Your grace is the shepherd of all who have been created,
guarding them from the wolf of pain--
a loving shepherd like God's pen, Moses.
A single sheep fled from him: Moses wore out his shoes
and his feet blistered as he followed after it.
He continued searching until night fell;
meanwhile the flock had vanished from sight.
The lost sheep was weak and exhausted;
Moses shook the dust from it
and stroked its back and head with his hand,
fondling it lovingly like a mother.
Not a bit of irritation or anger, nothing but love and pity and tears!
He said to the sheep, "I can understand
that you naturally had no pity on me,
but why did your nature show such cruelty to itself?"
At that moment God said to the angels,
"This human being is suitable to be a prophet."
Khalq-râ az gorg-e ghamm lotfet shabân
chon Kalim Allâh shabân-e mehrabân
Gusfandi az Kalim Allâh gorikht
pâ-ye Musâ âbeleh shod na`l rikht
Dar pay-e u tâ beh-shab dar jost o ju
v-ân rameh ghâyeb shodeh az cheshm-e u
Gusfand az mândegi shod sost o mând
pas Kalim Allâh gard az vay feshând
Kaff hami mâlid bar posht o saresh
mi navâkht az mehr hamchon mâdaresh
Nim zarreh tiregi o kheshm ni
ghayr-e mehr o rahm o âb-e cheshm ni
Goft "Giram bar manet rahmi na-bud
tab`-e to bar khvod cherâ estam namud"
Bâ malâyek goft Yazdân ân zamân
keh "Nobuvet-râ hami zibad folân"
-- Mathnawi VI:3280-3287
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra
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