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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz - Edited and Translated by R. A. Nicholson


I was on that day when the Names were not,
Nor any sign of existence endowed with name.
By me Names and Named were brought to view
On the day when there were not 'I' and 'We.'
For a sign, the tip of the Beloved's curl became a centre of revelation ;
As yet the tip of that fair curl was not.
Cross and Christians, from end to end,
I surveyed; He was not on the Cross.
I went to the idol-temple, to the ancient pagoda ;
No trace was visible there.
I went to the mountains of Herat and Candahar .
I looked; He was not in that hill-and-dale.
With set purpose I fared to the summit of Mount Qaf ;
In that place was only the 'Anqa's habitation.
I bent the reins of search to the Ka'ba ;
He was not in that resort of old and young.
I questioned Ibn Sina of his state ;
He was not in Ibn Sina's range.
I fared towards the scene of "two bow-lengths' distance";
He was not in that exalted court.
I gazed into my own heart ;
There I saw Him; He was nowhere else.
Save pure-souled Shamsi Tabriz
None ever was drunken and intoxicated and distraught.

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