HERE is the path of love—how dark and long
Its winding ways, with many snares beset!
Yet crowds of eager pilgrims onward throng
And fall like doves into the fowler’s net.
Now tell me what the grain that drew the dove?
The mole it was upon a cheek so fair.
Tell me of what was wove the net of love?
The wandering curls of the Belovèd’s hair.
The festival of love is holden here,
The goblet passes; drink thou of this wine,
Yea, drain it to the lees, and never fear
Intoxication that is all divine.
How easy ’tis to sigh and to complain!
All the world weeps to give its woe relief;
But proudly in thy heart conceal thy pain,
And silent drink the poison of thy grief.
Here is the source of light, the heavenly fount,
Here is the vision of eternal grace;
Brighter than Moses thou, when from the Mount
He came, God’s radiance shining in his face.
The wine at night unto the morning lends
Its exaltation, morning to the night
Its dream bequeaths in turn: so never ends
The sequence of the happy soul’s delight.
But, Makhfi, tell me where the feast is made?
Where are the merry-makers? Lo, apart,
Here in my soul the feast of God is laid,
Within the hidden chambers of my heart.