What means the mystic by those expressions of his*
What does he indicate by “eye” and “lip?”
What seeks he by “cheek,” “curl,” “down,” and “mole?”
He, to wit, who is in “stations” and “states?”*


Whatsoever is seen in this visible world,
Is as a reflection from the sun of that world.
720 The world is as curl, down, mole and brow,
For everything in its own place is beautiful.
The epiphany is now in beauty, now in majesty,*
Cheek and curl are the similitudes of those verities.
The attributes of “The Truth” are mercy and vengeance,
Cheek and curl of fair ones are types of these two.
When these words are heard by the sensual ear,
At first they denote objects of sense.
The spiritual world is infinite,
How can finite words attain to it?*
725 How can the mysteries beheld in ecstatic vision
Be interpreted by spoken words?
When mystics treat of these mysteries,
They interpret them by types.
For objects of sense are as shadows of that world,*
And this world is as an infant, and that as the nurse,
I believe that these words were at first assigned
To those mysteries in their original usage.
They were afterwards assigned to objects of sense by usage of the vulgar
(For what know the vulgar of these mysteries?)
730 And when reason turned its glance on the world,
It transferred some words from that place.*
The wise man has regard to analogy,
When he turns his mind to words and mysteries.
Although perfect analogies are unattainable,
Nevertheless continue steadfast in seeking them.
In this matter none can judge you,
For there is no leader of the sect here save “The Truth.”*
Yet so long as you retain yourself, Beware! Beware!
And observe the expressions used in the law.
735 The license of mystics is in three “states,”*
Annihilation, intoxication, and the fever of love.
All who experience these three “states”
Know the use of these words and their meanings.
But if you experience not these “states”
Be not an ignorant infidel blindly repeating them.*
These mystic “states” are not mere illusions,
All men reach not the mysteries of the mystic path.
O friend, vain babbling proceeds not from men of truth,
To know these states requires either revelation or faith.*
740 I have explained the usage of words and their meanings
To you in brief, and if you attend you will understand.
In applying them look to their final intent,
And regard all the attributes of each.
Use them in comparisons in manner proper thereto,
Carefully abstain from applying them otherwise.
Now that this rule is well established,
I will show you more of these types.


See what proceeds from the eye and the lip,
Consider their attributes in this place.*
745 From His eye proceed languishing and intoxication,
From His ruby lip* the essence of being.*
Because of His eye all hearts are burning,
His ruby lip is healing to the sick heart.
Because of His eye hearts are drunken and aching,
By His ruby lip all souls are clothed.*
Though the world is not regarded by His eye,
His lip ever and anon shows compassion.
Sometimes with humanity He charms our hearts,
Sometimes He grants help to the helpless.
750 By smiles He gives life to man's water and clay,
By a breath He kindles the heaven into a flame.*
Every glance of His eye is a snare baited with corn,
Every corner thereof is a wine shop.
With a frown He lays waste the creature world,
With one kiss He restores it again every moment.
Because of His eye our blood is ever boiling,
Because of His lip our souls are ever beside themselves.
By a frown of His eye He plunders the heart,
By a smile on His lips He cheers the soul.
755 When you ask of His eye and lip an embrace,*
One says “nay,” and the other “yea.”
By a frown He finishes the affair of the world,
By a kiss He ever and anon revives the soul.
One frown from Him and we yield up our lives,
One kiss from Him and we rise again.
As the “twinkling of an eye* comes the last day,
By a breath the spirit of Adam was created.
When the world reflects on His eye and His lip,
It gives itself up to the worship of wine.*
760 All existence is not regarded by His eyes,
They regard it only as the illusion of a dream.
Man's existence is but intoxication or a sleep,
What relation does the dust bear to the Lord of Lords?
Reason draws a hundred perplexities from this
That He said “thou mightest be formed after mine eye.”*


The story of the curl of The Beloved is very long,
What is it meet to tell of this seeing it is a mystery?
Ask not of me the story of that knotted curl,
It is a chain leading mad lovers captive.
765 Last night I spoke straightforwardly of that stately form,*
But the tip of the curl replied, “Conceal it.”
Thence crookedness prevailed over straightness,
And the enquirer's path was twisted awry.
By that curl all hearts are enchained,*
By that curl all souls are borne to and fro.
A hundred thousand hearts are bound on every side,
No heart escapes from the yoke thereof.
If He shakes aside those black curls of His
No single infidel is left in the world.
770 If He leaves them continually in their place,
There remains not in the world one faithful soul.
That spider's web of His is spread as a net to ensnare,
In wantonness He puts it aside from off His face.*
If His curls were shorn, what harm were it?
If night were destroyed, would not day be increased?
As He plunders the caravan of reason,
With His own hands He binds it with knots.*
That curl is never at rest for a moment,
Now it brings morning and now evening.
775 With His face and His curl He makes day and night,
Sporting with them in marvellous fashion.*
The clay of Adam became leavened at the moment
When it caught the perfume of that amber scented curl.*
My heart holds of that curl an ensample,*
So that it too cannot rest for a moment.
Therefore every moment must I begin my work afresh,*
And pluck my heart out of my bosom.
Therefore is my heart troubled by that curl,
Because it veils my burning heart from His face.


780 The cheek in this place is the theatre of Divine beauty,
And the down signifies the vestibule of Almightiness.
His cheek scores a line through beauty,
Saying “without me is no comeliness of face.”*
The down is a verdant growth in the spirit world
Therefore is it named the “mansion of life.”*
With the blackness of His curl turn day into night,
In His down seek the well-spring of life.
Like Khizr the prophet in a “hidden place*
Like His down, quaff the water of life.*
785 If you see His face and His down, of a surety
You will know plurality and unity every whit.*
From the curl you learn the affair of this world,
In the down you read at large the “the hidden secret.”
If one sees the down on His face,
Yet my heart sees His face in that down.*
His cheek is as the “seven verses,”*
Every letter whereof is an ocean of mysteries.
Hidden beneath each hair on that cheek
Are a thousand oceans of mysteries from the unseen world.
790 See the heart is the “throne of God on the water,”*
The down on the cheek is the adornment of souls.


On that cheek the point of His mole is single,
It is a centre which is the basis of the circling circumference.
From that centre is drawn the circle of the two worlds,
From that centre Adam's heart and soul.
Because of that mole the heart is bleeding sore,
For it is a reflection of the point of the black mole,*
Like His mole the state of the heart is black blood,
For there is no way of escape from that station.
795 Plurality finds not entrance into Unity,
There are no two points in the root of Unity.*
I know not if His mole is the reflection of my heart,
Or my heart the reflection of the mole on that fair face.
If my heart springs from the reflection of His mole,
Or if the reflection of my heart is seen in that place.*
If my heart is in His face, or that mole in my heart,
This dark secret is hidden from me.
If this heart of mine be the reflection of that mole,
Why are its states so various?*
800 Sometimes it is sick like His intoxicating eye,
Sometimes fluttering like His curl.
Sometimes gleaming as a moon like that face,
Sometimes dark like that black mole.
Sometimes it is a mosque, sometimes a synagogue,
Sometimes a hell, sometimes a heaven.
Sometimes exalted above the seventh heaven,
Sometimes sunken below ‘this mound’ of earth.
After devotion and asceticism it becomes again
Addicted to wine, lamp and beauty.