Divani Shamsi Tabriz
My heart, sit only with those
who know and understand you.
Sit only under a tree
that is full of blossoms.
In the bazaar of herbs and potions
don’t wander aimlessly
find the shop with a potion that is sweet
If you don’t have a measure
people will rob you in no time.
You will take counterfeit coins
thinking they are real.
Don’t fill your bowl with food from
every boiling pot you see.
Not every joke is humorous, so don’t search
for meaning where there isn’t one.
Not every eye can see,
not every sea is full of pearls.
My hart, sing the song of longing
The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.
First, lay down your head
then one by one
let go of all distractions.
Embrace the light and let it guide you
beyond the winds of desire.
There you will find a spring and nourished by its see waters
like a tree you will bear fruit forever.
Rumi: The Hidden Music
by Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin
THE LOVE OF SUCH A ONE
O thou who art my soul’s comfort in the season of sorrow,
O thou who art my spirit’s treasure30 in the bitterness31 of dearth!32
That which the imagination has not conceived33 , that
which the understanding has not seen.34 ,
Visiteth my soul from thee, hence in worship I turn toward thee35
By thy grace I keep fixed on eternity my amorous gaze,
Except, O king, the pomps that perish lead me astray.
The favour36 of that one, who brings glad tidings of thee,
Even without thy summons, is sweeter in mine ear that songs.
In the prostrations of prayer38 thought of thee, O lord,
Is necessary and binding on me as the seven verses.39
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 is40 ,
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 a one41 for me!’
Eternal life, me thinks, is the time of union,
Because time, for me, hath no place there.
Life is the vessels42 , union the clear draught in them;
Without thee what does the pain of the vessels43 avail me?
I had twenty thousand desires ere this;
In passion for him not even (care of) my safety remained44 .
By the help45 of his grace I am become safe, because
The unseen king saith to me, Thou art the soul of the world46 .’
The essence of the meaning of “He”47 has filled my heart and soul;
“Au” cries the street-dog48 , and neither have I third49 or second”50 .
The body, at the time of union with him, paid no regard to the spirit51 ;
Tho’ incorporeal, he became visible unto me.
I aged with his affliction, but when Tabriz52
You name, all my youth comes back to me.
-“Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz”
Edited and translated by Reynold A. Nicholson
A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
(yet somehow unexpected)
the heart trembling
and soul responding
came into the house
and we lunatics
ran into the street
for the moon.
Then-inside the house-
he cried out
“Here I am!”
crying for him
for the drunken nightingale
in our garden
mourning ring doves
As if at midnight
the sleepers bolt upright
in their beds
hearing a thief
break into the house
in the darkness
they stumble about
A thief! A thief!”
but the burglar himself
mingles in the confusion
echoing their cries:
till one cry
melts with the others.
And He is with you27
in your search
when you seek Him
look for Him
in your looking
closer to you
Why run outside?
Melt like snow.
urged by Love
from the soul
from the lily…
from the flower:
Diwan-e Shams, v.V.ED. FURUZANFAR, P., 2172
(translated by Peter Lamborn Wilson)
The Rumi Collection, edited by Kabir Helminski
O Friend! we are near you in friendship,
Wherever you set foot, we prostrate ourselves like earth.
How is it permissible, in the religion of love,
That we should see your Creation and neglect to see You?
That Friend brought me up with great care and attention;
He sewed me a garment from skin and veins.
The body is like a cloak and my heart in it like a mystic,
The world is like a monastery and He is my Guide.
Seek knowledge which unravels mysteries
Before your life comes to close
Give up that non-existence which looks like existence,
Seek that Existence which looks like non-existence!
There is a world outside Islam and Disbelief,
We are enamoured of the atmosphere therein.
The mystic lays down his head when he reaches there.
There is neither Islam nor Disbelief in this place.
Whenever I prostrate my head He is the one to whom I bow;
In six directions or outside the six, he is the one I worship.
The garden, the rose, the nightingale, music and the beauteous maiden
Are a mere excuse and He alone is the real object.
From Divani Shams, “Life and Work of Muhammad Jalal-ud Din Rumi”
by Afzal Iqbal