Thursday, August 30, 2012

[Sunlight] Don't Sleep! -- Ghazal 312


Here, Sunlight offers two presentations of Ghazal (Ode) 312 - a
literal translation by Prof. William Chittick and a poetic version by Jonathan Star:


By your spirit, leave not the work at hand!
Sleep not! Subtract one night from your life and maintain the vigil:
Sleep not!

You have slept a thousand nights for the sake of your own
self-will: What of a single night? For the sake of the Friend,
sleep not!
For the sake of that Gentle Friend who sleeps
not by night, do the same! Entrust your heart to Him and
sleep not!
Fear that night of illness when, until daytime,
you lament and groan piteously, "Oh Lord! Oh Lord!" –
sleep not!
That night when Death comes and says,
"Welcome!" – by the bitterness of that night, oh traveler,
sleep not!
Stones melt before those chains of awesomeness:
If you are not a stone, then remember those chains and sleep
Although night is a lovely black-skinned saki,
take not her cup and fear the morning after: Sleep not!
God said, "At night My friends do not sleep." If
you are embarrassed and ashamed at His words, sleep
Fear that tremendously terrible night with no
refuge: Make night your provision on the way and
beware – sleep not!
You have heard that the saints find their desire
at night; for the love of that King who satisfies desires,
sleep not!
When your kernel dries out, He will give you a fresh
kernel – you will become all kernel, oh hopeful man,
so sleep not!
I have told you a thousand times: Be silent! But
you do not benefit. Bring one and take a hundred thousand
in return – sleep not!

-- Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love- The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi"
State University of New York Press, Albany, 1983


"Don't Sleep"

O seeker,
Listen to your heart's true yearning –
Don't sleep!
Give up one night of your life to the vigil –
Don't sleep!

You have spent a thousand nights
in the cradle of sleep –
I ask for one night.
For the sake of the Friend,
Don't sleep!
The Loving Witness never sleeps by night,
Follow His ways:
Give yourself to Him –
Don't sleep!

Beware of that woeful night,
When you cry out in agony: "O God" –
Don't sleep!
That night when Death comes to welcome you –
By the dread of that night, O weary one,
Don't sleep!
Even stones will cry when bound
by the weight of those chains.
You are not a stone.
Remember those chains -
Don't sleep!

Though the night tempts you like a beautiful maiden,
do not drink from her cup.
Fear the morning after –
Don't sleep!

God says, "My dear ones will stay up with me at night."
If you hear these words,
Don't sleep!

Fear that horrible night
when no refuge can be found.
Store up your provisions tonight! Beware!
Don't sleep!

The Saints find their treasure
when the world is asleep;
For the sake of ever-giving love,
Don't sleep!

When your spirit is old and worn
He will give you a new one,
Then you will become the pure spirit of all.
O hopeful one, don't sleep!

I have told you again and again –
go to that inner silence!
But still you do not hear me.

Give me one night
And I will give you a thousand in return –
Don't sleep!

-- Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved"
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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