Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Escape from it before it flies from you"


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The penetrating intellect, when separated from its friends,
becomes like an archer whose bow is broken.
When something makes you rejoice in this world,
consider at that moment the parting from it.
Many have been gladdened by what made you glad,
yet in the end like the wind it escaped.
It will escape from you, too: don't set your heart upon it.
Escape from it before it flies from you.
Before the slipping away of your possessions,
say to the form of created things, like Mary,
"I take refuge from you with the Merciful God."*

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`Aql-e darrâk az ferâq-e dustân
hamcho tir-andâz eshkasteh kamân
Harche az vay shâd gardi dar jahân
az ferâq-e u biyandish ân zamân
Zânche gashti shâd bas kas shâd shod
âkher az vay jast va hamchon bâd shod
Az to ham be-jahad to del bar vay ma-neh
pish az ân ku be-jahad az vay to be-jah
Hamcho Maryam gui pish az fawt-e molk
naqsh-râ ka-al-`awdh "bi-al-Rahmâni mink"*

*Maryam, 18

-- Mathnawi III: 3693; 3698-3700
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyل Monastra)

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