Best preface to the book of wretched men,
The ink that flows off from our master's pen.
None of the painters could a picture limn,
On great men's tablet wonderful, like him.
In royal garb when poverty there comes,
Through Ubeidullah's management it comes.
Mark of true poverty on whom is seen,
He lordship's tunic draws his feet between.
Of his own will be poverty who knows,
His khirkah* on his form to tunic* grows.
In his eyes is the world a simple field;
He loves the produce only it should yield.
The grain, contemptible in mortal's eyes,
Comes to his net straight down from Paradise,
And in a thousand fields the seed he sows
Will give food as to Paradise he goes.
Seed in this field he scatters far and wide,
In the next world his granaries to provide.
What's a dust handful on the road to him,
To whom a pinch of dust the world would seem?
The dust-pinch on the road* that he may see,
Whence on his skirt defilement can it be?
Be it the Kaiser or Faghfour* of Chín,
Both equally his ears of grain will glean.
Wherever upon tillage he is bent,
Just like his cattle, he is aye content.
And if his gracious favour should allow,
Heaven and earth's bulls would together plough.*
His bounteous grace the harvest-corn to tread
From Taurus down the heavenly Bull has led.
Behold the heav'n with bright stars sprinkled o'er,
As sieves of grain out of His harvest store.
Shouldst to His husbandry thou not say nay,
'Twould be as if “Great Spirit!” thou shouldst say.*
Compound or simple though the earth may be,
All is embraced within His clemency.
Grass from His bounty profit gains at length,
And tow'rds perfection reaches in His strength.
Can this that mighty spirit's value raise?
And of it aught but blame can be this praise?
Higher than thought the place for him to dwell,
Beyond the faculty of tongue to tell.
His heart a sea of Allah's mysteries:
One drop alone 'twixt full and new moon* lies.
And when tumultuously swells the sea,
How can a mere drop's motion patent be?
When an observer sits with fast-closed eye,
Both worlds forgets his heart's eye by-and-bye.
Yet sees he One, by no one who is bound,
And thus in trivial straits is never found.*
Above both and below His face is shown:
In small as well as great Him must we own.
In His existence one oneself blots out,
And looks on being two with eye of doubt.
Should in the sea a drop to nothing turn,
How can its presence one again discern?
Ah! happy those upon his dust who lie,
Heart and soul to his saddle-straps that tie!
All in his capital are prosp'rous made:—
All in his light are blotted from his shade.
Oh! from the world may not his shade take flight;—
Of him deprived day's eye is void of light.
The years of angel-natured nobles free,
May they than heaven's circlings longer be.
Those of his sons especially of name,*
Who of his virtues great enjoy the fame,
In this begilded and rust-coloured sphere,
Their grace and generosity appear!
May this world be the mirror of their aim,
Their feet in this light win a martyr's fame!