If thou art Love’s lover and seekest Love,
Take a keen poniard and cut the throat of bashfulness.
Know that reputation is a great hindrance in the path;
This saying is disinterested: receive it with pure mind.
Wherefore did that madman work madness in a thousand forms,
That chosen wild one display a thousand wiles?
Now he rent robe, and now sped o’er mountain,
Now sipped poison, and now chose death.
Since the spider seized prey so large,
Behold what the snare of My Lord the Supreme will do!
Since the love of Laila’s face had such value,
How will it be with “He took His servant by night”?
Hast thou not seen the divans of Waisa and Ramin?’
Hast thou not read the tales of Wamiq and Adra?
Thou gatherest up thy garment lest the water should wet it:
Needs must thou plunge a thousand times in the sea .
Love’s way is all lowliness and drunkenness:
For the torrent runs down: how should it run upward?
Thou wilt be as the bezel in the ring of lovers.
If thou art the bezel’s thrall , O master.
Even as this earth to the sky is thrall ,
Even as the body to the spirit is thrall.
Come, say, what did the earth lose by this connexion?
What kindnesses has not the reason done to the limbs?
It behoves not, son, to beat a drum under a quilt;
Plant, like brave men, thy banner in the midst of the desert .
Hark with the soul’s ear to the sounds innumerable
In the hollow of the green dome , rising from lovers’ passionate cry.
When the strings of thy robe are loosed by the intoxication of love,
Behold heaven’s triumph and Orion’s bewilderment!
How the world, high and low, is troubled
By love, which is purified from high and low !
When the sun goes up, where stayeth night?
When the joy of bounty came, where lagged affliction?
I am silent . Speak thou, O soul of soul of soul,
From desire of whose face every atom grew articulate.
(Shams Tabrizi was a great Sufi lived in 13. century. He was the spiritual teacher and advisor of Rumi. It is often said that Rumi was a professor who Shams transformed into a mystic, a lover, a poet.)
(Edited and Translated by R. A. Nicholson)