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Ходжа Н.

R.A. Nicholson, "Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz", 1898 / Part 2

Part 2 (poems 25 - 49). To Part 1: http://hojja-nusreddin.livejournal.com/2947107.html

25 / F-1145 / Arberry # 147 / Ergin # 7/125

Look on me, for thou art my companion in the grave,
On the night, when thou shalt pass from shop and dwelling.
Thou shalt hear my hail in the hollow of the tomb: it shall become known to thee,
That thou wast never concealed from mine eye.
I am as reason and intellect within thy bosom
At the time of joy and gladness, at the time of sorrow and distress.
O strange night when thou hear'st the well-known voice,
Scap'st from the stroke of asp, and leap'st from the horror of ant!
Love's intoxication will bring to thy grave, as a gift,
Wine and mistress and candle and meats and sweets and incense.
In the hour when the intellectual lamp is lighted,
What a paean goes up from the dead men in the tombs!
The earth of the grave-yard is confounded by their cries,
By the din of the drums of resurrection, by the pomp of rising from the dead.
They have rent their shrouds, they have pressed tight their two ears in terror.
What is brain and ear before the blast of the trumpet?
Look to thine eye, that thou mistake not,
That unto thee the essence of seer and seen may be one.
To whatever side thou gaze, my form thou shalt espy
Whether thou gaze on self or towards that moil and mell.
Shun distorted vision and heal thine eyes,
For in that moment the evil eye shall be far from my beauty.
O take heed, lest thou misconceive me in human shape,
For spirit is very subtle, and love is very jealous.
What room for form, if the felt is hundredfold?
'Tis the rays of the soul's mirror that bring the world to view.
Had they sought God instead of morsel and pittance,
Thou hadst not seen a single blind man seated on the moat-edge.
Since Thou hast opened house in our city as dealer in amorous glances,
Deal out glances, like light, with closed lips.
I hold my peace and keep the unworthy in the dark;
Thou art all that is worthy: the mystery is veiled from me.
Come, like the Sun of Tabriz, towards the east;
See the star of victory and the conqueror's banner!

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 25:


26 / F-1077 / Arberry # 136 / Ergin # 8/70

From the bosom of Self[1], I catch continually a scent of the Beloved:
How should I not, every night, take Self to my bosom?
Yestereve I was in Love's garden: this desire came into my head:
His sun peeped forth from mine eye[2]: the river (of tears) began to flow[3].
Each laughing rose[4], that springs from His laughing lip,
Had escaped the thorn of being[5], had avoided Dhulfiqar[6].
Every tree and blade of grass was dancing in the meadow.
But in the view of the vulgar, they were bound and at rest.
Suddenly, on one side our Cypress[7] appeared,
So, that the garden became senseless and the plane clapped its hands[8].
A face like fire, wine like fire, Love afire - all three delectable;
The soul, by reason of the mingled fires, was wailing: “Where shall I flee?”
In the world of Divine Unity, is no room for Number,
But Number[9] necessarily exists in the world of Five and Four[10].
You may count a hundred thousand sweet apples in your hand[11]:
If you wish to make One, crush them all together.
Behold, without regarding the letters[12], what is this language in the heart[13]?
Pureness of colour[14] is a quality, derived from the Source of Action[15].
Shamsi Tabriz is seated in royal state, and before him,
My rhymes are ranked, like willing servants.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 26:
[0] From L.97.10 (Lachnau Edition of the Divani Shamsi Tabriz)
[1] "From the bosom of the self": 'self' refers here, not, as it commonly does, to Man's phenomenal individuality, the cheating mask, which prevents him from seeing things as they are,
but to the divine spark or spirit, which dwells within him and cannot die. This is the true 'Self.' Cf. Koran 50:15 "We (God) are nearer to him than the jugular vein".
[2] "His sun peeped forth from mine eye": these words may mean: "in whom I have hope".
[3] "the river of tears began to flow": i.e. I wept for joy. Cf. Hafez, I. 64. 3:
"I wept so much, that whomever passed by,
upon seeing my soul in my tears, asked:
'what does he seek?' "
[4] "laughing rose": full-blown.
[5] "the thorn of being": the celestial Rose and Wine, unlike their counterfeits on earth, are wholly free from defect: which is Not-being. "Being" signifies here Contingent or Phenomenal Being.
[6] "Dhulfiqar": the famous sword given by Mohammed to Ali, here used figuratively = death, corruption.
[7] "our Cypress": the Beloved.
[8] "clapped its hands": in ecstasy. These words may also be translated 'rustled its leaves'.
[9] "Number": referring to 'mingled fires' in the last verse.
[10] "Five and Four": the 5 senses and the 4 elements.
[11] "hundred thousand sweet apples in your hand": plurality is a phantom (i.e., the rays of the sun). This illustration recurs in the Mathnavi (21.5):
"If you count one hundred apples and one hundred waters,
What appears as a hundred, shall become One,
If you crush them all together."
[12] "without regarding the letters": never mind the parts: look at the whole. Cf.:
With men of form the word is: Synthesis by analysis;
With men of spirit the word is: Analysis by synthesis.
-- (T. 116.4a).
[13] "what is this language in the heart": the language of the heart is silence. So, end a large number of these poems. Speech is only the prelude to silence:
true worshippers are 'breathless with adoration' (cf. Whinfield's "Masnavi", pp. 5, 261, 326).
[14] "Pureness of colour": 'Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass // Stains the white radiance of eternity'. -- Shelley.
The same thought is found in Schiller's epigram, entitled "Licht und Farbe":
Wohne, du ewiglich Eines, dort bei dem ewiglich Einen!
Farbe, du wechselnde, komm freundlich zum Menschen herab!
Cf. with this passage the following lines (T. 332. 10a):
"Deem the soul a unit and the body a hundred thousand numbers,
Even as almonds in the form of oil.
How many words are there in the world! Yet all are essentially one;
Water becomes one, when you break the jars.
The soul sends intelligence to every person of insight,
When, by acknowledging Unity, you pluck away your heart from speech".
[15] "the Source of Action": God is the only real agent. Cf. Whinfield's "Masnavi", pp. 15, 78, 91, 242.

