought's radiance is from a cheek like " by the morning bright."
By his cheek the moon was split: she endured not the sight of him ;
Such fortune the moon found-she that is an humble beggar.
Behold a continual " cleaving of the moon" in our hearts,
For why should the vision of that vision transcend thine eye ?
Came the billow of " Am I not ?" and wrecked the body's ship ;
When the ship wrecks once more is the time of union's attainment.
Mankind, like waterfowl, are sprung from the sea-the sea of soul ;
Risen from that sea, why should the bird make here his home ?
Nay , we are pearls in that sea, therein we all abide ;
Else, why does wave follow wave from the sea of soul ?
'Tis the time of union's attainment, 'tis the time of eternity's beauty,
'Tis the time of favour and largesse, 'tis the ocean of perfect purity.
The billow of largesse hath appeared, the thunder of the sea hath arrived,
The morn of blessedness hath dawned. Morn ? No, tis the light of God.
Who is this pictured form, who is this monarch and this prince ?
Who is this aged wisdom ? They are all veils.
The remedy against veils is ecstasies like these,
The fountain of these draughts is in your own head and eyes.
In the head itself is nought, but ye have two heads ;
This head of clay is from earth, and that pure head from heaven.
The many pure heads scattered beneath the clay,
That thou mayst know the head depends on that other head !
That original head hidden, and this derived head manifest,
Forasmuch as behind this world lies the infinite universe.
Tie up the skin, O cup-bearer, fetch wine from our jar .
The vessel of perceptions is straiter than a strait pass.
From Tabriz-ward shone the Sun of Truth, and I said to him :
'Thy light is at once joined with all things and apart from all.'

˜

X

What pearl art thou that none possesseth the price of thee ?
What does the world possess that is not thy gift ?
Is there a worse punishment than his who lives away from thy face ?
Punish not thy servant tho' he is unworthy of thee.
He that is fallen amid the surge of accidents
Escapes not by swimming, since he is no friend of thine.
The world has no permanence, and if it have,
Deem it perishable, because it is unfamiliar with thy permanence.
How happy the king that is mated by thy rook !
How fair company hath he who lacks not thine !
I desire continually to fling heart and soul at thy feet ;
Dust on the head of the soul which is not the dust of thy feet!
Blessed to all birds is desire of thee ;
How unblest the bird that desires thee not!
I will not shun thy blow, for very crude
Is the heart ne'er burned in the fire of thy affliction.
To thy praise and praisers there is no end :
What atom but is reeling with thy praise ?
Like that one of whom Nizami tells in verse,
Tyrannies not, for I cannot endure thy tyranny .
O Shamsi Tabriz, beauty and glory of the horizons,
What king but is a beggar of thee with heart and soul ?

˜

XI

O Beloved, spiritual beauty is very fair and glorious,
But thine own beauty and loveliness is another thing.
O thou who art years describing spirit,
Show one quality that is equal to his essence.
Light waxes in the eye at the imagination of him,
But ill presence of his union it is dimmed.
I stand open-mouthed in veneration of that beauty .
God is most great' is on my heart's lips every moment.
The heart hath gotten an eye constant in desire of thee.
Oh, how that desire feeds heart and eye !
'Tis slave-caressing thy love has practised ;
Else, where is the heart worthy of that love ?
Every heart that has slept one night in thy air
Is like radiant day: thereby the air is illumined.
Every one that is without object is as thy disciple :
His object is gained without the semblance of object.
Each reprobate who has burned in this love and fallen in it,
Fell into Kausar: for thy love is Kausar.
From hope of union my foot comes not to earth :
While l am severed from thee, my hand is on my head.
Be not sorrowful, O heart, at this oppression of enemies,
And think on this, that the Sweetheart is judge.
If the foe is rejoiced at my sallow face,
This sallow face of mine is from the red rose.
Since the beauty of my Beloved is beyond description,
How fat is my grief and how lean my praise! .
Yea, for it is a rule as regards the poor sick wretch,
That while his pain is more his plaint is less.
Shamsi Din shone, moon-like, from Tabriz ;
No, what is the very moon 'I for that is the moon's face superlative.

˜

XII

Every form you see has its archetype in the placeless world ;
If the form perished, no matter, since its original is everlasting.
Every fair shape you have seen, every deep saying you have heard,
Be not cast down that it perished ; for that is not so.
Whereas the spring-head is undying, its branch gives water continually .
Since neither can cease, why are you lamenting ?
Conceive the Soul as a fountain, and these created things as rivers :
While the fountain flows, the rivers run from it.
Put grief out of your head and keep quaffing this river water;
Do not think of the water failing; for this water is without end.
From the moment you came into the world of being,
A ladder was placed before you that you might escape.
First you were mineral, later you turned to plant,
Then you became animal: how should this be a secret to you ?
Afterwards you were made man, with knowledge, reason, faith ;
Behold the body, which is a portion of the dust-pit, how perfect it has grown!
When you have travelled on from man, you will doubtless become an angel ;
After that you are done with this earth: your station is in heaven.
Pass again even from angelhood: enter that ocean,
That your drop may become a sea which is a hundred seas of 'Oman.
Leave this ' Son,' say ever' One' with all your soul;
If your body has aged, what matter, when the soul is young ?

˜

XIII

'Twere better that the spirit which wears not True love as a garment
Had not been: its being is hut shame.
Be drunken ill love, for love is all that exists ;
Without the dealing of love there is no entrance to the Beloved.
They say, 'What is love ?' Say, , Renunciation of will.'
Whoso has not escaped from will, no will hath he.
The lover is a monarch: two worlds lie at his feet ;
The king pays no heed to what lies at his feet.
'Tis love and the lover that live to all eternity;
Set not thy heart on aught else: 'tis only borrowed.
How long wilt thou embrace a dead beloved ?
Embrace the soul which is embraced by nothing.
What was born of spring dies in autumn,
Love's rose-plot hath no aiding from the early spring.
A thorn is the companion of the rose that comes of spring,
And the wine that comes of grape-juice is not free from headache.
Be not an expectant looker-on in this path ;
By God, there is no death worse than expectancy.
Set thy heart on sterling coin, if thou be not false;
Give ear to this deep saying, if thou lack an earring.
Do not tremble on the steed of the body, but fare lighter on foot ;
God lends him wings who is not mounted on the body.
Dismiss cares and be utterly clear of heart,
Like the face of a mirror without image and picture.
When it becomes clear of images, all images are contained in it ;
No man's face is ashamed of that clear-faced one.
Wouldst thou have a clear mirror, behold thyself therein,
For it is not ashamed or afraid of telling the truth.
Since the steel face gained this purity by discrimination,
What needs the heart's face, which has no dust ?
But betwixt the steel and the heart is this difference,
That the one is a keeper of secrets, while the other is not.

