WHY should I argue that on Sinai
Celestial radiance glows?
I cannot reason; though the world deny,
My heart enlightened knows.
My heart is hot within me, yea, has burst
In flames of love the while
So fierce that like a drop to slake my thirst
Were all the floods of Nile.
So deep in sin am I—I cannot wend
Where holy pilgrims fare
To Mecca, even if Abraham, God’s friend,
Should come to lead me there.
I tire of wisdom’s kingdom which is mine,
I tire of reason’s sway:
Passion of love, O carry me to thine,
A hundred miles away.
Lo, when I come unto the water’s side
The obedient waves retire,
My flaming heart exultantly shall guide
Like Moses’ torch of fire.
Though evil days are mine, of joy bereft,
With pain that never ends,
Fate, do with me your worst, there still is left
The Friend beyond all friends.
Tell me, O Makhfi, is it I who sin?
Is this my sin I bear?
Is it the body’s or the soul’s within
That lived and sinned elsewhere?