Source: http://sunlightgroup.blogspot.com/2011/12/sunlight-color-of-purity.html

27 / F-1142 / Arberry # 146 / Ergin # 7/129

If a tree might move by foot and wing,
It would not suffer the pain of the saw or the blows of the axe.
And if the sun did not fare by wing and foot every night,
How would the world be illuminated at morning-tide?
And if the salt water did not go up from the sea to the sky,
Whence would the garden be quickened by river and rain?
When the drop departed from its native home and returned,
It found a shell and became a pearl.
Did not Joseph go on a journey from his father, weeping?
Did he not, in the journey, come to fortune and kingdom and victory?
Did not Mustafa go a-journeying toward Medina,
Gain sovereignty and become lord of an hundred lands?
Tho' you have no feet choose to journey in yourself,
Like the ruby-mine receive a print from the sunbeams.
Make a journey out of self into self, O master,
For by such a journey earth becomes a quarry of gold.
From sourness and bitterness advance to sweetness,
Even as from briny soil a thousand sorts of fruit spring up.
From the Sun, the pride of Tabriz, behold these miracles,
For every tree gains beauty by the light of the sun.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 27:


28 / F-1335 / Arberry # 166 / Ergin # 18/21

I cried out at midnight: "Who is in this house of the heart?"
He said: "This is I, by whose countenance moon and sun are shamed".
He said: "Why is this house of the heart filled with diverse images?"
Said I: "They are the reflexion of thee, O thou, whose face is a candle of Chigil".
He said: “What is this other image, bedabbled with heart's blood?”
Said I: “This is the image of me, heart-sore and with feet in the mire”.
I bound the neck of my soul and brought it to him as a token:
“It is the confidant of Love; do not sacrifice thine own confidant”.
He gave me the end of a thread - a thread full of mischief and guile.
“Pull”, he said, “That I may pull, and break it not in the pulling”.
From the tent of the soul flashed out the form of my Beloved, fairer than before;
I stretched my hands to him; he struck my hand, saying: “Let go”.
I said: “Thou art harsh, like such an one”. “Know”, he replied,
That I am harsh for good, not from rancour and spite.
Whoever enters saying: "This is I", I smite him on the brow;
For this is the shrine of Love, O fool! It is not a sheep-cote.
Assuredly Salahi-dil-u-din is the image of that Fair One;
Rub thine eyes, and behold the image of the heart, the image of the heart.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 28:


29 / F-1353 / Arb # 167 / Ergin # 7/161

Why does not the soul take wing, when from the glorious Presence
A speech of sweet favour comes to it, saying: "Aloft?"
How should a fish not leap nimbly from the dry land into the water,
When the sound of waves reaches its ear from the cold ocean?
Why should a falcon not fly from the quarry towards the King,
When it hears by drum and drum-stick the notice of "Return"?
Why should not every Sufi begin to dance, like a mote,
In the sun of eternity, that it may deliver him from decay?
Such grace and beauty and loveliness and bestowal of life!
O misery and error, if any one dispense with Him!
Fly, fly, O bird, to thy native home,
For thou hast escaped from the cage, and thy pinions are outspread.
Travel away from the bitter stream towards the water of life,
Return from the vestibule to the high seat of the soul.
Haste, haste! For we too, O soul, are coming
From this world of severance to that world of union.
O how long shall we, like children, in the earthly sphere
Fill our lap with dust and stones and sherds?
Let us give up the earth and fly heavenwards,
Let us flee from childhood to the banquet of men.
Behold how the earthly frame has entrapped thee!
Rend the sack and raise thy head clear.
Take from Love this scroll with thy right hand;
Thou art no child, not to know thy right from thy left.
God said to Reason's messenger: “Begone”,
To the hand of Death he said: “Chastise worldly desire”.
A voice came to the spirit: “Spirit thee away to the Unseen.
Take the gain and the treasure and lament the pain no more.
Cry out and proclaim, that thou art King;
Thine is the grace of answer, and thine is the knowledge of question”.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 29:


30 / F-1521 / Arberry # 186 / Ergin # 15/132 / Schimmel "Look!" p. 23

Thee I choose, of all the world, alone;
Wilt thou suffer me to sit in grief?
My heart is as a pen in thy hand,
Thou art the cause if I am glad or melancholy.
Save what thou willest, what will have I?
Save what thou showest, what do I see?
Thou mak'st grow out of me now a thorn and now a rose;
Now I smell roses and now pull thorns.
If thou keep'st me that, that I am;
If thou would'st have me this, I am this.
in the vessel where thou givest colour to the soul
Who am I. what is my love and hate?
Thou wert first, and last thou shalt be;
Make my last better than my first.
When thou art hidden, I am of the infidels;
When thou art manifest, I am of the faithful.
I have nothing, except thou hast bestowed it;
What dost thou seek from my bosom and sleeve?

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 30:


31 / apocryphon, not found in Foruzanfar/Arberry/Ergin

There are 2 versions of Nicholson's translation: prosaic & poetic
Versioned also by Cowan, Star-Shiva, Barks

Version 1 - prosaic

What is to he done, O Moslems? for I do not recognize myself.
I am either Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature's mint, nor of the circling heaven.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulgaria, nor of Saqsin
I am not of the kingdom of Iraqian, nor of the country of Khorasan
I am not of the this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan.
My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless;
'Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the Beloved.
I have put duality away, I have seen that the two worlds are one;
One I seek, One I know J One I see, One I call.
He is the first, He is the last, He is the outward, He is the inward;
I know none other except “Ya Hu” and “Ya man Hu”.
I am intoxicated with Love's cup, the two worlds have passed out of my ken;
I have no business save carouse and revelry.
If once in my life I spent a moment without thee,
From that time and from that hour I repent of my life.
If once in this world I win a moment with thee,
I will trample on both worlds, I will dance in triumph for ever.
O Shamsi Tabriz, I am so drunken in this world,
That except of drunkenness and revelry I have no tale to tell.

Version 2 - poetic [Nicholson has rhythmed a fragment only, the 1-st half]

Lo, for I to myself am unknown, now, in God's name, what must I do?
I adore not the Cross, nor the Crescent, I am not a Giaour, nor a Jew.
East nor West, land nor sea is my home,
I have kin nor with angel nor gnome,
I am wrought not of fire, nor of foam,
I am shaped not of dust, nor of dew.
I was born not in China afar, not in Saqsin and not in Bulghar;
Not in India, where five rivers are, nor Iraq nor Khorasan I grew.
Not in this world nor that world I dwell, not in Paradise, neither in Hell;
Not from Eden and Rizwan I fell, not from Adam my lineage I drew.
In a place beyond uttermost Place, in a tract without shadow or trace,
Soul and body transcending, I live in the soul of my Loved One anew!