˜

XIV

He said: 'Who is at the door?' Said I: 'Thy humble slave.'
He said: ' What business have you ? Said I: ' Lord, to greet thee.'
He said: ' How long will you push ?' Said I: ' Till thou call.'
He said: ' How long will you glow ? ' Said I: ' Till resurrection.'
I laid claim to love, I took oaths
That for love I had lost sovereignty and power.
He said: 'A judge demands witness as regards a claim.'
Said I: ' Tears are my witness, paleness of face my evidence.'
He said: ' The witness is not valid; your eye is corrupt.'
Said I: ' By the majesty of thy justice they are just and clear of sin.'
He said: ' What do you intend ? Said I. , Constancy and friendship.'
He said: ' What do you want of me ?' Said I: ' Thy universal grace.'
He said: ' Who was your companion ?' Said I: ' Thought of thee, O King.'
He said: ' Who called you here ?' Said I: ' The odour of thy cup.'
He said: 'Where is it pleasantest ?' Said I: ' The Emperor's palace.'
He said: ' What saw you there ?' Said I: ' A hundred miracles.'
He said: ' Why is it desolate ?' Said I: ' From fear of the brigand.'
He said: ' Who is the brigand ? ' Said I: ' This blame.'
He said: ' Where is it safe ?' Said I: ' In abstinence and piety.'
He said: ' What is abstinence ? ' Said I: ' The path of salvation.'
He said: ' Where is calamity ?' Said I: ' In the neighborhood of thy love.'
He said: ' How fare you there ?' Said I: ' In steadfastness.'
I gave you a long trial, but it availed me nothing ;
Repentance lights on him who tests one tested already.
Peace! if I should utter forth his mystic sayings,
You would go beside yourself, neither door nor roof would restrain you.

˜

XV

This house wherein is continually the sound of the viol,
Ask of the master what house is this.
What means this idol-form, if this is the house of the Ka'ba?
And what means this light of God, if this is a Magian temple ?
In this house is a treasure which the Universe is too small to hold ;
This house and this master is all acting and pretence.
Lay no hand on the house, for this house is a talisman:
Speak not with the master, for he is drunken overnight.
The dust and rubbish of this house is all musk and perfume ;
The roof and door of this house is all verse and melody.
In fine, whoever has found the way into this house
Is sultan of the world and Solomon of the time.
O master, bend down thy head once from this roof,
For in thy fair face is a token of fortune.
I swear by thy soul that save the sight of thy countenance,
All, tho' 'twere the kingdom of the earth, is fantasy and fable.
The garden is bewildered to know which is the leaf, and which the blossom ;
The birds are distracted to know which is the snare and which the bait.
This is the Lord of heaven, who resembles Venus and the moon,
This is the house of Love, which has no bound or end.
Like a mirror, the soul has received thy image in its heart;
The tip of thy curl has sunk into the heart like a comb.
Forasmuch as the women cut their hands in Joseph's presence,
Come to me, O soul, for the Beloved is in the midst.
All the house are drunken-none has knowledge
Of each who enters that he is so-and-so or so-and-so.
Do not sit intoxicated at the door: come into the house quickly .
He is in the dark whose place is the threshold.
Those drunk with God, tho' they be thousands, are yet one ;
Those drunk with lust-tho' it be a single one, he is a double.
Go into the wood of lions and reck not of the wound,
For thought and fear-all these are figments of women.
For there is no wound: all is mercy and love,
But thy imagination is like a bar behind the door.
Set fire to the wood, and keep silence, O heart ;
Draw back thy tongue, for thy tongue is harmful.

 

˜

XVI

Show thy face, for I desire the orchard and the rose-garden ;
Ope thy lips, for I desire sugar in plenty.
O sun, show forth thy face from the veil of cloud,
For I desire that radiant glowing countenance.
From love for thee I hearkened to the sound of the falcon-drum ;
I have returned, for the sultan's arm is my desire.
'Vex me no more,' thou saidst capriciously, 'begone!'
I desire that saying of thine, 'V ex me no more.'
And thy bidding off with' Depart, he is not at home,'
And the airs and pride and harshness of the door-keeper I desire.
O sweet zephyr , that blowest from the flower-plot of the Friend,
Blow on me, for I desire news of the basil.
The bread and water of destiny is like a treacherous flood ;
I am a great fish and desire the sea of 'Oman.
like Jacob I am uttering cries of grief,
I desire the fair face of Joseph of Canaan.
By God, without thee the city is a prison to me,
O'er mountain and desert I desire to wander.
In one hand a wine-cup and in one hand a curl of the Beloved:
Such a dance in the midst of the market-place is my desire.
My heart is weary of these weak-spirited companions ;
I desire the Lion of God and Rustam, son of Zal.
Filings of beauty are in the possession of every one that exists ;
I desire that quarry and that mine of exquisite loveliness.
Bankrupt tho' I be, I will not accept a small carnelian ;
The mine of rare tremulous carnelian is my desire.
Of this folk I am full of complaint, weeping and weary ;
I desire the drunkards' wailing and lamentation.
My soul is grown weary of Pharaoh and his tyranny
I desire the light of the countenance of Moses, son' of 'Imran.
They said, r He is not to be found, we have sought Him long.'
A thing which is not to be found-that is my desire.
I am more eloquent than the nightingale, but because of vulgar envy
A seal is on my tongue, tho' I desire to moan.
Yesterday the Master with a lantern was roaming about the city ,
Crying, r I am tired of devil and beast, I desire a man.'
My state has passed even beyond all yearning and desire ;
I desire to go from Being and Place toward the Essentials.
He is hidden from our eyes, and all objects are from Him ;
I desire that hidden One whose works are manifest.
Mine ear listened to the tale of faith and was intoxicated ;
Say, 'The limbs and the body and the form of faith are my desire.'
I myself am Love's rebeck, and Love is a rebeck to me ;
I desire the hand and bosom and modulation of 'Othman.
That rebeck is saying, , Every moment passionately
I desire the favours of the mercy of the Merciful.'
O cunning minstrel, con the rest of this ode
After this fashion, for after this fashion I desire.
Display, O Sun who art Tabriz's glory, the dawning of Love ;
I am the hoopoe: the presence of Solomon is my desire.

