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Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

(1207 - 1273 / Persia)

Last night my soul cried O exalted sphere of Heaven


Last night my soul cried, “O exalted sphere of Heaven, you hang indeed inverted, with flames in your belly.
“Without sin and crime, eternally revolving upon your body in its complaining is the indigo of mourning;
“Now happy, now unhappy, like Abraham in the fire; at once king and beggar like Ebrahim-e Adham.
“In your form you are terrifying, yet your state is full of anguish: you turn round like a millstone and writhe like a snake.”
Heaven the blessed replied, “How should I not fear that one who makes the Paradise of the world as Hell?
“In his hand earth is as wax, he makes it Zangi and Rumi , he makes it falcon and owl, he makes it sugar and poison.
“He is hidden, friend, and has set us forth thus patent so that he may become concealed.
“How should the ocean of the world be concealed under straws? The straws have been set adancing, the waves tumbling up and down’
“Your body is like the land floating on the waters of the soul; your soul is veiled in the body alike in wedding feast or sorrow.
“In the veil you are a new bride, hot-tempered and obstinate; he is railing sweetly at the good and the bad of the world.
“Through him the earth is a green meadow, the heavens are unresting; on every side through him a fortunate one pardoned and preserved.
“Reason a seeker of certainty through him, patience a seeker of help through him, love seeing the unseen through him, earth taking the form of Adam through him.
“Air seeking and searching, water hand-washing, we Messiah-like speaking, earth Mary-like silent.
“Behold the sea with its billows circling round the earthy ship; behold Kaabas and Meccas at the bottom of this well of Zamzam!”
The king says, “Be silent, do not cast yourself into the well, for you do not know how to make a bucket and a rope out of my withered stumps.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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