The world is under His proud power’s sway

My heart is lit up by an inner flame

Love breathes spring breezes upon garden bowers

Love humbles falcons’ proud, predaceous might

Love paints the tulip’s leaves a vivid red

On very few men is Love’s wealth bestowed

I roam this garden like its flowers’ scent

This world is mere dust and the heart its fruit

"O gardener", said the nightingale one morn

From nothing did this world originate

Love’s music found its instrument in man

The origin and end of this world–these

How long this moth-like fluttering, O heart?

Build yourself with a handful of mere dirt

With water and with earth God, builder-wise

The Brahmin said to God on Judgement Day

O morning star, you came and swiftly fled

Life’s tavern would have lain death-still and dark

O swift-winged bird, with your light weight

What joy it is, O God, to be, just be!

I hear a moth before Creation prayed

O Muslims, I have something to unfold

You go so often to His street, O heart

A stranger to your own identity

One morning in a garden, passing by

To make you understand life’s mystery

Do not tell me about that silly moth

I do not sell the stuff that generates

Do not come to my garden if you have

From being and non-being’s whirlpool free

The garden songsters’ chorus I, for one

A wonderful show, God, is Your world, All

Sikandar said to Khizar aptly: "Dive

The throne of Kaikobad and Jamshid’s crown

If in the handful of dust that is you

Life keeps expressing itself in new ways

When the desire to sing aloud grips me

You ask me what is this heart in your breast

The intellect says He cannot be seen

You only built church, temple, idol-house

I never got attached to this world, this

I offer you a strange, new kind of wine

His wine turned my cup into Jamshid’s cup

To past and present reason is a slave

There is an intellect in every man

You went to Mount Sinai, soliciting

Go and tell this to Gabriel from me

If you seek knowledge, then be of two minds

My eyes are thirsty for a sight of You

Your heart quakes with the fear of death: you pale

You ask how close the link between my soul

A wise man said to me: "All your todays

Why ask of Razi what the Quran means?

I do not say if I exist or not.

Tell the flamboyant poet this from me

I do not know what you regard as fair

Perhaps, O holy one, you do not know

A water-drop, with native lustre, can

This riddle is beyond me–reason is

Do not content yourself with resting on

I am a hidden meaning which defies

Do not speak of thc purpose of this life

Because you cast a wistful eye on it

Perfidious, cold, aloof, and all the time

Love’s wizardry is great: it can take on

Do not be broken-hearted, new-born bud

One day a faded rose spoke thus to me

This world of ours, stretched out infinitely

I join the garden’s songsters, and I am

Do we behold for what it is this vale

You are the sun; I am a planet that

Dearer His image in the inner eye

A dyed-in-the-wool infidel, my brain

His freed slave is the proud, upstanding fir

There are a hundred worlds from star to star

Do not put chains of fate upon your feet

My mind is dazzled by its own strong light

A lute, played by You, I make melody

Our breath is a stray breaker from His sea

Unable to bear Your stark loneliness

Whom do you seek? Why are you so perturbed?

Learn to respect yourself, O childish one

Called whether Tartars, Turks or Afghans, we

There is a world concealed within our breasts

O heart, my heart, O heart within my breast

I cannot say what is foul and what fair

One who has been blessed with no secret grief

Why ask what I am and where I came from?

With all Your glory, You keep Yourself veiled

Forget the goal, be steadfast on the path

Come, O Love, guarded secret of our hearts

If poetry is sad, so let it be

I have no steed to ride upon, nor am

Do you wish to attain the perfect life?

You say that man is made of humble clay

Lions to dauntless hearts appear as sheep

I do not know if I am wine or bowl

You say that we are like birds in a snare

How is desire born in our hearts? How does

When after death I walked in Paradise

This world of our, a sculptors study still

O sun, O restless roamer of the skies

Dig your path with your own pickaxe. It is

The mind, great rover, has no journey’s end

Come drink in Nature’s beauty with your eyes

Eschewing Plato and Farabi

Nobody knows how Selfhood came to be

Learn from the rosebud how to live. O heart

His radiance is in hill and dale, and flowers

A bud sprang up in the narcissus bed

The World, which has no being of its own

My heart knows soul and body’s mystery

My problem is the rose’s problem too

I know the ways of the wild tulip well

The world is filled with one song of desire

My heart is all afire with one desire

Unceasing restlessness is life for us

O preacher if the Brahmin asks that we

Philosophers break idols in their wrath

Worlds spring like grain from my handful of clay

With Nature my relations are age-old

Winging Eternity’s uncharted space

What is this tumult of thought inside me?

I am proud of my gift, my inner fire

If you know your potentialities

Why sorrow? The heart does not live by breath

So long as you are in my breast, O heart

Convey this to those seekers after God

Do not pass through this garden with eyes closed

All idols that I make resemble me

The new-sprung bud addressed these words to dew

Take earth to be the confidante of Heaven

You are the meaning of God’s fait, "Be"

The earth is mere dust at our tavern’s door

Iskander and his flag and sword are gone

You stole away my heart through my breast’s rent

The world of smell and colour, earth and sky

Although I have no knowledge of the keys

I sang with such fine rapture to the crowd

Iran is young again thanks to my song

Iran’s soul has been kindled by my song

Emitting from my fervent soul a flame

Mine is to wander like the breeze of morn

The mind turns cotton into cloth of gold

I have partaken of the fruit I sought

When my imagination, which culls flowers

Iran is like a boundless sea which teems

Do not say life is merely transitory

Though you deny the Western demi-gods

How long will you remain depressed like this?

Nest there where roses grow and tulips glow

The soul designed the body, love of self-display

I heard a voice from inside a grave say

Do not despair of your handful of dust

Worth knowing is this world of hue and smell

You say that you exist but God does not

I have no roasted fowl on which to dine

My fervour has warmed up the Muslim’s blood

What is abodeless cannot be encaged

With every heart Love plays a different part

You are still tied to colour and to race

The love of self-expression seized my heart

At last from artful reason he has freed


The First Rose

A Prayer

The New Moon of Eid

The Conquest of Nature

The Fragrance of the Rose

The Song of Time


Eternal Life

Reflections of the Stars


Dialogue between Knowledge and Love

Song of the Stars

The Morning Breeze

The Hawk’s Advice to his Young One

The Bookworm and the Moth


The Tulip

Philosophy and Poetry

The Glow-Worm


Song of the Hejazi Camel-Driver

The Raindrop and the Sea

Dialogue between God and Man


The Eagle and the Fish

The Glow-Worm




Live Dangerously

The World of Action


The Wisdom of the West

The Houri and the Poet

Action and Life

God’s Country

Alamgir’s Letter






Ghani Kaehmiri


A Message to the West

Schopenhauer and Nietzsche

An A ssemb1age in the Other World



Jalal and Hegel

Dialogue between August Comte and the labourer

Rumi and Goethe

Bergson’s Message

The Tavern of the West

Dialogue between Lenin and Kaiser Wilhelm

Three Philosophers

Four Poets

A Word to England


The Rose

The Oriental Poet


Allama Iqbal's Home Page