˜

XVII

I was on that day when the Names were not,
Nor any sign of existence endowed with name.
By me Names and Named were brought to view
On the day when there were not 'I' and 'We.'
For a sign, the tip of the Beloved's curl became a centre of revelation ;
As yet the tip of that fair curl was not.
Cross and Christians, from end to end,
I surveyed; He was not on the Cross.
I went to the idol-temple, to the ancient pagoda ;
No trace was visible there.
I went to the mountains of Herat and Candahar .
I looked; He was not in that hill-and-dale.
With set purpose I fared to the summit of Mount Qaf ;
In that place was only the 'Anqa's habitation.
I bent the reins of search to the Ka'ba ;
He was not in that resort of old and young.
I questioned Ibn Sina of his state ;
He was not in Ibn Sina's range.
I fared towards the scene of "two bow-lengths' distance";
He was not in that exalted court.
I gazed into my own heart ;
There I saw Him; He was nowhere else.
Save pure-souled Shamsi Tabriz
None ever was drunken and intoxicated and distraught.

˜

XVIII

Before thee the soul is hourly decaying and growing,
And for one soul 's sake how should any plead with thee ?
Wherever thou settest foot a head springs up from the earth ;
For one head's sake why should any wash his hands of thee ?
That day when the soul takes flight enraptured by thy fragrance,
The soul knows, the soul knows what fragrance is the Beloved's.
As soon as thy fumes vanish out of the brain,
The head heaves a hundred sighs, every hair is lamenting.
I have emptied house, to be quit of the furniture ;
I am waning, that thy love may increase and wax.
'Tis best to gamble the soul away for so great a gain.
Peace! for it is worth, O master, just that which it seeks.
My soul in pursuit of thy love, Shamsu 'l Haqq of Tabriz,
Is scudding without feet, ship-like, over the sea.

˜

XIX

At morning-tide a moon appeared in the sky,
And descended from the sky and gazed on me.
Like a falcon which snatches a bird at the time of hunting,
That moon snatched me up and coursed over the sky.
When I looked at myself, I saw myself no more,
Because in that moon my body became by grace even as soul.
When I travelled in soul, I saw nought save the moon,
Till the secret of the eternal Theophany was all revealed.
The nine spheres of heaven were all merged in that moon,
The vessel of my being was completely hidden in the sea.
The sea broke into waves, and again Wisdom rose
And cast abroad a voice; so it happened and thus it befell.
Foamed the sea, and at every foam-fleck
Something took figure and something was bodied forth.
Every foam-fleck of body, which received a sign from that sea,
Melted straightway and turned to spirit in this ocean.
Without the power imperial of Shamsu 'l Haqq of Tabriz
One could neither behold the moon nor become the sea.

˜

XX

Grasp the skirt of his favour, for on a sudden he will flee ;
But draw him not, as an arrow, for he will flee from the bow
What delusive forms does he take, what tricks does he invent
If he is present in form, he will flee by the way of spirit.
Seek him in the sky, he shines in water, like the moon ;
When you come into the water, he will flee to the sky.
Seek him in the placeless, he will sign you to place ;
When you seek him in place, he will flee to the placeless.
As the arrow speeds from the bow, like the bird of your imagination,
Know that the Absolute will certainly flee from the Imaginary.
I will flee from this and that, not for weariness, but for fear
That my gracious Beauty will flee from this and that.
As the wind I am fleet of foot, from love of the rose I am like the zephyr .
The rose in dread of autumn will flee from the garden.
His name will flee, when it sees an attempt at speech,
So that you cannot even say, ' Such an one will flee.'
He will flee from you, so that if you limn his picture,
The picture will fly from the tablet, the impression will flee from the soul.

˜

XXI

A beauty that all night long teaches love-tricks to Venus and the moon.
Whose two eyes by their witchery seal up the two eyes of heaven.
Look to your hearts! I whate'er betide, O Moslems.
Am so mingled with him that no heart is mingled with me.
I was born of his love at the first. I gave him my heart at the last ;
When the fruit springs from the bough, on that bough it hangs. .
The tip of his curl ns saying, ' Ho ! betake thee to rope dancing.'
The cheek of his candle is saying, ' Where is a moth that it may burn ?'
For the sake of dancing on that rape, O heart, make haste, become a hoop ;
Cast thyself on the flame, when his candle is lit.
Thou wilt never more endure without the flame, when thou hast known the rapture of burning ;
If the water of life should come to thee, it would not stir thee from the flame.

˜

XXII

Quoth some one, 'Master Sana'i is dead.'
The death of such a master is no little thing.
He was not chaff which flew on the wind,
He was not water which froze in winter.
He was not a comb which was broken with an hair,
He was not a seed which the earth crushed.
He was a treasure of gold in this dust-pit,
For he valued the two worlds at a barley-corn.
The earthly frame he flung to the earth,
Soul and intellect he bore to heaven.
The pure elixir mingled with the wine-dregs
Came to the jar's surface, and the lees settled apart.
The second soul which the vulgar know not
I protest by God that he surrendered to the Beloved.
In travel, dear friend, there meet together
The native of Marv and of Rai, the Roman and the Kurd.
Each one returns to his home ;
How should au old man be the companion of youths ?
Keep silence, like the points (of a compass), because the King
Has erased thy name from the book of speech.