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 31:


see more details: http://hojja-nusreddin.livejournal.com/200857.html
32 / F-1690 /Arberry # 211 / Ergin 2/53

No joy have I found in the two worlds apart from thee, Beloved.
Many wonders I have seen: I have not seen a wonder like thee.
They say that blazing fire is the infidel's portion:
I have seen none, save Abu Lahab, excluded from thy fire.
Often have I laid the spiritual ear at the window of the heart:
I heard much discourse, but the lips I did not see.
Of a sudden thou didst lavish grace upon thy servant:
I saw no cause for it but thy infinite kindness.
O chosen Cup-bearer, O apple of mine eyes, the like of thee
Ne'er appeared in Persia, nor in Arabia have I found it.
6 (omitted by Nicholson)
Pour out wine till I become a wanderer from myself;
For in selfhood and existence I have felt only fatigue.
O thou who art milk and sugar, O thou who art sun and moon,
O thou who art mother and father, I have known no kin but thee.
O indestructible Love, O divine Minstrel.
Thou art both stay and refuge: a name equal tu thee I have not found.
We are pieces of steel, and thy love is the magnet:
Thou art the source of all aspiration. in myself I have seen none.
Silence. O brother! put learning and culture away:
Till Thou namedst culture. I knew no culture but Thee.
12 (omitted by Nicholson)

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 32:


33 / apocryphon, not found in Foruzanfar/Arberry/Ergin

I am that supplicant who make supplication to thee;
The anguish inspired by a charmer like thee hath for me a thousand charms.
Thou art the sun of mine eyes-they are radiant with thy beauty.
If I draw them away from thee, to whom shall I look again?
I will not become inconstant to thee on account of thy cruel treatment;
By remaining constant myself I will restrain thee from cruelty.
I complained of thee, thou saidst: “Provide thine own remedy”.
I am one whose heart provides a remedy for Divine affliction.
I will not tell thee my heart's grief, for it would weary thee;
I will shorten this tale, for mille is a long grief.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 33:


34 / F-1462 / Arberry # 178 / Ergin # 3/103 / Lewis RSS, p. 70

I am a painter, a maker of pictures; every moment I shape a beauteous form,
And then, in thy presence, I melt them all away.
I call up a hundred phantoms and indue them with a spirit;
When I behold thy phantom, I cast them in the fire.
Art thou the Vintner's cup-bearer, or the enemy of him, who is sober,
Or is it thou who mak'st a ruin of every house, I build?
In thee the soul is dissolved, with thee it is mingled;
Lo! I will cherish the soul, because it has a perfume of thee.
Every drop of blood, which proceeds from me, is saying to thy dust:
"I am one colour with thy love, I am the partner of thy affection".
In the house of water and clay, this heart is desolate without thee;
O Beloved, enter the house, or I will leave it.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 34:


35 / F-1919 / Arberry # 237 / Ergin # 13/137

This is Love: to fly heavenward,
To rend, every instant, a hundred veils[1].
The first moment, to renounce life[2];
The last step, to fare without feet.
To regard this world as invisible[3],
Not to see what appears to one's self[4].
"O heart", I said: "May it bless thee
To have entered the circle of lovers,
To look beyond the range of the eye,
To penetrate the windings of the bosom[5]!
Whence did this breath come to thee, O my soul,
Whence this throbbing, O my heart?
O bird[6], speak the language of birds[7] -
I call understand thy hidden meaning".
The soul answered: "I was in the (divine) Factory[8],
While the house of water and clay was a-baking[9].
I was flying away from the (material) workshop,
While the workshop[10] was being created[11].
When I could resist no more, they dragged me,
To mould me into shape like a ball[12]".

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 35:
-- T.267.8 Tabriz Edition of the "Divani Shamsi Tabriz".

[1] "a hundred veils": a veil is whatever prevents union with the Deity.
"Some one said to Junaid (d. 297 A.H.): 'I find that the shaikhs of Khorasan recognise 3 species of veils:
the first is the human nature, the second is the world, and the third is concupiscence''.
'These,' answered Junaid, 'are veils on the hearts of the vulgar; the elect are veiled otherwise, namely:
by regarding works, by seeking future recompense for them, and by considering the favour of God'"
(Jami, "Nafahatul Uns," p. 92).

[2] "to renounce life": to renounce self (fana) and to travel abidingly in God (bagha), which are the beginning and end of the mystical journey;
cf. i.e. transported me out of self. The first stage is fana - return from phenomenal to Absolute Being.
In the second stage of his journey (bagha), the pilgrim abides in God and experiences with Him the differentiation of Unity into plurality.
"Gulshani Raz", 307 seq.
In the "Baharistan" (p. 10, 1, 16 seq.) faith is defined as "severing and uniting", i.e., to sever the heart from created things and unite it with God.

[3] "To regard this world as invisible": cf.
"Look not on the world from outside, for the world is within the eye;
When you shut your eyes to the world, the world remains not".
(T. 164. 3a)

[4] "Not to see what appears to one's self": this misra allows of another interpretation, "viz", 'not to see your own eye',
whence all objects derive their unreal existence.

[5] "To penetrate the windings of the bosom": introrsum ascendere, cf.
"Returning to its ancient nest,
My restless fluttering soul had rest".
(T. 340. 3a)

[6] "O bird": we shall often meet with this comparison of the soul to a bird.

[7] "speak the language of birds": use the language of mystics, speak in parables.
The hoopoe "hod hod", which Solomon sent with a letter to Bilqis, queen of Sheba (Koran 27:16:
"and Solomon was David's heir, and he said:
'O people, we have been taught the language of birds'."

[8] "I was in the (divine) Factory": in the presence of, and not yet separated from, the divine artificer. cf.
"Then he (Gabriel) approached (the Prophet), and drew nigh,
until he was at the distance of two bow-lengths, or nearer"
(Koran 53:809).
But the Sufi's interpret the passage as signifying the approach of Mohammed himself to the divine presence.

[9] "The house of water and clay": the body.
"While the house of water and clay was a-baking": according to an hadis "He kneeded the clay of Adam forty days"

[10] "workshop": the phenomenal world.

[11] "was being created": because the soul was reluctant to enter the world, and hated the body, in which it was doomed to captivity.

[12] "like a ball": this simile may have been suggested by the words 'chon pai namanad': 'the epithet footless', frequently applied to a ball.

