Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"If I could have known to value what I owned"

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i've travelled around
raced through every city
while i knew all along
no place could be found
like the city of love

if i could have known
to value what i owned
i would not have suffered
like a fool
the life of a vagabond

i've heard many tunes
all over the globe
all empty
as a kettledrum
except the music of love

it was the sound of
that hollow drum
that made me fall
from the heavens
to this mortal life

i used to soar
among souls
like a heart's flight
winglessly roaming and
celestially happy

i used to drink
like a flower that drinks
without lips or throat
of the wine that overflows
with laughter and joy

i was summoned by love
to prepare for a journey
to the temple of

i cried desperately
i begged and pleaded
and shredded my clothes
not to be sent
to this world

just the way i fear now
going away
to the other world
i was frightened then
to make my descent

love asked me to go
with no fear to be alone
promising to be close
everywhere i go
closer than my veins

love threw its spell
its magic and allure
using coyness and charm
i was totally sold and
bought everything with joy

who am i to resist
love's many tricks
and not to fall
while the whole world
takes love's bait

love showed me
a path but then
lost me on the way
if i could have resisted
i would have found my way

i can show you my friend
surely how you can get there
but here and now
my pen has broken down
before telling you how

-- Ghazal (Ode) 1509
Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Burning Gate Press, Los Angeles, 1994.

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