A bird flies to the nest by means of wings:
the wings of the human being are aspiration.
In the case of the lover who is soiled with good and evil,
don't pay attention to the good and evil, pay attention to the aspiration.
If a falcon is white and beyond compare,
still it becomes despicable when it hunts a mouse;
and if there is an owl that yearns for the king,
it's as noble as the falcon's head:
don't pay attention to the hood.
The human being, no bigger than a wooden kneading trough,
has surpassed in glory the heavens and the empyrean.
Did heaven ever hear the words We have honored*
which this sorrowful human being heard from God?
Morgh bâ parr mi parrad tâ âshyân
parr-e mardom hemmatast ay mardomân
`sheqi k-âludeh shod dar khayr o sharr
khayr o sharr ma-negar to dar hemmat negar
Bâz agar bâshad sapid o bi nazir
chonkeh saydesh mush bâshad shod haqir
Var bovad choghdi o mayl-e u beh-shâh
u sar-e bâzast ma-negar dar kolâh
dami bar qadd-e yek tasht-e khamir
bar fozud az âsmân o az asir
Hich Karramnâ* shenid in âsmân
keh shenid in âdami por ghammân
-- Mathnawi VI:134-139
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra
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