Friday, March 07, 2008

[Sunlight] "Be drunk in love" -- Ghazal 455


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal 455*, in a version by Helminski,
and in translation by Arberry:


The Inner Garment of Love

A soul which is not clothed
with the inner garment of Love
should be ashamed of its existence.

Be drunk with Love,
for Love is all that exists.
Where is intimacy found
if not in the give and take of Love.

If they ask what Love is,
say: the sacrifice of will.
If you have not left your will behind,
you have no will at all.

The lover is a king of kings
with both worlds beneath him;
and a king does not regard
what lies at his feet.

Only Love and the lover
can resurrect beyond time.
Give your heart to this;
the rest is second-hand.

How long will you embrace
a lifeless beloved?
Embrace that entity
to which nothing can cling.

What sprouts up every spring
will wither by autumn,
but the rose garden of Love
is always green.

Both the rose and the thorn
appear together in spring,
and the wine of the grape
is not without its headaches.

Don't be an impatient
bystander on this path -
by God there's no death
worse than expectation.

Set your heart on hard cash
if you are not counterfeit,
and listen to this advice
if you are not a slave:

Don't falter on the horse
of the body; go more lightly on foot.
God gives wings to those
who are not content to ride an ass.

Let go of your worries
and be completely clear-hearted,
like the face of a mirror
that contains no images.

When it is empty of forms,
all forms are contained in it.
No face would be ashamed
to be so clear.

If you want a clear mirror,
behold yourself
and see the shameless truth
which the mirror reflects.

If metal can be polished
to a mirror-like finish,
what polishing might the mirror
of the heart require?

Between the mirror and the heart
is this single difference:
the heart conceals secrets,
while the mirror does not.

-- Version by Kabir Helminski
"Love is a Stranger"
Threshold Books, 1993


That spirit which wears not true love as a garment is
better not to have been; its being is nothing but a
Be drunk in love, for love is all that exists; without the
commerce of love there is no admittance to the Beloved.
They say, "What is love?" Say, "The abandonment of free
will." He who has not escaped out of free will, no free will
has he.
The lover is an emperor; the two worlds are scattered over
him; the king pays no heed to the scattering.
Love it is and the lover that remain till all eternity;
set not your heart on aught but this, for it is merely
How long will you embrace a dead beloved? Embrace the soul
which naught embraces.
What was born of spring dies in the season of autumn;
love's rosebower receives no replenishment from spring.
The rose that comes of spring, the thorn is its companion;
the wine that comes of pressed grapes is not exempt from
Be not an expectant spectator on this path; for by Allah,
there is no death worse than expectancy.
Set your heart on the true coin, if you are not
counterfeit; give ear to this subtlety, if you lack an
Tremble not on the body's steed; fare lighter afoot; God
gives wings to him who rides not on the body.
Let go care and become wholly clear of heart, like the
of a mirror without image and picture
When it has become clear of images, all images are
contained in it; that clear-faced one is not ashamed of any
man's face.
Would you have your self clear of blemish? Gaze upon Him,
for He is not ashamed or afraid of the truth.
Since the steely face gained this skill from purity, what
shall the heart's face, which is without dust, discover?
I said, "What shall it discover?" No, I will not say;
silence is better, lest the heart-ravisher should say, "He
cannot keep a secret.

-- Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
University of Chicago Press, 1991


* Sunlight note -- Professor Nicholson refers to this ghazal as N13.


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