Love for you took away my rosary and gave verses and songs; I
cried “No strength (save with God)” and repented oft, but my
heart did not heed.
At Love’s hand I became a singer of odes, hand-clapping; love
for you consumed reputation and shame and all that I possessed.
Once I was chaste and self-denying and firm-footed as a
mountain; what mountain is there that your wind did not carry away
If I am a mountain, yet I hold the echo of your voice; and if I
am chaff, in your fire I am reduced to smoke.
When I saw your being, I became nonexistent out of shame;
out of the love of this nonexistence the world of soul came into
Wherever nonexistence comes, existence diminishes ˆ brave
nonexistence, from which, when it came, existence augmented!
Heaven is blue, earth like a blind squatter on the road; he who
beholds your moon escapes from blind-and-blue.
The likeness of the soul of a great saint, hidden in the body
of the world is the likeness of Ahmad the Messenger amidst the
Guebres and Jews.
To praise you in reality is to praise oneself, for he who praises
the sun thereby praises his own eyes.
Your praise is as the sea, our tongue is a ship; the soul voyages
on the sea, and its end is praiseworthy.
The tender care of the sea is for me like wakeful fortune; why
should I grieve, if my eye is stained with sleep?
— Translation by A. J. Arberry
“Mystical Poems of Rumi 1”
The University of Chicago Press, 1968