˜

XXIII

No favour was left which that winsome beauty did not bestow.
What fault of ours, if he failed in bounty towards you ?
Thou art reviling, because that charmer wrought tyranny ;
Who ever saw in the two worlds a fair one that played not the tyrant ?
His love is a sugar-cane, tho' he gave not sugar ;
His beauty is perfect faith, tho' he kept not faith.
Show a house that is not filled by him with lamps,
Show a portico that his face filled not with loveliness.
When the spirit became lost in contemplation, it said this:
'None but God has contemplated the beauty of God.'
This eye and that lamp are two lights, each individual ;
When they came together, no one distinguished them.
Each of these metaphors is at once an explanation and a misconception ;
God revealed " By the morning splendour" in envy of the light of his countenance.
Never did the tailor, Destiny, to any one's measure
Stitch a shirt but he tore it in pieces.
The sun of the face of Shamsi Din, glory of the horizons,
Never shone upon aught perishable but he made it eternal.

 

˜

XXIV

When my bier moveth on the day of death,
Think not my heart is in this world.
Do not weep for me and cry 'Woe, woe!'
Thou wilt fall in the devil's snare: that is woe.
When thou seest my hearse, cry not' Parted, parted! ,
Union and meeting are mine in that hour.
If thou commit me to the grave, say not' Farewell, farewell !'
For the grave is a curtain hiding the communion of Paradise.
After beholding descent, consider resurrection ;
Why should setting be injurious to the sun and moon ?
To thee it seems a setting, but 'tis a rising ;
Tho' the vault seems a prison, 'tis the release of the soul.
What seed went down into the earth but it grew ?
Why this doubt of thine as regards the seed of man ?
What bucket was lowered but it came out brimful?
Why should the Joseph of the spirit complain of the well ?
Shut thy mouth on this side and open it beyond,
For in placeless air will be thy triumphal song.

˜

XXV

Look on me, for thou art my companion in the grave
On the night when thou shalt pass from shop and dwelling.
Thou shalt hear my hail in the hollow of the tomb: it shall become known to thee
That thou wast never concealed from mine eve.
I am as reason and intellect within thy bosom
At the time of joy and gladness, at the time of sorrow and distress.
O strange night when thou hear'st the well-known voice,
Scap'st from the stroke of asp, and leap'st from the horror of ant !
Love's intoxication will bring to thy grave, as a gift,
Wine and mistress and candle and meats and sweets and incense.
In the hour when the intellectual lamp is lighted,
What a paean goes up from the dead men in the tombs !
The earth of the grave-yard is confounded by their cries,
By the din of the drums of resurrection, by the pomp of rising from the dead.
They have rent their shrouds, they have pressed tight their two ears in terror.
What is brain and ear before the blast of the trumpet ?
Look to thine eye, that thou mistake not,
That unto thee the essence of seer and seen may be one.
To whatever side thou gaze, my form thou shalt espy
Whether thou gaze on self or towards that moil and mell.
Shun distorted vision and heal thine eyes,
For in that moment the evil eye shall be far from my beauty.
O take heed, lest thou misconceive me in human shape,
For spirit is very subtle, and love is very jealous.
What room for form, if the felt is hundredfold ?
'Tis the rays of the soul's mirror that bring the world to view.
Had they sought God instead of morsel and pittance,
Thou hadst not seen a single blind man seated on the moat-edge.
Since Thou hast opened house in our city as dealer in amorous glances,
Deal out glances, like light, with closed lips.
I hold my peace and keep the unworthy in the dark ;
Thou art all that is worthy: the mystery is veiled from me.
Come, like the Sun of Tabriz, towards the east ;
See the star of victory and the conqueror's banner !

˜

XXVI

From the bosom of Self I catch continually a scent of the Beloved :
How should I not, every night, take Self to my bosom ?
Yestereve I was in Love's garden: this desire came into my head :
His sun peeped forth from mine eye: the riser ( of tears) began to flow.
Each laughing rose that springs from ins laughing lip
Had escaped the thorn of being, had avoided Dhu 'lfiqar.
Every tree and blade of grass was dancing in the meadow ,
But in the view of the vulgar they were bound and at rest.
Suddenly on one side our Cypress appeared,
So that the garden became senseless and the plane clapped its hands.
A face like fire, wine like fire, Love afire-all three delectable ;
The soul, by reason of the mingled fires, was wailing 'Where shall I flee ?'
In the world of Divine Unity is no room for Number,
But Number necessarily exists in the world of Five and Four.
You may count a hundred thousand sweet apples in your hand :
If you wish to make One, crush them all together.
Behold, without regarding the letters, what is this language in the heart .
Pureness of colour is a quality derived from the Source of Action.
Shamsi Tabriz is seated in royal state, and before him
My rhymes are ranked like willing servants.

˜

XXVII

If a tree might move by foot and wing,
It would not suffer the pain of the saw or the blows of the axe.
And if the sun did not fare by wing and foot every night,
How would the world be illuminated at morning-tide ?
And if the salt water did not go up from the sea to the sky,
Whence would the garden be quickened by river and rain ?
When the drop departed from its native home and returned,
It found a shell and became a pearl.
Did not Joseph go on a journey from his father, weeping ?
Did he not, in the journey, come to fortune and kingdom and victory ?
Did not Mustafa go a-journeying toward Medina,
Gain sovereignty and become lord of an hundred lands ?
Tho' you have no feet choose to journey in yourself,
Like the ruby-mine receive a print from the sunbeams.
Make a journey out of self into self, O master,
For by such a journey earth becomes a quarry of gold.
From sourness and bitterness advance to sweetness,
Even as from briny soil a thousand sorts of fruit spring up.
From the Sun, the pride of Tabriz, behold these miracles,
For every tree gains beauty by the light of the sun.