Source: http://sunlightgroup.blogspot.com/2012/02/sunlight-look-this-is-love-ghazel-1919.html

36 / F-1789 / Arberry # 222 / Ergin 1/90

O lovers, O lovers, it is time to abandon the world;
The drum of departure reaches my spiritual ear from Heaven.
Behold, the driver has risen and made ready the files of camels,
And begged us to acquit him of blame: why, O travelers, are you asleep?
These sounds before and behind are the din of departure and of the camel-bells;
With each moment a soul. and a spirit is setting off into the Void.
From these (stars like) inverted candles, from these blue awnings (of the sky)
There has come forth a wondrous people, that the mysteries may be revealed.
A heavy slumber fell upon thee from the circling spheres:
Alas for this life so light, beware of this slumber so heavy!
O soul, seek the Beloved, O friend, seek the Friend,
O watchman, be wakeful: it behoves not a watchman to sleep.
On every side is clamour and tumult, in every street are candles and torches,
For to-night the teeming world gives birth to the world everlasting.
Thou wert dust and art spirit, thou wert ignorant and art wise;
He who has led thee thus far will lead thee further also.
How pleasant are the pains he makes thee suffer while he gently draws thee to himself!
His flames are as water. do not frown upon him.
To dwell in the soul is his task, to break vows of penitence is his task;
By his manifold artifice these atoms are trembling at their core.
O ridiculous puppet that leapest out of thy hole, as if to say: “I am the lord of the land”,
How long wilt thou leap, I abase thyself, or they will bend thee, like a bow.
Thou didst sow the seed of deceit, thou didst indulge in derision,
Thou didst regard God as nothing: see now, O miscreant!
O ass, thou wert best with straw; thou art a caldron: thou wert best black;
Thou wert best at the bottom of a well, O disgrace of thy house and family!
In me there is Another by whom these eyes sparkle;
If water scalds, 'tis by fire; understand this.
I have no stone in my hand, I have no quarrel with anyone,
I deal harshly with none, because I am sweet as a garden of roses.
Mine eye, then, is from that source and from another universe;
Here a world and there a world: I am seated on the threshold.
On the threshold are they alone whose eloquence is mute;
'Tis enough to utter this intimation: say no more, draw back thy tongue.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 36:


37 / F-2054 / Arberry # 256 / Ergin # 4/81

I have heard that thou dost intend to travel: do not so.
That thou bestowest thy love on a new friend and companion: do nut so.
Tho' in the world thou art strange, thou hast never known estrangement;
What heart-stricken wretch art thou attempting? do not so.
Steal not thyself away from me, go not to aliens;
Thou art stealthily glancing at another: do not so.
O moon for whose sake the heavens are bewildered,
Thou makest me distraught and bewildered: do not so.
Where is the pledge and where the compact thou didst make with me?
Thou departest from thy word and pledge: do not so.
Why give promises and why utter protestations,
Why make a shield of vows and blandishments? do not so.
O thou whose vestibule is above existence and nonexistence,
At this moment thou art passing from existence: do not so.
O thou whose command Hell and Paradise obey,
Thou art making Paradise like Hell-fire to me: do not so.
In thy plot of sugar-canes I am secure from poison;
Thou minglest the poison with the sugar: do not so,
My soul is like a fiery furnace, yet it sufficed thee not;
By absence thou art making my face pale as gold: do not so.
When thou withdrawest thy countenance, the moon is darkened with grief.
Thou art intending the eclipse of the moon's orb: do not so.
Our lips become dry when thou bringest a drought;
Why art thou moistening mine eye with tears? Do not so.
Since thou canst not endure the reasoning faculty of lovers,
When why dost thou dazzle the eye of reason? Do not so.
Thou art denying sweetmeats to one sick of abstinence;
Thou art making thy patient worse: do not so.
My lawless eye is a thief of thy beauty.
O Beloved, thou tak'st vengeance on my thievish sight: do not so.
Withdraw, comrade, 'tis no time for speech;
In love's bewilderment why dost thou intrude thyself? Do not so.
Except the beauty of Shamsi-Din, the pride of Tabriz,
If so be that thou throwest a glance upon (aught in) the two worlds, do not so.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 37:


38 / F-2214 / Arberry # 280 / Ergin # 20/124 / Ergin-J, p. 30 / Lewis RSS, p. 141

Happy the moment when we are seated in the palace, thou and I,
With two forms and with two figures but with one soul, thou and I.
The colours of the grove and the voice of the birds will bestow immortality
At the time when we come into the garden, thou and I.
The stars of heaven will come to gaze upon us;
We shall show them the moon itself, thou and I.
Thou and I, individuals no more, shall be mingled in ecstasy.
Joyful, and secure from foolish babble, thou and I.
All the bright-plumed birds of heaven will devour their hearts with envy
In the place where we shall laugh in such a fashion, thou and I.
This is the greatest wonder, that thou and I, sitting here in the same nook,
Are at this moment both in Iraq and Khorasan, thou and I.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 38:


39 / F-2239 / Arberry # 283 / Ergin # 4/97

I went to the Master's abode and said: "Where is the Master?"
He said: "The Master is in love and intoxicated and a wanderer from place to place".
I said: "I have an obligation, at least give me a clue;
I am the Master's friend: nay, indeed, I am no enemy".
They replied: "The Master is fallen in love with the Gardener;
Seek him in gardens or on the bank of a stream".
Frenzied lovers pursue the object of their love;
If any one has fallen in love, go, wash thy hands of him!
The fish that has known water comes not to land:
How should a lover stay in the sphere of colour and perfume?
The frozen snow that has beheld the face of yonder Sun,
Is swallowed Up by the sun, tho' it be piled in drifts.
Especially one who is the lover of our King,
A king peerless and faithful and sweet-tempered.
By that infinite alchemy, which none may compute or conjecture,
Copper, as soon as it is touched, becomes gold at the command: "Return".
Sleep the world away, and flee from the six dimensions;
How long wilt thou roam in thy folly and bewilderment to and fro?
Inevitably they will bring thee at last, with thy own consent,
That thou mayst have honour and glory in the presence of the King.
Had not there been an intruder in the company,
Jesus would have revealed to thee the mysteries, point by point.
I have closed the passage of the lips, and opened the secret way;
I am free in one moment from the desire of speech.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 39:


40 / F-2389 / Arberry # 305 / Ergin # 2/99

O my soul, who is this, stationed in the house of the heart[1]?
Who may occupy the royal seat, save the King and the Prince?
He beckoned with his hand: “Say, what do you desire of me?”
What does a drunken man desire, except sweetmeats and a cup of wine?
Sweetmeats derived from the soul, a cup of the Absolute Light,
An eternal banquet laid in the privacy of "He is the Truth"[2].
How many deceivers[3] are there at the wine-drinkers' feast!
Take heed lest thou fall, O easy simple man!
Beware! do not keep, in a circle of reprobates[4],
Thine eye shut like a bud, thy mouth open like the rose.
The world resembles a mirror[5], thy Love is the perfect image;
O people, who has ever seen a part greater than the whole?
Go on foot, like the grass[6], because in this garden
The Beloved, like the rose, is riding, all the rest are on foot.
He is both the sword and the swordsman[7], both the slain and the slayer,
He is at once all Reason and brings Reason to nought[8].
That King is Salahuddin[9] - may he endure for ever,
May his bounteous hand perpetually be a necklace on my neck[10]!

