From the Masnavi of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi
In original Persian from an early manuscript, transliteration in Latin script,
and translation of meaning by R.A.Nicholson.
Book 1: lines 19-34.
|O son, burst thy chains and be free! How long wilt thou be a bondsman to silver and gold?
If thou pour the sea into a pitcher, how much will it hold? One days store.
The pitcher, the eye of the covetous, never becomes full: the oyster-shell is not filled with pearls until it is contented.
He (alone) whose garment is rent by a (mighty) love is purged of covetousness and all defect.
Hail, O Love that bringest us good gain - thou that art the physician of all our ills,
The remedy of our pride and vainglory, our Plato and our Galen!
Through Love the earthly body soared to the skies: the mountain began to dance and became nimble.
Love inspired Mount Sinai, O lover, (so that) Sinai (was made) drunken and Moses fell in a swoon.
Were I joined to the lip of one in accord with me, I too, like the reed, would tell all that may be told;
(But) whoever is parted from one who speaks his language becomes dumb, though he have a hundred songs.
When the rose is gone and the garden faded, thou wilt hear no more the nightingale's story.
The Beloved is all and the lover (but) a veil; the Beloved is living and the lover a dead thing.
When Love hath no care for him, he is left as a bird without wings. Alas for him then!
How should I have consciousness (of aught) before or behind when the light of my Beloved is not before me and
Love wills that this Word should be shown forth: if the mirror does not reflect, how is that?
Dost thou know why the mirror (of thy soul) reflects nothing? Because the rust is not cleared from its face.