If I am hand-clapping, I belong not to the clappers; I am
neither of this nor of that, I am of that mighty city.
I am not for fluting and gambling, I am not for wine and
liquor, I am neither leaven nor crop-sickness, I am neither like this
nor like that.
If I am drunk and dissolute, I am not drunk with wine like
you; I am not of earth nor of water, I am not of the people of
The mind of the son of Adam – what knowledge has it of this
utterance? For I am hidden by two hundred veils from the world
Hear not these words as from me, nor from this clear thought,
for I neither receive nor seize this outward and inward.
Though your face is beautiful, the cage of your soul is of
wood; run away from me or you will burn, for my tongue is a
I am not of scent nor colour, I am not of fame nor shame;
beware of my poplar arrow, for God is my bow.
I seize not raw wine, nor borrow from anyone, I seize neither
breath nor snare, O my youthful fortune.
I am as the rosebower of paradise, I am the joy-garden of the
world, for my spirit is flowing through the spirits of all men.
The sugarbed of your phantom brings rose-sugar to me; in the
garden of realities I scatter the rose of a hundred petals.
When I enter the rose-showering garden of union with you,
make me sit down, for I am a target for your brand.
Love, what a mate you are, how strange, how marvellous!
When you seized my mouth, my expression went inwards.
When my soul reaches Tabriz, to come to Shams al-Haqq u
Din, I will bring to an end all the secrets of speech.
— Translation by A. J. Arberry
“Mystical Poems of Rumi 1”
The University of Chicago Press, 1968