ARTS cultivated (by people) in servitude are symbols of death;
The spell cast by servitude is beyond description.
Its songs are devoid of the fire of life
They storm the wall like a flood.
The countenance of a slave is as black as his heart, 5
The notes of a-slave are as insipid as his nature.
His dead frozen heart has lost all gusto and ardour
And is emptied of to-day's pleasure and the expectations of future.
His lute betrays his secret,
His instruments embody the death of multitudes. 10
It makes you weak and ill
And estranges you from the world.
His eyes are always full of tears—
Keep away from his songs as far as you can.
Beware! it is but the song of death! 15
It is nothing but nothingness in the guise of sound.
Feeling thirsty? This Haram is without Zam-zam.1
His songs bring about the destruction of mankind.
It removes from the heart all ambitions and gives grief instead,
It pours poison in the cup of Jamshed.1 20
Hearken brother! grief is of two kinds,
Lighten your lamp of reason with our flame
One kind of grief is that consumes man;
The other kind of grief is that eats up all other griefs.
The second kind of grief that is our companion 25
Frees life from all kinds of grief.
It involves the tumults of the east and west
It is like a vast ocean in which all beings are submerged.
When it takes its abode in the heart,
It turns the heart into a vast shoreless sea. 30
Servitude is but ignorance of the secret of life
Its song is empty of the second kind of grief.
I don't say that its notes are wrong
Such bewailings become only a widow.
Song should be violent like a storm 35
So that it may remove from the heart the clouds of grief.
It should be nourished on ecstasy—
A fire dissolved in the blood of the heart.
It is possible to develop flame out of its wetness,
And to make silence a part of it. 40
Do you know that in music there is a stage
Where speech develops "without words"?
A brilliant song is Nature's lamp
Its meaning imparts form to it.
I don't know whence comes the essence of meaning 45
We are aware of its form which is apparent.
If the song is shorne of meaning, it is dead
Its "heat" emanates from a dead fire.
The secret of meaning was unveiled by Rumi
On, whose threshold my thought prostrates 50
"Meaning is that transports you aloft
And makes you independent of the apparent form;
Meaning is not that makes you deaf and blind
And makes a man enamoured of mere form all the more.
Our musician did not enjoy the beauty of meaning; 55
He attached himself to form and ignored meaning altogether.


Similar is the case of Painting,
It shows the stamp neither of Abraham nor of Adhar.3
"A monk entrapped in the snare of baser passion;
A beloved with a bird in a cage; 60
A king (sitting) before a Khirqah4 -clad dervish;
A. highlander with a bundle of wood on shoulders;
A beautiful maiden on way to the temple;
A hermit sitting in the solitude of his cell,
A puny old man crushed -under the burden of old age 65
In whose hands the flame (of life) has gone out;
A musician lost in a strange and alien song,
A nightingale bewailed and his string broke;
A youth torn by the arrows of beloved's glance;
A child on the neck of his aged grandfather." 70
From the pep flow nothing but discourses of death,
Everywhere there is the story and spell of death.
The modern science prostrates before the evanescent,
It increases doubt and removes faith from the heart.
A man without faith has no taste for search of truth; 75
He has no capacity to create.
His heart is ever-wavering,
It is difficult for him to bring forth new forms.
He is far removed from the self and is sick at heart,
He is led by the vulgar taste of the masses. 80
He begs beauty from external nature,
He is a highwayman and tries to rob the destitute.
It is wrong to seek beauty outside one's self;
"What ought to be" is not (lying) before us.
When a painter gives himself up to Nature, 85
He depicts Nature but loses thereby his own self.
Not for a moment did he manifest his real own self,
Nor did he ever try to break our (idols).
Nature wrapped in multicoloured gown
Can be seen on his canvas with a limping foot. 90
His low burning moth lacks heat;
His to-day is devoid of reflections of to-morrow.
His sight cannot pierce through the skies,
Because he does not possess a fearless heart.
He is earth rooted, without experience of ecstasy, shy, 95
Totally devoid of contact with the world of spirit.
His thought is hollow and he has no likings, for struggle,
His Israfil-like,5 call does not bring about any resurrection.
If man deems himself earthly,
The light divine dies in his heart. 100
When a Moses loses hold of his own self,
His hand becomes dark and his staff merely a rope.6
Life is nothing without the capacity for new creations,
Not everybody knows this secret.
The artist who adds to Nature 105
Reveals before our eyes his inner secret
Although his ocean does not stand in need of anything,
Yet our rivulets do contribute to it.
He transforms the old values of life
His art establishes the true standard of beauty. 110
His houri is more charming than the houri of paradise,
He who does not believe in his Lat and Manat7 is an infidel.
He creates a new universe
And gives a new life to the heart.
He is an ocean and lets his waves strike against. Himself 115
These waves scatter pearls before us,
With that fullness which characterises his soul,
He strives to nourish the impoverished.
His pure nature is the norm of the right and the wrong,
His art reflects both the ugly and the beautiful. 120
He is the very essence of Abraham and Adhar,8
His hands make as well as break idols.
He uproots all old foundations
And polishes all creation.
In servitude body is deprived of soul; 125
What good can be expected of a soulless body?
Such a person loses all taste for creative work
And forgets his own self.
If you make Gabriel a slave
He would of necessity fall down from his lofty celestial sphere. 130
His creed is blind imitation and all his activity is centred in idol-making;
"Newness" is an infidelity in his religion.
New things increase his doubts and misgivings;
He is pleased with everything old and decayed.
He always looks to the past and is blind to the future, 135
Like an attendant (of a tomb) he seeks his living from the grave.
If this is skill, then it is death of ambition,
His inside is dark though his outside is beautiful.
A wise bird is never entrapped
Though the net be of silken thread. 140

[See Notes]