Marghadin and those lofty edifices— 1925
what can I say of that noble city?
Its inhabitants sweet of speech as honey,
comely their faces, gentle their manners, simple their apparel,
their thoughts innocent of the burning fever of gain,
they were intimate with the secrets of the sun’s alchemy; 1930
who so of them desires silver or gold gathers it from light,
even as we gather salt from the briny sea.
The aim of science and art there is service,
no one weighs work done against gold;
no one is even acquainted with dinars and dirhams, 1935
these idols may not enter the sanctuary.
The demon of the machine has no power over nature,
the skies are not blackened by smoke;
the lamp of the hard-toiling farmer is always bright,
he is secure from the plundering of the landlords, 1940
his tillage is not a struggle for water,
his harvest is his own, no other shares in it.
In that world there are no armies, no squadrons,
none gains his livelihood by killing and murder;
In Marghadin no pen wins lustre 1945
from inscribing and disseminating lies;
in the market-places there is no clamour of the workless,
no whining of beggars afflicts the car.

The Martian Sage

No one here is a mendicant or destitute,
slave and master, ruler and ruled, here are none. 1950


Mendicant and destitute are so by God’s decree,
by God’s decree ruler and ruled;
none but God is the creator of destiny
and against destiny human design is powerless.

The Martian Sage

If your heart bleeds on account of one destiny, 1955
petition God to decree another destiny;
if you pray for a new destiny, that is lawful,
seeing that God’s destinies are infinite.
Earthlings have gambled away the coin of selfhood,
not comprehending the subtle meaning of destiny; 1960
its subtlety is contained in a single phrase—
‘If you transform yourself, it too will be transformed.’
Be dust, and fate will give you the winds;
be a stone, and it will hurl you against glass.
Are you a dew-drop? Your destiny is to perish; 1965
are you an ocean? Your destiny is to endure.
Every moment you are fashioning new Lats and Manats;
inconstant one, do you look for constancy from idols?
So long as your faith is to accord not with your self
the world of your thoughts is your prison; 1670
toil without treasure-such is destiny;
treasure without toil-such is destiny!
If this is the foundation of faith, ignorant fellow,
then the needy will become still more in need.
Woe to that religion which lulls you to sleep 1975
and still holds you in sleep profound!
Is this religion, or magic and enchantment?
Is this religion, or a grain of opium?
Do you know whence comes the penetrating nature,
whence came this houri into your tenement of clay? 1980
Do you know whence comes the sages’ power of thought,
whence the potency of prayer in God’s interlocutors?
Do you know whence came this heart, and its visitations,
whence these arts, these miracles?
Do you have fire of speech? That comes not from you; 1985
do you have flame of action? That comes not from you.
All this is an overflow of the springtime of nature,
nature which derives from nature’s Creator.
What is life? A mine of gems;
you are the trustee, its owner is Another. 1990
A radiant nature glorifies the man of God,
to serve all God’s creatures, that is his aim—
Service belongs to the wont and way of prophethood;
to seek a reward for service is mere commerce.
Even so this wind, earth, cloud, field, 1995
orchard, meadow, palace, street, stones, bricks—
you who say, ‘Our property is of ourselves’,
ignorant one, all this belongs to God.
If you regard God’s earth as your own,
then what means the verse, Work not corruption? 2000
Adam’s sons have given their hearts to Iblis,
and from Iblis I have seen only corruption.
None should convert a trust to his own use;
blessed is he who renders God’s property up to God.
You have carried off what does not belong to you; 2005
my soul sorrows for so unworthy a deed.
If you own a thing, that is meet and right,
but if you do not, say yourself, how is that proper?
Return to God the property of God
so that you may loose the knot of your involvement; 2010
for why is there poverty and want under heaven’s arch?
Because you say what is the Lord’s belongs to you.
The man who has not leaped forth from water and clay
has shattered his own glass with his own stone.
You who cannot tell goal from path, 2015
the value of every thing is measured by the regard.
So long as the pearl is your property, it is a pearl,
otherwise it is a pebble, worth less than a farthing.
View the world otherwise, and it will become other,
this earth and heaven will be transformed. 2020