Wednesday, January 23, 2008

[Sunlight] "When I shall die" -- Ghazal 1639



Oh happy day when in your presence, my ruler,
I shall die!
When near the sugar-treasure melting like sugar
I shall die!
Out of my dust will grow a thousand of centifolias
When in the shade of yonder cypress in gardens
I shall die.
And when you pour into my goblet the bitter
drink of death,
I'll kiss the goblet full of joy, dear,
and drunken I shall die.
I may turn yellow like the autumn
when people speak of death,
Thanks to your smiling lip: like springtime
and smiling shall I die.
I have died many times, but your breath
made me alive again.
Should I die thus a hundred more times
I happily shall die!
A child that dies in mother's bosom,
that's how I am, my friend,
For in the bosom of His Mercy
and kindness, I shall die.
Say: Where would death be for the lovers?
Impossible is that!
For in the fountain of the Water
of Life -- there I shall die!

-- Ghazal 1639*, from Rumi's Divan-e Shams
Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
"Look! This is Love - Poems of Rumi"
Shambhala, 1991

*Sunlight note -- Schimmel does not cite ghazal numbers in her
translations. Eliza Tasbihi was able to determine the number of


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