Thursday, May 28, 2009

[Sunlight] The Shining Hero



The Shining Hero

Every prisoner, I freed.
Every lover's soul, I made happy.
The mouth of the dragon -- I tore it open.
The path of love -- I made it smooth.

Out of water I weaved the world.
Then I filled it with the power of life.
Out of water I brought forth living images
that cannot be carved from ivory or box wood.

Water bursts forth, surging
with the ecstasy of creation --
That is its nature,
That is its addiction.

I pulled Joseph out of a well,
And summoned the whole world
to remember his name.

I am the King
who enjoys the sight of every Queen.
I am the shining hero
who cut through a mountain of stone
for the sake of love.

I have caused great gardens to bloom;
I have built great empires.
The universe is my witness -
I am a King who gives away land
and rules with perfect justice.

I am merely a guest, born in this world
to know the secrets
that lie beyond it.

What masters I have checkmated!
What novices I have turned to masters!

Many lions have roared at me,
Yet like a fox,
I tamed them and made them helpless.

Enough with your doubts!
Enough with your sorrows!
Let them all go,
and I will show you the way.

Everyone swept up by the storm of misery
Will be brought to solid ground -
all they must do is call out to me.
I'll bring them from the center of the whirlwind
Just as I brought this whole creation
out of Emptiness . . .

Now my master has bade me to keep silent -
He has struck me with his sword
and turned my tongue to steel.
Now all I can do is cut.

-- Ode 1502
Poetic translation by Jonathan Star
"A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi"
Bantam Books, 1992




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