Show your face, for the orchard and rose garden are my desire;
open your lips, for abundant sugar is my desire.
Sun of beauty, come forth one moment out of the cloud,
for that glittering, glowing countenance is my desire.
Out of your air I heard the sound of the falcon-drum;
I returned, for the sultan's forearm is my desire.
You said capriciously, "Trouble me no more; be gone!"
That saying of yours, "Trouble me no more," is my desire.
And your repulse, "Be gone, the king is not at home,"
and those mighty airs and brusqueness of the doorkeeper, are my desire.
In the hand of every one who exists, there are filings of beauty;
that quarry of elegance and that mine are my desire.
This bread and water of heavens wheel are like a treacherous torrent;
I am a fish, a leviathan, Oman is my desire.
Like Jacob I am crying alas, alas;
the fair visage of Joseph of Canaan is my desire.
By Allah, without you the city is a prison for me;
I wander abroad, mountain and desert are my desire.
My heart is weary of these weak-spirited fellow-travelers;
the Lion of God and Rustam-i Dastan are my desire.
My soul is sick of Pharaoh and his tyranny;
that light of the countenance of Moses son of Imran is my desire.
I am aweary of these tearful people so full of complaining;
that ranting and roaring of the drunkards is my desire.
I am more eloquent than the nightingale,
but because of vulgar envy a seal is on my tongue, and lamentation is my desire.
Last night the sheikh went all about the city, lamp in hand, crying:
- "I am weary of beast and devil, a man is my desire."
They said, "He is not to be found, we too have searched."
He answered, "He who is not to be found is my desire."
Though I am penniless, I will not accept a small carnelian,
for that rare, precious carnelian is my desire.
Hidden from every eye, and all things seen are from Him —
that hidden One manifest in works is my desire.
My state has gone beyond every desire and yearning;
from mine and place to the elements is my desire.
My ear heard the tale of faith and became drunk; where is the portion of sight?
The form of faith is my desire.
In one hand the winecup, in the other the Beloved's curl -
to dance so in the midst of the arena is my desire."
That rebeck says, "I am dead of expectation;
the hand and bosom and plectrum of Uthman are my desire."
I am at once Love's rebeck, and Love is my rebeck-player;
those favors of the plucking of the All-merciful are my desire.
Cunning minstrel, number the rest of this ode after this fashion,
for it is after this fashion I desire.
Show your face from the east, Sun of the Pride of Tabriz;
I am the hoopoe; the presence of Solomon is my desire.
1. Oman, the southern part of the Persian Gulf, symbolizes the Divine Ocean.
2. "Like Jacob, etc." -- Koran 12:84
3. The "Lion of God" was Ali, Muhammad's cousin and fourth caliph.
4. Rustam was the famous Iranian champion.
5. Uthman: Sharaf al-Din-i Qavval - the minstrel, see Aflaki 222, etc.
Literal translation by Arthur J. Arberry
“Mystical Poems of Rumi”, Vol. 1, University of Chicago Press, 1974