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 40:
-- T.301.6, Tabriz Edition of the "Divani Shamsi Tabriz"

[1] "in the house of the heart": alluding to the hadis:
"My earth and heaven contain Me not, but the heart of My believing servant contains me".

[2] "He is the Truth": Koran 22:6.

[3] "deceivers": imposters in the guise of spiritualists (wine drinkers). Cf. 'Masnavi 12.7:
"Look on every one's face, and keep watch;
It may be that by devotion, you will grow familiar with the scent (of Truth).
Since there are many devils with human features,
'Tis wrong to give your hand to every hand".

[4] "reprobates": drunken revelry.

[5] "The world resembles a mirror": each atom of Not-being reflects a divine attribute:
the sum of these reflected rays of Being is 'the perfect image' of God.
Cf. 'Gulshani Raz', 635:
Regard Absolute Being, as the part, which is greater than the whole.
For the whole is actual being - and this is absurd (contrary to rule).
Lahije says: "Absolute Being / wojood", by the "individualisation / tashakhos"
and "phenomenalisation / taAyon", which occur to it,
gets the name of "mojood"; for "mojood" is "wojood" plus "taAyon".
Absolute Being, again, is greater than its whole, because it contains all "mojood / existence".
(ibid., Whinfield's note).

[6] "Go on foot, like the grass": be lowly and obedient.

[7] "swordsman": same as slayer.

[8] "brings Reason to nought": Reason is annihilated in the mystical union of the woul with God.

[9] "Salahuddin": 56 of Divan's odes are dedicated to Salahuddin Zarkub, who was originally a disciple of Burhan al-Din Tirmidhi, but later joined the circle of Rumi's devotees.
In the Divan, Salahuddin plays a role similar to that of Shams: they are mirrors in which Rumi contemplates the Divine Beloved.

[10] "necklace on my neck": a permanent badge of favour.
Ghazaleh's note, based on William Chittick's description in the "Sufi Path of Love", p. 5.

Source: http://sunlightgroup.blogspot.com/2011/02/sunlight-in-this-garden-ghazal-2389.html

41 / F-2395 / Arberry # 306 / Ergin # 2/100

I saw my Beloved wandering about the house:
He had taken up a rebeck and was playing a tune.
With a touch like fire he was playing a sweet melody,
Drunken and distraught and bewitching from the night's carouse.
He was invoking the cup-bearer in the mode of Iraq.
Wine was his object, the cup-bearer was only an excuse.
The beauteous cup-bearer, pitcher in hand,
Stepped forth from a recess and placed it in the middle.
He filled the first Clip with that sparkling wine
Didst thou ever see water set on fire?
For the sake of those in love he passed it from hand to hand,
Then bowed and kissed the lintel.
My Beloved received it from him, and quaffed the wine:
Instantly o'er his face and head ran flashes of flame.
Meanwhile he was regarding his own beauty and saying to the evil eye:
“There has not been nor will be in this age another like me.
I am the Divine Sun of the world, I am the Beloved of lovers,
Soul and spirit are continually moving before me”.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 41:


42 / F-2577 / Arberry # 330 / Ergin # 3/213

Make yourself like to the community, that you may feel spiritual joy.
Enter the street of the tavern, that you may behold the wine-bibbers.
Drain the cup of passion, that you may not be shamed.
Shut the eyes in your head, that you may see the hidden eye.
Open your arms, if you desire an embrace;
Break the idol of clay, that you may behold the face of the Fair.
Why, for an old woman's sake, do you endure so large a dowry,
And how long, for the sake of three loaves. will you look on the sword and the spear?
Always at night returns the Beloved: do not eat opium tonight;
Close your mouth against food, that you may taste the sweetness of the mouth.
Lo, the cup-bearer is no tyrant, and in his assembly there is a circle:
Come into the circle, be seated; how long will you regard the revolution (of time)?
Look now, here is a bargain: give one life and receive a hundred.
Cease to behave as wolves and dogs, that you may experience the Shepherd's love.
You said: “My foe took such an one away from me”.
Go, renounce that person in order to contemplate the being of Him.
Think of nothing except the creator of thought;
Care for the soul is better than feeling care for one's bread.
Why, when God's earth is so wide, have you fallen asleep in a prison?
Avoid entangled thoughts, that you may see the explanation in Paradise.
Refrain from speaking, that you may win speech hereafter;
Abandon life and the world, that you may behold the Life of the world.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 42:


43 / F-2828 / Arberry # 362 / Ergin # 19/38

The knowledge has newly come: perchance you have no knowledge.
The envious heart is bleeding: perchance you have no heart.
The moon has revealed her face and opened her radiant wings:
Borrow a soul and eyes from some one, if you have them not.
Night and day comes a winged arrow from the hidden bow.
Yield up your sweet life; what can you do? you have no shield.
Has not the copper of your existence been changed, like Moses, to gold by his alchemy?
What matter, tho' you have no gold in a sack, like Qarun?
Within you is an Egypt, and you are its garden of sugarcanes;
What matter, tho' you have no supply of sugar from without?
You are become a slave to form, like idol-worshippers;
You resemble Joseph and yet, you gaze not on yourself.
By God, when you behold your own beauty in the mirror.
You will be the idol of yourself, you will not pass over to any one.
O Reason, art not thou unjust in calling him moon-like?
Wherefore dost thou call him moon? Perchance, thou hast no sight.
Your head is like a lamp containing six wicks:
How should all the six be alight unless you have that spark?
Your body is like a camel, which goes to the Kaaba of the soul;
You failed to go on the pilgrimage, because of your ass' nature, not because you have no ass.
If you have not gone to the Kaaba, Fortune will draw you thither.
Do not flee, O babbler, for you have no refuge from God.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 43:


