The Lord of the West, cunning from head to toe,
taught the people of religion the concept of Country.
He thinks of the centre, while you are at discord— 1035
give up this talk of Syria, Palestine, Iraq!
If you can discriminate between good and evil
you will not bind your hearts to clods, stones, bricks.
What is religion? To rise up from the face of the dust
so that the pure soul may become aware of itself! 1040
He who has said ‘God is He’ is not contained
within the confines of this dimensioned order.
A grass-blade is of the earth, and yet rises from the earth;
alas, if the pure soul should die in the dust!
Although man sprang out of water and clay, 1045
from water and clay rose-like drew colour and sap,
alas, if he wanders forever in water and clay,
alas, if he soars not higher than this station!
The body says, ‘Go into the dust of the roadway’;
the soul says, ‘Look upon the expanse of the world!’ 1050
Man of reason, the soul is not contained in dimensions;
the free man is a stranger to every fetter and chain,
the free man rails against the dark earth
for it beseems not the falcon to act like a mouse.
This handful of earth to which you give the name ‘country’, 1055
this so-called Egypt, and Iran, and Yemen—
there is a relationship between a country and its people
in that it is out of its soil that a nation rises;
but if you look carefully at this relationship
you will descry a subtlety finer than a hair. 1060
Though it is out of the East that the sun rises
showing itself bold and bright, without a veil,
only then it burns and blazes with inward fire
when it escapes from the shackles of East and West;
drunk with splendour it springs up out of its East 1065
that it may subject all horizons to its mastery;
its nature is innocent of both East and West,
though relationship-wise, true, it is an Easterner.