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(1207 - 1273 / Persia)

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The time has come for us to become madmen in your chain

The time has come for us to become madmen in your chain, to
burst our bonds and become estranged from all;
To yield up our souls, no more to bear the disgrace of such a
soul, to set fire to our house, and run like fire to the tavern.
Until we ferment, we shall not escape from this vat of the
world- how then shall we become intimate with the lip of that
flagon and bowl?
Listen to the words from a madman: do not suppose that we
become true men until we die.
It is necessary that we should become more inverted than the
tip of a comb in the top of the twisted tress of felicity;
Spread our wings and pinions like a tree in the orchard, if like
a seed we are to be scattered on this road of annihilation.
Though we are of stone, we shall become like wax for you
seal; though we be candles, we shall become a moth in the track
of your light.
Though we are kings, we shall travel straight as rocks for your
sake, that we may become blessed through your queen on this
chessboard.
In the face of the mirror of love we must not breathe a word of
ourselves; we must become intimate with your treasure when
we are changed to waste.
Like the tale of the heart we must be without bread or ending,
that we may become dwellers in the heart of lovers like a tale.
If he acts like the seeker, we shall attain to being sought; if he acts
the key, we shall become all the wards of the lock.
If Mostafa does not make his way and couch in our hearts, it is
meet that we should lament and become like the Wailing
Column.
No, be silent; for one must observe silence towards the watch-
man when we go towards the pavilion by night.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004


Read poems about / on: travel, mirror, fire, silence, house, tree, time, heart, light, world, night, running, change

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Comments about this poem (Book1 Prologue by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi )

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  • Sidra Sajid (10/28/2008 10:13:00 PM)

    I wish the true beauty of his poems could be expressed likewise! The essence of spiritual ecstasy is lost on me in these translated versions.

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