44 / apocryphon, not found in Foruzanfar/Arberry/Ergin

O heart, why art thou a captive in the earth that is passing away?
Fly forth from this enclosure, since thou art a bird of the spiritual world.
Thou art a darling bosom-friend, thou art always behind the secret veil:
Why dost thou make thy dwelling-place in this perishable abode?
Regard thine own state, go forth and journey
From the prison of the Formal world to the meadow of Ideas.
Thou art a bird of the holy world, a boon-companion in the assembly of Love;
If thou wilt remain here, 'tis a pity.
Every morning a voice comes to thee from heaven:
“When thou lay'st the dust of the way, thou win'st thy way to the goal”.
On the road to the Kaaba of union, lo, in every thom-bush
Are thousands slain of desire, who manfully yielded up their lives.
Thousands sank wounded on this path, to whom there came not
A breath of the fragrance of union, a token from the neighborhood of the Friend.
In memory of the banquet of union, in yearning for his beauty
They are fallen bewildered by the wine thou knowest.
How sweet, in the hope of him, on the threshold of his abode,
For the sake of seeing his face, to bring night round to day!
Illumine thy bodily senses by the light of the soul:
The senses are the five prayers, but the heart is the seven verses.
The moon and the sun and the axis of the seven heavens are swallowed
By the Canopus of the soul, when it rises from towards the southern angle.
Look not in the world for bliss and fortune, since thou wilt not find them;
Seek bliss in both worlds by serving Him.
Put away the tale of love that travelers tell;
Do thou serve God with all thy might.
From the Sun who is the glory of Tabriz seek future bliss,
For he is a sun, possessing all kinds of knowledge, on the spiritual throne.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 44:


45 / F-3055 /Arberry # 396 / Ergin # 7/244

Come, come, for you will not find another friend like me.
Where indeed is a Beloved like me in all the world?
Come, come, and do not spend your life in wandering to and fro,
Since there is no market elsewhere for your money[1].
You are as a dry valley and I as the rain,
You are as a ruined city and I as the architect.
Except my service, which is joy's sunrise,
Man never has felt and never will feel an impression of joy[2].
You behold in dreams[3] a thousand moving shapes;
When the dream is past you do not see a single one of the kind[4].
Close the eye that sees falsely and open the intellectual eye[5],
For the senses resemble an ass, and evil desire is the halter.
Seek sweet syrup[6] in the garden of Love,
For Nature is a seller of vinegar and a crusher of unripened grapes.
Come to the hospital of your own Creator:
No sick man can dispense with that Physician[7].
The world without that King is like a headless body:
Fold yourself, turban-wise, round such a head[8].
Unless you are black[9], do not let the mirror go from your hand:
The soul is your mirror, while the body is rust.
Where is the fortunate merchant, whose destiny Jupiter controls[10],
That I may eagerly trade with him and buy his wares?
Come, and think of me who gave you the faculty of thought,
Since from my mine you may purchase an ass-load of rubies.
Come, advance towards him who gave you a foot,
Look with all your eyes on him who gave you all eye.
Clap your hands for joy of him, by whose see the hand (foam) is produced,
For his joy admits no sorrow nor aflliction.
Listen without ears, speak to him without tongue,
Since the speech of the tongue is not without offence and injury.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 45:
Ode 242.15, Lachnau Edition of the "Divani Shamsi Tabriz".

[1] "money": the pure gold of the spirit.

[2] "impression of joy": signifies the different points of the horizon, from whence the sun rises in the course of the year
(Sale's "Koran", Vol. II, p. 309, note).

[3] "in dreams": the sleep of phenomenal existence. Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.

[4] "a single one of the kind": literally, a dweller, is mostly used with a negative, and seldom occurs in Persian, except in the phrase "there is no one".

[5] "eye of the intellect": the 'intelligentiae oculus' described by Richard of St Victor
See: Vaughan's "Hours with the Mystics", Vol. 1, p. 128:
"An eye within... one that beholds at once the past, the present, and the future;
which diffuses through all things the keen brightness of its vision;
which penetrates what is hidden, investigates what is impalpable;
which needs no foreign light wherewith to see, but gazes by a light of its own, peculiar to itself.
The animal soul is driven blindly along by its ruling passion".
Cf. T. 204. 5:
"Sensual desire is a bridle, and men are as camels;
Do not suppose that there is any, bridlions are the only obstacles to union with the Divinity".

[6] "sweet syrup": probably here means 'honey'... The poet obviously contrasts honey with vinegar,
as the sweet fruits of the spirit, with the bitter gall of worldly lusts.

[7] "Physician": cf. T. 210. 12a:
"Love came to me at morn in the guise of a physician;
He laid his hand on my vein and said: 'The pulse is weak'."

[8] "Fold yourself, turbanwise, round such a head": for this word-play cf. T. 247. 2; 251. 12.
From Professor Cowell's MS. (C2)
"I quote the following beyt, because it affords another example of aghileh (shackle, tether, bond):
You are in the bonds of (absorbed in) the arrangement of beard and turban:
How will you gain Him who quaffs the mighty flagon (of love)?"

[9] "black": buried in the dark attributes of Not-being.
"Your soul, which should reflect the truth, is obscured by pride and self will"
Cf. Masnavi, 176. 9:
"The rust, coat on coat, O black kettle,
Has corrupted thy interior aspect".

[10] "Where is the fortunate merchant, whose destiny Jupiter controls": born under a happy star.
cf. Saadi, "Gulistan", p. 23, 4-th line from the foot: "How long will this mart remain busy?"

Source: http://sunlightgroup.blogspot.com/2009/08/sunlight-youll-not-find-another-friend.html

46 / F-2865 / Arberry # 369 / Ergin # 20/159

Look on the face of Love, that you may be properly a man.
Do not sit with the frigid; for you will be chilled by their breath.
Look from the face of Love something other than beauty;
It is time that you should consort with a sympathetic companion.
Since you are properly a clod, you will not rise into the air;
You will rise into the air, if you break and become dust.
If you break not, He who molded you will break you;
When death breaks you, how should you become a separate substance?
When the leaf grows yellow, the fresh root makes it green;
You are complaining of Love, thro' which you become pale.
And, O friend, if you reach perfection in our assembly,
Your seat will be the throne, you will gain your desire in all things.
But if you stay many years more in this earth,
You will pass from place to place, you will be as the dice in backgammon.
If Shamsi Tabriz draws you to his side,
When you escape from captivity, you will return to that orb.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 46:


47 / F-2820 / Arb # 361 / Ergin # 21/46

When I came to thy city, thou chosest a corner apart from me;
When I went from thy city, thou didst not look upon me to say: "Farewell".
Whether thou choosest to be kind or inclinest to rancour[1],
Thou art all the comfort of the soul, thou art all the adornment of the feast.
The cause of thy jealousy is that thou art hidden[2] or, otherwise,
While thou art revealed by every atom, thou art hidden like the sun.
If thou dwell'st in seclusion[3], art not thou the darling of the Prince?
And if thou rendest the veil, thou hast rent the veils of all.
By thee the heart of infidelity is confounded, by thy wine the head of faith is intoxicated;
Thou dost rob all of sense, thou dost draw all towards thee.
All roses are a prey to December, all heads a prey to wine:
Both these and those thou redeemest from the hand of death.
Since in the rose there is no constancy, why do you approach every rose?[4]
On thee alone is reliance: thou art the stay and support.
If a few cut their hands on account of Joseph's face[5],
Thou hast bereft of soul and reason two hundred spiritual Josephs.
Thou mouldest of foul and fair[6] the form of a man,
That he may flee two leagues from the odour of foulness.
Thou mak'st him a morsel of dust that he may become pure herbage;
He is free from filth, when thou hast breathed into him a soul[7].
Come, O heart, fare heavenward, fare to the divine pasture,
Since thou hast grazed awhile in the pasture of cattle.
Set thy whole desire on that, whereof thou hast no hope,
For thou hast come thus far from original hopelessness[8].
Be silent that the Lord, Who gave thee language may speak,
For as He fashioned a door and lock, He has also made a key[9].

