OH Thou, whose Spirit through this universe,
In which Thou dost involve thyself dif­fused,
Shall so perchance irradiate human clay
That men, suddenly dazzled, lose themselves
In ecstasy before a mortal shrine
Whose Light is but a Shade of the Divine;
Not till thy Secret Beauty through the cheek
Of LAILA smite doth she inflame MAJNÚN;

* Well-known types of Eastern Lovers. SHÍRÍN and her Suitors figure in Sect. XX.

And not till Thou have kindled SHÍRÍN's Eyes
The hearts of those two Rivals swell with blood.
For Loved and Lover are not but by Thee,
Nor Beauty;—mortal Beauty but the veil
Thy Heavenly hides behind, and from itself
Feeds, and our hearts yearn after as a Bride
That glances past us veil'd—but ever so
That none the veil from what it hides may know.
How long wilt thou continue thus the World
To cozen

* The Persian Mystics also represent the Deity dicing with Human Destiny behind the Curtain.

with the fantom of a veil
From which thou only peepest? I would be
Thy Lover, and thine only—I, mine eyes
Seal'd in the light of Thee to all but Thee,
Yea, in the revelation of Thyself
Lost to Myself, and all that Self is not
Within the Double world that is but One.
Thou lurkest under all the forms of Thought,
Under the form of all Created things;
Look where I may, still nothing I discern
But Thee throughout this Universe, wherein
Thyself Thou dost reflect, and through those eyes
Of him whom MAN thou madest, scrutinize.
No entrance finds—no word of THIS and THAT;
Do Thou my separate and derivéd Self
Make one with thy Essential! Leave me room
On that Diván which leaves no room for Twain;
Lest, like the simple Arab in the tale,
I grow perplext, oh God! 'twixt “ME” and “THEE;”
If I—this Spirit that inspires me whence?
If THOU—then what this sensual Impotence?

From the solitary Desert
Up to Baghdád came a simple
Arab; there amid the rout
Grew bewildered of the countless
People, hither, thither, running,
Coming, going, meeting, parting,
Clamour, clatter, and confusion,
All about him and about.
Travel-wearied, hubbub-dizzy,
Would the simple Arab fain
Get to sleep—“But then, on waking,
How,quoth he,amid so many
Waking know Myself again?
So, to make the matter certain,
Strung a gourd about his ankle,
And, into a corner creeping,
Baghdád and Himself and People
Soon were blotted from his brain.
But one that heard him and divined
His purpose, slily crept behind;
From the Sleeper's ankle clipping,
Round his own the pumpkin tied,
And laid him down to sleep beside.
By and by the Arab waking
Looks directly for his Signal
Sees it on another's Ankle
Cries aloud,Oh Good-for-nothing
Rascal to perplex me so!
That by you I am bewilder'd,
Whether I be I or no!
If I—the Pumpkin why on YOU?
If YOU—then Where am I, and WHO?”

AND yet, how long, O Jámí, stringing Verse,
Pearl after pearl, on that old Harp of thine?
Year after year attuning some new Song,
The breath of some old Story?

* “Yúsuf and Zulaikhá,” “Laila and Majnún,” etc.

Life is gone,
And that last song is not the last; my Soul
Is spent—and still a Story to be told!
And I, whose back is crooked as the Harp
I still keep tuning through the Night till Day!
That harp untuned by Time—the harper's hand
Shaking with Age—how shall the harper's hand
Repair its cunning, and the sweet old harp
Be modulated as of old? Methinks
'Twere time to break and cast it in the fire;
The vain old harp, that, breathing from its strings
No music more to charm the ears of men,
May, from its scented ashes, as it burns,
Breathe resignation to the Harper's soul,
Now that his body looks to dissolution.
My teeth fall out—my two eyes see no more
Till by Feringhí glasses turn'd to four;

* First notice of Spectacles in Oriental Poetry, perhaps.

Pain sits with me sitting behind my knees,
From which I hardly rise unhelpt of hand;
I bow down to my root, and like a Child
Yearn, as is likely, to my Mother Earth,
Upon whose bosom I shall cease to weep,
And on my Mother's bosom fall asleep.

The same Figure is found in Chaucer's “Pardoner's Tale,” and, I think, in other western poems of that era.

The House in ruin, and its music heard
No more within, nor at the door of speech,
Better in silence and oblivion
To fold me head and foot, remembering
What THE VOICE whisper'd in the Master's

* Mohammed Saaduddín Káshgharí, spoken of in Notice of Jámí's life, p. 33.

“No longer think of Rhyme, but think of ME!”—
Of WHOM?—Of HIM whose Palace the SOUL is,
And Treasure-house—who notices and knows
Its income and out-going, and then comes
To fill it when the Stranger is departed.
Yea; but whose Shadow being Earthly Kings,
Their Attributes, their Wrath and Favour, His,—
Lo! in the meditation of His glory,

YAKÚB BEG: to whose protection Jámí owed a Song of gratitude.

whose subject upon Earth I am,
As he of Heaven's, comes on me unaware,
And suddenly arrests me for his due.
Therefore for one last travel, and as brief
As may become the feeble breath of Age,
My weary pen once more drinks of the well,
Whence, of the Mortal writing, I may read
Anticipation of the Invisible.

One who travell'd in the Desert
Saw MAJNÚN where he was sitting
All alone like a Magician
Tracing Letters in the Sand.
Oh distracted Lover! writing
What the Sword-wind of the Desert
Undeciphers so that no one
After you shall understand.
MAJNÚN answer'd—“I am writing
Only for myself, and only
“‘LAILA,’—if for ever ‘LAILA’
Writing in that Word a Volume,
Over which for ever poring,
From her very Name I sip
In Fancy, till I drink, her Lip.