In that lone place in which no life had been revealed,
The world in non-existence' corner lay concealed,
Of no pair to itself this being thought,
Nor “we” and “thou” into its speech had brought.
Beauty that needed no exhibitor to show,
And manifested to itself by its own glow.
Of unseen bridal chamber beauty she,
Her skirt of sin from all suspicion free.
Never might mirror back reflect her face,
Nor the comb's hand her locks in order place.
The zephyr of her hair ne'er broke a thread,
Nor Surma dust around her eye was spread.
The spikenard* with her Rose might never blend,
Nor beauty to that rose her verdure lend.
Her face of down and ev'ry mole was free,
Nor could the eye her ev'n in fancy see.
But from herself she heard a charmer's voice,
And for herself she threw a lover's dice.*
And yet, wherever loveliness holds sway,
A beauty with a veil will not away,
For to a beauty modesty's a bore;
She's at the window if you close the door.
Behold the tulip in the time of spring,
How sweetly in the hills 'tis blossoming;
Beneath the rock it splits its flow'r in twain,
And in this wise it makes its beauty plain.
Should now this secret penetrate thy mind
(Such thread of mysteries you rarely find),
Thou canst not ever drive away the thought:
In speech or writing 'twill be forward brought.
Wherever beauty is 'twill this demand:
Beauty on this took from of old its stand.
It pitched its tent the holy realm outside,
Displaying to all souls and spheres its pride.
In ev'ry mirror* it displayed its face;
It conversation held in every place.
On king and angel there flashed out its flame,*
Angels as whirling spheres perplexed became.
All heav'nly things that in the pure rejoice
Incontinently raised their holy voice,
And by the divers* in the sea of heav'n
Shouts of “Praise to the Angels' Lord”* were giv'n.
Of atoms of the earth were mirrors made;
On each reflected was their faces' shade.
A ray of light fell thence upon the rose,
And in the nightingale's heart tumult rose.
Itself the candle with that fire illumed;
In each abode a hundred moths consumed—*
When with its light the sun in splendour blazed,
Out of the flood its head the lotus raised—
When Leila with its face adorned her cheek,
Must Majnoon for her hair in phrensy seek—
With sugared smile when Shirin's lips would part,
It ravished Farhad's life, Parviz's heart.
Beauty displays itself in every place,
Though it be veiled from earthly lover's face.*
When Canaan's moon raised from its breast its head,
Out of Zuleikha's soul her senses fled—*
It holds each hiding veil that thou mayst see:
What renders captive hearts is its decree.
In love for her alone the heart can live,
Strength to the soul her love alone can give.
The heart with longing to the fair that turns,
Knowing or not, for her with passion burns.
Beware! make no mistake or e'er aver:
“Love lies with us, and goodness rests with her.”
Mirror art thou: what decks the glass is she:
Whilst thou art hid, she ever clear will be.
As thou art good and art approved in love,
In thee appears what first in her did move.
If thou look well, the mirror's self is she,
Not treasure only, but the treasury.
For me and thee, our business here is naught;
We can have nothing here but futile thought.
Be still! The tale will not continue long,
And no interpreter requires her tongue.
'Twere better we in love should still remain:
Without this converse we are all in vain.