The history of man throughout East and West
is a tale of wars, battles, revolts, for ‘land’;
one bride there is, and we are all her husbands,
that enchantress is without all and with all withal.
Her blandishments are nothing but guile and trickery,
she belongs neither to you nor to me either.
These stones and rocks have nothing in common with you;
they are the stuff of stillness, you are on a journey.
How can the sleeper and the wakeful mix together?
What has the planet to do with the fixed star?
God has called the earth simply our ‘enjoyment’,
this valueless ‘enjoyment’ is gratis, gratis.
You landowner, take a wise hint from me:
take from the land your food and grave, but take it not.
How long will its company last? You are, it is not;
you are a living being, it is a lifeless show.
You are an eagle, therefore get you about the skies,
open your wings and pinions, rise clear of the earth.
‘The Earth is the Lord’s’: the inward meaning is plain,
and he who sees not this plain is an infidel.
I do not say, desert utterly dwelling and lane;
this world of colour and scent is your empery—
grain by grain gather the jewels from its soil,
falcon‐like seize your prey out of its skies,
smite your axe against its mountain-ranges,
take light from your self and set it all afire.
Have nothing to do with the ancient ways of Azar
but hew out a new world to your own desire!
Yield not your heart to colour and scent,
dwelling and lane;
the heart is His sanctuary, yield it only to Him.
Death without substance, without tomb and winding-sheet
is to lose oneself in riches, children, wife;
but he who has the words ‘One God’ by heart
can lose within himself a world entire.
What is the poverty of hunger, dancing, nakedness?
Poverty is true kingship; what is monkery?