˜

XXVIII

I cried out at midnight, ' Who is in this house of the heart ?'
He said, ' 'Tis I, by whose countenance moon and sun are shamed.'
He said, 'Why is this house of the heart filled with diverse images ?'
Said I, 'They are the reflexion of thee, O thou whose face is a candle of Chigil.'
He said, 'What is this other image, bedabbled with heart's blood ?'
Said I, 'This is the image of me, heart-sore and with feet in the mire.'
I bound the neck of my soul and brought it to him as a token:
It is the confidant of Love; do not sacrifice thine own confidant.'
He gave me the end of a thread-a thread full of mischief and guile
'Pull,' he said, ' that I may pull, and break it not in the pulling.'
From the tent of the soul flashed out the form of my Beloved, fairer than before ;
I stretched my hands to him; he struck my hand, saying 'Let go.'
I said, 'Thou art harsh, like such an one.' 'Know' he replied,
That I am harsh for good, not from rancour and spite.
Whoever enters saying, " 'Tis I," I smite him on the brow;
For this is the shrine of Love, O fool! It is not a sheep-cote.'
Assuredly Salahi dil u din is the image of that Fair One;
Rub thine eyes, and behold the image of the heart, the image of the heart.

˜

XXIX

Why does not the soul take wing, when from the glorious Presence
A speech of sweet favour comes to it, saying, 'Aloft' ?
How should a fish not leap nimbly from the dry land into the water,
When the sound of waves reaches its ear from the cold ocean ?
Why should a falcon not fly from the quarry towards the King,
When it hears by drum and drum-stick the notice of "Return" ?
Why should not every Sufi begin to dance, like a mote,
In the sun of eternity, that it may deliver him from decay?
Such grace and beauty and loveliness and bestowal of life!
O misery and error, if any one dispense with Him!
Fly, fly, O bird, to thy native home,
For thou hast escaped from the cage, and thy pinions are outspread.
Travel away from the bitter stream towards the water of life,
Return from the vestibule to the high seat of the soul.
Haste, haste! for we too, O soul, are coming
From this world of severance to that world of union.
O how long shall we, like children, in the earthly sphere
Fill our lap with dust and stones and sherds ?
Let us give up the earth and fly heavenwards,
Let us flee from childhood to the banquet of men.
Behold how the earthly frame has entrapped thee !
Rend the sack and raise thy head clear.
Take from Love this scroll with thy right hand ;
Thou art no child, not to know thy right from thy left.
God said to Reason's messenger, ' Begone,'
To the hand of Death he said, ' Chastise worldly desire.'
A voice came to the spirit, ' Spirit thee away to the Unseen ,
Take the gain and the treasure and lament the pain no more. ,
Cry out and proclaim that thou art King;
Thine is the grace of answer, and thine is the knowledge of question.

˜

XXX

Thee I choose, of all the world, alone ;
Wilt thou suffer me to sit in grief?
My heart is as a pen in thy hand,
Thou art the cause if I am glad or melancholy .
Save what thou willest, what will have I ?
Save what thou showest, what do I see ?
Thou mak'st grow out of me now a thorn and now a rose ;
Now I smell roses and now pull thorns.
If thou keep'st me that, that I am;
If thou would'st have me this, I am this.
in the vessel where thou givest colour to the soul
Who am I. what is my love and hate ?
Thou wert first, and last thou shalt be ;
Make my last better than my first.
When thou art hidden, I am of the infidels ;
When thou art manifest, I am of the faithful.
I have nothing, except thou hast bestowed it ;
What dost thou seek from my bosom and sleeve?

˜

XXXI

What is to he done, O Moslems? for I do not recognize myself.
I am either Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature's mint, nor of the circling' heaven.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulgaria, nor of Saqsin
I am not of the kingdom of 'Iraqian, nor of the country of Khorasan
I am not of the this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan.
My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless ;
'Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the Beloved.
I have put duality away, I have seen that the two worlds are one;
One I seek, One I know J One I see, One I call.
He is the first, He is the last, He is the outward, He is the inward;
I know none other except 'Ya Hu' and 'Ya man Hu.'
I am intoxicated with Love's cup, the two worlds have passed out of my ken ;
I have no business save carouse and revelry.
If once in my life I spent a moment without thee,
From that time and from that hour I repent of my life.
If once in this world I win a moment with thee,
I will trample on both worlds, I will dance in triumph for ever.
O Shamsi Tabriz, I am so drunken in this world,
That except of drunkenness and revelry I have no tale to tell.

˜

XXXII

No joy have I found in the two worlds apart from thee, Beloved.
Many wonders I have seen: I have not seen a wonder like thee.
They say that blazing fire is the infidel's portion :
I have seen none, save Abu Lahab, excluded from thy fire.
Often have I laid the spiritual ear at the window of the heart :
I heard much discourse, but the lips I did not see.
Of a sudden thou didst lavish grace upon thy servant :
I saw no cause for it but thy infinite kindness.
O chosen Cup-bearer, O apple of mine eyes, the like of thee
Ne'er appeared in Persia, nor in Arabia have I found it.
Pour out wine till I become a wanderer from myself ;
For in selfhood and existence I have felt only fatigue.
O thou who art milk and sugar, O thou who art sun and moon,
O thou who art mother and father, I have known no kin but thee.
O indestructible Love, O divine Minstrel.
Thou art both stay and refuge: a name equal tu thee I have not found.
We are pieces of steel, and thy love is the magnet :
Thou art the source of all aspiration. in myself I have seen none.
Silence. O brother! put learning and culture away :
Till Thou namedst culture. I knew no culture but Thee.

˜

XXXIII

I am that supplicant who make supplication to thee ;
The anguish inspired by a charmer like thee hath for me a thousand charms.
Thou art the sun of mine eyes-they are radiant with thy beauty .
If I draw them away from thee, to whom shall I look again?
I will not become inconstant to thee on account of thy cruel treatment ;
By remaining constant myself I will restrain thee from cruelty.
I complained of thee, thou saidst: ' Provide thine own remedy.'
I am one whose heart provides a remedy for Divine affliction.
I will not tell thee my heart's grief, for it would weary thee ;
I will shorten this tale, for mille is a long grief.

˜

XXXIV

I am a painter, a maker of pictures; every moment I shape a beauteous form,
And then in thy presence I melt them all away.
I call up a hundred phantoms and indue them with a spirit ;
When I behold thy phantom, I cast them in the fire.
Art thou the Vintner's cup-bearer or the enemy of him who is sober,
Or is it thou who mak'st a ruin of every house I build ?
In thee the soul is dissolved, with thee it is mingled ;
Lo! I will cherish the soul, because it has a perfume of thee.
Every drop of blood which proceeds from me is saying to thy dust :
'I am one colour with thy love, I am the partner of thy affection.'
In the house of water and clay this heart is desolate without thee ;
O Beloved, enter the house, or I will leave it.