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 47:
T.326.1a ("Tabriz Edition of the Divani Shamsi Tabriz")

[1] "Whether thou choosest to be kind or inclinest to rancour": to incline toward a thing. Cf. Sururi's commentary:
"Attend to (be mindful of) your rank and dignity". ("Gulistan," p. 27).

[2] "The cause of thy jealousy is that thou art hidden": Cf. "I was a hidden treasure": this famous tradition,
which innumerable Sufi poets and commentators have illustrated and embellished;
(cf. especially a beautiful passage in Jami's Yusuf u Zulaikha, p. 16):
"I was a hidden treasure and I desired to be known,
so I created the creation in order that I might be known".
Also Cf. "I am harsh in a good cause, or affair".
For the poet's view of the probationary and corrective purpose of suffering,
cf. Whinfields' "Masnavi," p. 90 seq, 114, 295.

[3] "If thou dwell'st in seclusion": cf. "Masnavi," 8. 2; Whinfield's "Masnavi," p. 7:
"When he enters the chambers of the brain,
Reason falls headlong from the roof.
When he pulls the ear of Intelligence toward him,
It cries in pain, "My ear, my ear!"
(T. 74. 12).

[4] "Since in the rose there is no constancy,
why do you approach every rose?":
Cf. Shakespeare, Sonnet 67:
"Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?"
If "you" is addressed to the reader, the change of person, though harsh, is not unexampled.
It may, however, denote the Beloved, whom the poet upbraids for having forsaken him.

[5] "If a few cut their hands on account of Joseph's face":
Cf. Koran 12:31:
"and she (Zulaikha) said (to Joseph): 'Come forth to them'.
And when they beheld him, they marveled at him and cut their hands and said:
'God forbid! This is not a man, but an exalted angel'."
By cutting their hands, the women showed that they had lost their senses and were absorbed in the Beloved.

[6] "Thou mouldest of foul and fair": of flesh and spirit, of Not-being and Real Being.

[7] "He is free from filth, when thou hast breathed into him a soul": Koran 15:29 (God said to the angels):
"When therefore I shall have completed him (Adam)
and breathed of my spirit into him, do ye fall and worship him".
"Ruh" is probably used here of the reasonable soul (Nafsi-Nategheh). See "Gulshani Raz", 318 and note, 493.

[8] "for thou hast come thus far from original hopelessness":
When man reflects of what he was created, and what, by gradual evolution, he has become,
can he doubt the ultimate reality of his deepest aspirations, wild and impracticable as they seem at present?
"From the moment you came into the world of being,
A ladder was placed before you that you might escape.
First you were mineral, later you turned to plant,
Then you became animal: how should this be a secret to you?
Afterwards you were made man, with knowledge, reason, faith;
Behold the body, which is a portion of the dust-pit, how perfect it has grown!
When you have travelled on from man, you will doubtless become an angel;
After that you are done with this earth, your station is in heaven.
Pass again even from angelhood, enter that ocean,
That your drop may become a sea, which is a hundred seas of Oman".
(Ode 12, Nicholson translation of Rumi)

Cf. Note 18, Whinfield's "Masnavi", pp. 216, 231; "Gulshani Raz", 317-338.
Here the poet would seem to have anticipated Walpole's maxim that every man has his price:
he means to say that the worth of a man is higher in proportion to the excellence of his ideal.

Cf. Echart ("Deutch Mystiker, Vol. II, P. 199):
"The words of Augustine: 'Man is what he loves', are to be understood in this way.
If he loves a stone, he is a stone; if he loves a man, he is a man; if he loves God, I dare not say more,
for if I said that, he would then be God, ye might stone me".

Freytag (Vol. III, p. 644) gives a proverb to the same effect:
"the dignity of a man depends upon the height of his aspiration".

The view of Jalaluddin himself is plainly expressed in the following verses:
"Know that your value is equal to the object for which you are quivering with desire;
On this account the lover's heart is higher than the empyrean".

Cf. The hadis quoted by Whinfield on "Gulshani Raz", 214:
"The motion of every atom is toward its origin;
A man comes to be the thing on which he is bent.
By the attraction of fondness and yearning the soul and the heart
Assume the qualities of the Beloved and the soul of souls".
(T. 184.10)

[9] "key": The key is Love.

Source: http://sunlightgroup.blogspot.com/2009/02/sunlight-if-you-rend-veil-ghazal-2820.html

48 / F-3051 /Arberry # 395 / Ergin # 7/223 / Lewis RSS, p. 147

At last thou hast departed and gone to the Unseen;
'Tis marvellous by what way thou wentest from the world.
Thou didst strongly shake thy wings and feathers, and having broken thy cage
Didst take to the air and journey towards the world of soul.
Thou wert a favourite falcon, kept in captivity by an old woman[1]:
When thou heard'st the falcon-drum[2] thou didst fly away into the Void.
Thou wert a love-lorn nightingale among owls[3]:
The scent of the rose-garden reached thee, and thou didst go to the rose-garden.
Thou didst suffer sore head-ache from this bitter ferment[4];
At last thou wentest to the tavern of Eternity[5].
Straight as an arrow thou didst make for the mark of bliss;
Thou didst speed like an arrow to that mark from this bow.
The world gave thee false clues, like a ghoul;
Thou took'st no heed of the clue, but wentest to that which is without a clue.
Since thou art now the sun, why dost thou wear a tiara?[6]
Why seek a girdle, since thou art gone from the middle?[7]
I have heard that thou art gazing with distorted eyes[8] upon thy soul.
Why dost thou gaze on thy soul[9], since thou art gone to the soul of Soul?
Oh heart, what a wondrous bird art thou, that in chase of divine rewards[10],
Thou didst fly with two wings[11] to the spear-point[12], like a shield!
The rose flees from autumn - O what a fearless rose art thou,
Who didst go loitering along in the presence of the autumn wind[13]!
Falling, like rain, from heaven upon the roof of the terrestrial world,
Thou didst run in every direction, till thou didst escape by the conduit.
Be silent[14] and free from the pain of speech[15]; do not slumber[16],
Since thou hast taken refuge with so loving a Friend.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 48:
-- 220.4 ("Lachnau Edition of the Divani Shamsi Tabriz)

[1] "Thou wert a favourite falcon": the story of the 'white falcon', whose beak and claws were cut by a 'vile old woman',
is told in the Masnavi (362, 18 seq.; Whinfield's Masnavi), p. 203.
We often meet with this comparison of the soul to a bird.

