(Most of these verses were written in Palestine)
|I could not go to my friends empty-handed|
From an orchard!
|Life to passion and ecstasy—sunrise in the desert:|
Luminous brooks are flowing from the fountain of the rising sun.
The veil of being is torn, Eternal Beauty reveals itself:
The eye is dazzled but the soul is richly endowed.
The heavy night-cloud has left behind it red and blue cloudlets:
It has given a head-dress of various hues to the Mount Idam to wear.
Air is clean of dust particles; leaves of date- palms have been washed;
The sand around Kazimah is soft like velvet.
The remains of burnt-out fire are observable here and a piece of tent-rope there:
Who knows how many caravans have passed through this tract.
I heard the angel Gabriel saying to me: This indeed is your station—
For those acquainted with the pleasure of separation, this is the everlasting comfort.
|To whom should I say that the wine of life is poison to me:|
I have new experiences while the universe is decadent entire.
Is there not another Ghaznavi in the factory of Life?—
The Somnaths of the People of the Harem have been awaiting a blow for long.
The Arabian fervour and the Persian comfort
Have both lost the Arabian acuteness and the Persian imagination.
The Caravan of Hijaz has not another Husain amongst it—
Although the tresses of the Tigris and the Euphrates are still as bright as ever.
Intellect, heart and vision, all must take their first lessons from Love—
Religion and the religious law breed idols of illusion if there is no Love.
The truthfulness of Abraham is but a form of Love, and so is the patience of Husain—
And so are Badr and Hunayn in the battle of existence.
|The universe is a verse of God and you are the meaning to be grasped at last;|
Colour and scent are the caravans that set forth to seek you.
The disciples in the schools are insipid and purblind;
The esoteric of the monastery have low aims with empty bowls;
I—whose ghazal reflects the flame that has been lost,
All my life I pined after the type of men that exists no more.
The zephyr nurtures thorn and straw,
While my breath nurtures passion in hearts;
My song thrives upon my lifeblood:
The strings of the instrument become alive with the blood of the musician.
Give not occasion for conturbation to this restless heart;
Bright are your tresses, brighten them even more.
|You are the Sacred Tablet, You are the Pen and the Book;|
This blue-colored dome is a bubble in the sea that you are.
You are the lifeblood of the universe:
You bestowed the illumination of a sun upon the particles of desert dust.
The splendour of Sanjar and Selim: a mere hint of your majesty;
The faqr of Junaid and Bayazid: your beauty unveiled.
If my prayers are not led by my passion for you,
My ovation as well as my prostrations would be nothing but veils upon my soul.
A meaningful glance from you redeemed both of them:
Reason—the seeker in separation; and Love—the restless one in Presence.
The world has become dark since the sun has set down;
Unveil your beauty to dawn upon this age.
|You are a witness on my life so far:|
I did not know that Knowledge is a tree that bears no fruit.
The old battle was then revived in my conscience:
Love, all Mustafa; Reason, all Abu Lahab.
It persuaded me with art, it pulled me by force:
Strange is Love at the beginning, strange in its perfection!
Separation is greater than union in the state of ecstasy;
For union is death to desire while separation brings the pleasure of longing.
In the midst of the union I dared not cast a glance;
Though my audacious eye was looking for a pretence.
Separation is the warmth of hot-pursuit; it is at the heart of fond lamentation—
It is why the wave is in search; it is why the pearl is precious.
Translated by: K. A. Shafique