˜

XXXV

This is Love: to fly heavenward,
To rend, every instant, a hundred veils.
The first moment, to renounce life ;
The last step, to fare without feet.
To regard this world as invisible,
Not to see what appears to one's self.
'O heart,' I said, c may it bless thee
To have entered the circle of lovers,
To look beyond the range of the eye,
To penetrate the windings of the bosom!
Whence did this breath come to thee, O my soul,
Whence this throbbing, O my heart?
O bird, speak the language of birds :
I call understand thy hidden meaning.'
The soul answered: 'I was in the (divine) Factory
While the house of water and clay was a-baking.
I was flying away from the (material) workshop
While the workshop was being created.
When I could resist no more, they dragged me
To mould me into shape like a ball.'

˜

XXXVI

O lovers, O lovers, it is time to abandon the world ;
The drum of departure reaches my spiritual ear from Heaven.
Behold, the driver has risen and made ready the files of camels,
And begged us to acquit him of blame: why, O travelers, are you asleep ?
These sounds before and behind are the din of departure and of the camel-bells ;
With each moment a soul. and a spirit is setting off into the Void.
From these (stars like) inverted candles, from these blue awnings ( of the sky )
There has come forth a wondrous people, that the mysteries may be revealed.
A heavy slumber fell upon thee from the circling spheres :
Alas for this life so light, beware of this slumber so heavy!
O soul, seek the Beloved, O friend, seek the Friend,
O watchman, be wakeful: it behoves not a watchman to sleep.
On every side is clamour and tumult, in every street are candles and torches,
For to-night the teeming world gives birth to the world everlasting.
Thou wert dust and art spirit, thou wert ignorant and art wise ;
He who has led thee thus far will lead thee further also.
How pleasant are the pains he makes thee suffer while he gently draws thee to himself !
His flames are as water. do not frown upon him.
To dwell in the soul is his task, to break vows of penitence is his task ;
By his manifold artifice these atoms are trembling at their core.
O ridiculous puppet that leapest out of thy hole, as if to say, ' I am the lord of the land,'
How long wilt thou leap 'I Abase thyself, or they will bend thee, like a bow.
Thou didst sow the seed of deceit, thou didst indulge in derision,
Thou didst regard God as nothing: see now, O miscreant !
O ass, thou wert best with straw; thou art a caldron: thou wert best black ;
Thou wert best at the bottom of a well, O disgrace of thy house and family!
In me there is Another by whom these eyes sparkle ;
If water scalds, 'tis by fire; understand this.
I have no stone in my hand, I have no quarrel with anyone,
I deal harshly with none, because I am sweet as a garden of roses.
Mine eye, then, is from that source and from another universe ;
Here a world and there a world: I am seated on the threshold.
On the threshold are they alone whose eloquence is mute ;
'Tis enough to utter this intimation: say no more, draw back thy tongue.

˜

XXXVII

I have heard that thou dost intend to travel: do not so.
That thou bestowest thy love on a new friend and companion: do nut so.
Tho' in the world thou art strange, thou hast never known estrangement;
What heart-stricken wretch art thou attempting ? do not so.
Steal not thyself away from me, go not to aliens;
Thou art stealthily glancing at another: do not so.
O moon for whose sake the heavens are bewildered,
Thou makest me distraught and bewildered: do not so.
Where is the pledge and where the compact thou didst make with me?
Thou departest from thy word and pledge: do not so.
Why give promises and why utter protestations,
Why make a shield of vows and blandishments ? do not so.
O thou whose vestibule is above existence and nonexistence,
At this moment thou art passing from existence: do not so.
O thou whose command Hell and Paradise obey,
Thou art making Paradise like Hell-fire to me: do not so.
In thy plot of sugar-canes I am secure from poison ;
Thou minglest the poison with the sugar: do not so,
My soul is like a fiery furnace, yet it sufficed thee not;
By absence thou art making my face pale as gold: do not so.
When thou withdrawest thy countenance, the moon is darkened with grief.
Thou art intending the eclipse of the moon's orb: do not so.
Our lips become dry when thou bringest a drought ;
Why art thou moistening mine eye with tears? do not so.
Since thou canst not endure the reasoning faculty of lovers,
When why dost thou dazzle the eye of reason? do not so.
Thou art denying sweetmeats to one sick of abstinence ;
Thou art making thy patient worse: do not so.
My lawless eye is a thief of thy beauty .
O Beloved, thou tak'st vengeance on my thievish sight : do not so.
Withdraw, comrade, 'tis no time for speech ;
In love's bewilderment why dost thou intrude thyself? do not so.
Except the beauty of Shamsi Din, the pride of Tabriz,
If so be that thou throwest a glance upon (aught in) the two worlds, do not so.

˜

XXXVIII

Happy the moment when we are seated in the palace, thou and I,
With two forms and with two figures but with one soul, thou and I.
The colours of the grove and the voice of the birds will bestow immortality
At the time when we come into the garden, thou and I.
The stars of heaven will come to gaze upon us ;
We shall show them the moon itself, thou and I.
Thou and I, individuals no more, shall be mingled in ecstasy ,
Joyful, and secure from foolish babble, thou and I.
All the bright-plumed birds of heaven will devour their hearts with envy
In the place where we shall laugh in such a fashion, thou and I.
This is the greatest wonder, that thou and I, sitting here in the same nook,
Are at this moment both in 'Iraq and Khorasan, thou and I.

