Better is the robbers’ train
Than the heaven-pacing brain,
Better one distress of heart
Than all Plato’s learned art.

Yesterday the Magian boy
Told me of love’s secret joy:
‘Better that salt tear of thine
Than the sweet and ruby wine.’

Better poverty, that gains
Bloodlessly the heart’s domains,
Than the realm Darius won,
Feridun’s dominion.

In the Magian temple cry;
Let thy voice be heard on high!
But within the Sufi cell
Better is the whispered spell.

With our river of heart’s blood
Need is none of Noah’s flood;
Better there one swelling wave
Than where Oxus’ waters lave.

Lo, thy torrent sweeping down
Threatens to engulf the town!
Better let thy havoc be
In the desert’s privacy.

Singer Iqbal, sooth to tell,
Call him riot an infidel:
Better he were out of school
Till his fevered brain shall cool!