Thursday, April 01, 2010

[Sunlight] "The night and its phantoms flee from the dawn"



Whoever leaves our circle for another place
might as well relinquish sense of sight and sound
A lover licks his liver's blood, lion-like;
what lion-heart would shrink from love and guts?
Hearts suck up cruelty from heart-throbs like cubes of sugar;
did you ever see a parrot turn from sugar?
It's a small gnat that turns at every headwind
Only stealthy thieves scatter in moonlight.

Any head that the Lord strikes dumb or scrambles
drops its place in heaven and heads for hellfire.
And he who fathoms death leaps to welcome death
rushes for the robe, crown and realm eternal.
Fate decrees that so-and-so will die abroad
and fear of the reaper spurs him from his home
Enough of stalking such unbecoming prey!
for the night and its phantoms flee from the dawn.


The beloved is frequently compared to moonlight, so it is only thieves who would run from the present of the beloved. "Fear of the reaper spurs him" alludes to a famous hadith: When God wants to seize one of His servants from a certain place on earth, He makes it necessary for that servant to go there. Rumi tells a tale about this in the Masnavi.

-- Ghazal (Ode) 794
Translation by Franklin D. Lewis
"Rumi -- Past and Present, East and West"
Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 2000




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