˜

XXXIX

I went to the Master's abode and said: ' Where is the Master ?'
He said: 'The Master is in love and intoxicated and a wanderer from place to place.'
I said: . I have an obligation, at least give me a clue :
I am the Master's friend: nay, indeed, I am no enemy,
They replied: ' The Master is fallen in love with the Gardener ;
Seek him in gardens or on the bank of a stream.'
Frenzied lovers pursue the object of their love ;
If any one has fallen in love, go, wash thy hands of him!
The fish that has known water comes not to land:
How should a lover stay in the sphere of colour and perfume ?
The frozen snow that has beheld the face of yonder Sun,
Is swallowed Up by the sun, tho' it be piled in drifts.
Especially one who is the lover of our King,
A king peerless and faithful and sweet-tempered.
By that infinite alchemy, which none may compute or conjecture,
Copper, as soon as it is touched, becomes gold at the command, "Return".
Sleep the world away, and flee from the six dimensions ;
How long wilt thou roam in thy folly and bewilderment to and fro?
Inevitably they will bring thee at last, with thy own consent,
That thou mayst have honour and glory in the presence of the King.
Had not there been an intruder in the company,
Jesus would have revealed to thee the mysteries, point by point.
I have closed the passage of the lips, and opened the secret way ;
I am free in one moment from the desire of speech.

˜

XL

O my soul, who is this, stationed in the house of the heart?
Who may occupy the royal seat save the King and the Prince?
He beckoned with his hand: ' Say, what do you desire of me?
What does a drunken man desire except sweetmeats and a cup of wine?
Sweetmeats derived from the soul, a cup of the Absolute Light,
An eternal banquet laid in the privacy of " He is the Truth ".
How many deceivers are there at the wine-drinkers' feast !
Take heed lest thou fall, O easy simple man!
Beware! do not keep, in a circle of reprobates,
Thine eye shut like a bud, thy mouth open like the rose.
The world resembles a mirror. thy Love is the perfect image ;
O people, who has ever seen a part greater than the whole?
Go on foot, like the grass, because in this garden
The Beloved, like the rose, is riding, all the rest are on foot.
He is both the sword and the swordsman, both the slain and the slayer,
He is at once all Reason and brings Reason to nought.
That King is Salahu'ddin-may he endure for ever,
May his bounteous hand perpetually be a necklace on my neck !

˜

XLI

I saw my Beloved wandering about the house:
He had taken up a rebeck and was playing a tune.
With a touch like fire he was playing a sweet melody,
Drunken and distraught and bewitching from the night's carouse.
He was invoking the cup-bearer in the mode of 'Iraq .
Wine was his object, the cup-bearer was only an excuse.
The beauteous cup-bearer, pitcher in hand,
Stepped forth from a recess and placed it in the middle.
He filled the first Clip with that sparkling wine
Didst thou ever see water set on fire?
For the sake of those in love he passed it from hand to hand,
Then bowed and kissed the lintel.
My Beloved received it from him, and quaffed the wine :
Instantly o'er his face and head ran flashes of flame.
Meanwhile he was regarding his own beauty and saying to the evil eye,
'There has not been nor will be in this age another like me.
I am the Divine Sun of the world, I am the Beloved of lovers,
Soul and spirit are continually moving before me.'

˜

XLII

Make yourself like to the community, that you may feel spiritual joy .
Enter the street of the tavern, that you may behold the wine-bibbers.
Drain the cup of passion, that you may not be shamed .
Shut the eyes in your head, that you may see the hidden eye.
Open your arms, if you desire an embrace ;
Break the idol of clay, that you may behold the face of the Fair.
Why, for an old woman's sake, do you endure so large a dowry,
And how long, for the sake of three loaves. will you look on the sword and the spear?
Always at night returns the Beloved: do not eat opium to-night ;
Close your mouth against food, that you may taste the sweetness of the mouth.
Lo, the cup-bearer is no tyrant, and in his assembly there is a circle:
Come into the circle, be seated ; how long will "you regard the revolution (of time)?
Look now, here is a bargain: give one life and receive a hundred.
Cease to behave as wolves and dogs, that you may experience the Shepherd's love.
You said: 'My foe took such an one away from me' .
Go, renounce that person in order to contemplate the being of Him.
Think of nothing except the creator of thought;
Care for the soul is better than feeling care for one's bread.
Why, when God's earth is so wide, have you fallen asleep ill a prison ?
Avoid entangled thoughts, that you may see the explanation in Paradise.
Refrain from speaking, that you may win speech hereafter ;
Abandon life and the world, that you may behold the Life of the world.

˜

XLIII

The knowledge has newly come: perchance you have no knowledge.
The envious heart is bleeding: perchance you have no heart.
The moon has revealed her face and opened her radiant wings :
Borrow a soul and eyes from some one, if you have them not.
Night and day comes a winged arrow from the hidden bow.
Yield up your sweet life; what can you do? you have no shield.
Has not the copper of your existence been changed, like Moses, to gold by his alchemy?
What matter tho' you have no gold in a sack, like Qarun?
Within you is an Egypt, and you are its garden of sugarcanes;
What matter tho' you have no supply of sugar from without?
You are become a slave to form, like idol-worshippers;
You resemble Joseph and yet you gaze not on yourself.
By God, when you behold your own beauty in the mirror ,
You will be the idol of yourself, you will not pass over to any one.
O Reason, art not thou unjust in calling him moon-like ?
Wherefore dost thou call him moon? perchance thou hast no sight.
Your head is like a lamp containing six wicks:
How should all the six be alight unless you have that spark?
Your body is like a camel which goes to the Ka'ba of the soul ;
You failed to go on the pilgrimage because of your ass's nature, not because you have no ass.
If you have not gone to the Ka'ba, Fortune will draw you thither .
Do not flee, O babbler, for you have no refuge from God.

˜

XLIV

O heart, why art thou a captive in the earth that is passing away?
Fly forth from this enclosure, since thou art a bird of the spiritual world.
Thou art a darling bosom-friend, thou art always behind the secret veil:
Why dost thou make thy dwelling-place in this perishable abode ?
Regard thine own state, go forth and journey
From the prison of the Formal world to the meadow of Ideas.
Thou art a bird of the holy world, a boon-companion in the assembly of Love ;
If thou wilt remain here, 'tis a pity.
Every morning a voice comes to thee from heaven:
'When thou lay'st the dust of the way, thou win'st thy way to the goal.'
On the road to the Ka 'ba of union, 1O, in every thom-bush
Are thousands slain of desire who manfully yielded up their lives.
Thousands sank wounded on this path, to whom there came not
A breath of the fragrance of union, a token from the neighborhood of the Friend.
In- memory of the banquet of union, in yearning for his beauty
They are fallen bewildered by the wine thou knowest.
How sweet, in the hope of him, on the threshold of his abode,
For the sake of seeing his face, to bring night round to day!
Illumine thy bodily senses by the light of the soul:
The senses are the five prayers, but the heart is the seven verses.
The moon and the sun and the axis of the seven heavens are swallowed
By the Canopus of the soul, when it rises from towards the southern angle.
Look not in the world for bliss and fortune, since thou wilt not find them;
Seek bliss in both worlds by serving Him.
Put away the tale of love that travelers tell;
Do thou serve God with all thy might.
From the Sun who is the glory of Tabriz seek future bliss,
For he is a sun, possessing all kinds of knowledge, on the spiritual throne.