[2] "falcon-drum": is used to startle water-fowl, which, as they fly into the air, are attacked by a hawk (Bahari "Ajam").
According to a gloss on the Masnavi "when the huntsman wishes to call his bird back, he beats a drum:
the hawk, having an affection for the drum, returns speedily".
According to Kaempfer ("Amoenitates Exoticae", p. 743 seq.), the falcon-drum is carried by kings and nobles on the left side of their saddles.

[3] "love-lorn nightingale among owls": I cannot find this in the Masnavi. But cf. the tale of the Falcon and the Owls (ibid. 126. 13; Whinfield's .'Masnavi', p. 76).

[4] "Thou didst suffer sore head-ache from this bitter ferment":
the celestial Rose and Wine, unlike their counterfeits on earth, are wholly free from defect, which in Not-being.

[5] "tavern of Eternity": the tavern signifies God's presence. Cf. "Gulshani Raz", 839 seq.

[6] "Since thou art now the sun, why dost thou wear a tiara": "the sun" refers to Shamsi Tabriz.
He, who is eternally glorified by union with the source of all light, desires no earthly crown.

[7] "middle": one meaning of "the middle" is 'waist'. To be gone from the middle = e media abire (to die).

[8] "distorted eyes": obliquis oculis, enviously.

[9] "gazing . . .upon thy soul": you look back with regret on the life of your individual soul, which is now exalted above life.

[10] "in chase of divine rewards": cf. the saying, "I went forth, to seek the bounty of God".
"Shakur", as applied to God, means 'requital, recompense'. God, the Giver of rewards, is a possible reading.

[11] "with two wings": i.e. with hope and fear.

[12] "Thou didst fly . . . to the spear-point": this strange metaphor may, perhaps, allude to the sport of hunting the antelope with hawks.
The buck is seldom taken. The Arabs, are, indeed, afraid to fly their hawks at the latter, as these fine birds, in pouncing,
frequently impale themselves on its sharp horns' (Malcolm, "Sketches of Persia", p.54).

[13] "loitering along in the presence of the autumn wind": all things tremble and flee before the wind of death;
only the soul, conscious of immortality, remains unmoved and triumphant.

[14] "Be silent": Do not speak.

[15] "the pain of speech": speech is finite, silence infinite.

[16] "do not slumber": the soul, waking from the dark night of the world, enjoys eternal day in the bosom of God.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.

Source: http://sunlightgroup.blogspot.com/2009/06/sunlight-refuge-with-so-loving-friend.html

_____________________________ Appendix 1 _______________________________
49 / F-0331 / Ergin # MM/##
Section "On mystical union of the soul with God", p. 332 - 333 (titled "The Soul of the World" by Coleman Barks?):

I have circled awhile with the nine Fathers[1] in each heaven,
For years I have revolved with the stars in their signs.
I was invisible awhile, I was united with Him,
I was in the kingdom of “or nearer[2]”, I saw what I have seen.
I have my nourishment from God, like a child in the womb;
Man is born once, I have been born many times[3].
Clothed in the mantle of corporal limbs, I have busied myself often with affairs,
And often I have rent this mantle[4] with my own hands.
I have passed nights with ascetics in the monastery,
I have slept with infidels before the idols in the pagoda.
I am the theft of rogues[5], I am the pain of the sick,
I am both cloud and rain, I have remained in the meadows.
Never did the dust of annihilation settle on my skirt, O dervish!
I have gathered a wealth of roses in the meadow and garden of eternity.
I am not of water nor fire, I am not of the forward wind;
I am not moulded clay: I have mocked them all.
O son, I am not Shamsi Tabriz, I am the pure Light;
If thou seest me, beware! Tell it not to any, that thou hast seen.

Notes by Nicholson to the poem 49:
[0] The poem is from the Tebriz edition of “The Divan”, p. 257.11a.
[1] "9 Fathers":
- Nicholson Note: see "Gulshani Raz", 227 seq.
- Mehr Ali Shah Sahib Note:
Shams Tebrizi wrote:
"I am born of seven mothers and nine fathers;
I desire both of them (i.e. the mothers and the fathers) to become one,
since i am an old lover".
The 7 mothers denote 4 elements (water, air, earth. fire) and 3 stages of human evolution (minerals, plants, animals) taken together,
while the 9 fathers signifies the 9 heavens.
Together, it means that all the sciences about the higher and lower worlds are integrated in the human frame.
[2] "nearer": see poem 17, Note: "then he (Gabriel) approached (the prophet) and drew nigh, until he was at the distance of two bow-lengths, or nearer" (Koran 53:8-9).
But the Sufies interpret this passage as signifying the approach of Mohammed himself to the Divine presence.
[3] "born many times": see poem 18, Note 2: Hafis said, alluding to spiritual regeneration:
"Authority for Union with thee is given to any one,
who, under thy sword, continually receives new head, like the candle."
Cf. (T. 93.12):
"Welcome, soul-producing sun! When a single ray of thine hath appeared,
Thousands of human souls shoot forth from black (barren) clay".
No doubt, the poet had in his mind, if not before his eye, the sudden growth & blossoming of spring flowers.
This seems the most probable explanation of a rather enigmatic phrase. Other passages, however, suggest, that the meaning may be:
"Why, for the sake of one poor life, lose Him, whose love has claimed so many victims, that he can't take a step, without a severed head, starting up at His feet?"
[4] "mantle": cf. poem 1, Note [25]: the body, as a "robe", a fleshly dress.
[5] "the theft of rogues": Prof. Bevan suggested the replacement "the pangs of the jealous" - a very attractive emendation.

Source: http://www.umm-ul-qura.org/info/user_pages/page.asp?art_id=87

Part 2 (poems 25 - 49). To Part 1
: http://hojja-nusreddin.livejournal.com/2947107.html
Tags: divan, rumi, арберри, диван, льюис, николсон, руми

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