Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"The fantasies of your slumber"


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Many set out from the very spot
where the object of their quest is to be found.
The far sight and boasting of the sleeper is no use;
it is nothing but a fantasy — don't be caught by it.
You are sleepy, but at least sleep on the Way:
for God's sake, sleep on the Way of God,
that by chance a traveler on the Way may stumble upon you
and tear you from the fantasies of your slumber.
The sleeper dreams of the dire pangs of thirst,
while the water is nearer to him than the neck vein.*

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Bas kasâ `azmi be-jâyi mi konad
az maqâmi k-ân `arz dar vay bovad
Did o lâf-e khofteh mi na-âyad be-kâr
joz khayâli nist dast az vay be-dâr
Khvâbnâki lik ham bar râh khosp
Allâh Allâh bar rah-e Allâh khosp
Tâ bovad keh sâleki bar to zanad
az khayâlât-e no`âset bar konad
Khofteh mi binad `atash-hâ-ye shadid
âb aqrab minhu min habl al-warid*

*Qâf, 16

-- Mathnawi IV: 3234-3237; 3241
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyل Monastra)

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