˜

XLV

Come, come, for you will not find another friend like me.
Where indeed is a Beloved like me in all the world ?
Come, come, and do not spend your life in wandering to and fro,
Since there is no market elsewhere for your money.
You are as a dry valley and I as the rain,
You are as a ruined city and I as the architect.
Except my service, which is joy's sunrise,
Man never has felt and never will feel an impression of joy.
You behold in dreams a thousand moving shapes ;
When the dream is past you do not see a single one of the kind.
Close the eye that sees falsely and open the intellectual eye,
For the senses resemble an' ass, and evil desire is the halter.
Seek sweet syrup in the garden of Love,
For Nature is a seller of vinegar and a crusher of unripened grapes.
Come to the hospital of your own Creator :
No sick man can dispense with that Physician.
The world without that King is like a headless body :
Fold yourself, turban-wise, round such a head.
Unless you are black, do not let the mirror go from your hand:
The soul is your mirror, while the body is rust.
Where is the fortunate merchant, whose destiny Jupiter controls,
That I may eagerly trade with him and buy his wares?
Come, and think of me who gave you the faculty of thought,
Since from my mine you may purchase an ass-load of rubies.
Come, advance towards him who gave you a foot,
Look with all your eyes on him who gave you all eye.
Clap your hands for joy of him, by whose see the hand (foam) is produced,
For his joy admits no sorrow nor aflliction.
Listen without ears, speak to him without tongue,
Since the speech of the tongue is not without offence and injury.

˜

XLVI

Look on the face of Love, that you may be properly a man.
Do not sit with the frigid; for you will be chilled by their breath.
Look from the face of Love something other than beauty;
It is time that you should consort with a sympathetic companion.
Since you are properly a clod, you will not rise into the air;
You will rise into the air, if you break and become dust.
If you break not, He who molded you will break you;
When death breaks you, how should you become a separate substance?
When the leaf grows yellow, the fresh root makes it green;
You are complaining of Love thro' which you become pale.
And, O friend, if you reach perfection in our assembly,
Your seat will be the throne, you will gain your desire in all things.
But if you stay many years more in this earth,
You will pass from place to place, you will be as the dice in backgammon.
If Shamsi Tabriz draws you to his side,
When you escape from captivity you will return to that orb.

˜

XLVII

When I came to thy city, thou chosest a corner apart from me;
When I went from thy city, thou didst not look upon me to say 'Farewell'.
Whether thou choosest to be kind or inclinest to rancour,
Thou art all the comfort of the soul, thou art all the adornment of the feast.
The cause of thy jealousy is that thou art hidden or, otherwise,
While thou art revealed by every atom, thou art hidden like the sun.
If thou dwell'st in seclusion, art not thou the darling of the Prince ?
And if thou rendest the veil, thou hast rent the veils of all.
By thee the heart of infidelity is confounded, by thy wine the head of faith is intoxicated ;
Thou dost rob all of sense, thou dost draw all towards thee.
All roses are a prey to December, all heads a prey to wine:
Both these and those thou redeemest from the hand of death.
Since in the rose there is no constancy, why do you approach every rose?
On thee alone is reliance: thou art the stay and support.
If a few cut their hands on account of Joseph's face,
Thou hast bereft of soul and reason two hundred spiritual Josephs.
Thou mouldest of foul and fair the form of a man,
That he may flee two leagues from the odour of foulness.
Thou mak'st him a morsel of dust that he may become pure herbage ;
He is free from filth when thou hast breathed into him a soul.
Come, O heart, fare heavenward, fare to the divine pasture,
Since thou hast grazed awhile in the pasture of cattle.
Set thy whole desire on that whereof thou hast no hope,
For thou hast come 'thus far from original hopelessness.
Be silent that the lord who gave thee language may speak,
For as he fashioned a door- and lock, he has also made a key .

˜

XLVIII

At last thou hast departed and gone to the Unseen ;
Tis marvellous by what way thou wentest from the world.
Thou didst strongly shake thy wings and feathers, and having broken thy cage
Didst take to the air and journey towards the world of soul.
Thou wert a favourite falcon, kept in captivity by an old woman:
When thou heard'st the falcon-drum thou didst fly away into the Void.
Thou wert a love-lorn nightingale among owls:
The scent of the rose-garden reached thee, and thou didst go to the rose-garden.
Thou didst suffer sore head-ache from this bitter ferment;
At last thou wentest to the tavern of Eternity.
Straight as an arrow thou didst make for the mark of bliss;
Thou didst speed like an arrow to that mark from this bow.

˜

XLIV

The world gave thee false clues, like a ghoul :
Thou took'st no heed of the clue, but wentest to that which is without a clue.
Since thou art now the sun, why dost thou wear a tiara,
Why seek a girdle, since thou art gone from the middle?
I have heard that thou art gazing with distorted eyes upon thy soul:
Why dost thou gaze on thy soul, since thou art gone to the soul of Soul?
O heart, what a wondrous bird art thou, that in chase of divine rewards
Thou didst fly with two wings to the spear-point, like a shield !
The rose flees from autumn- O what a fearless rose art thou
Who didst go loitering along in the presence of the autumn wind!
Falling like rain from heaven upon the roof of the terrestrial world
Thou didst run in every direction till thou didst escape by the conduit.
Be silent and free from the pain of speech: do not slumber,
Since thou hast taken refuge with so loving a Friend.

˜

 



 
Last updated: May 9, 2004
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