DESOLATE one, O when
Shalt thou the shining garden see again?
Keep thou within thee, holy and apart,
The garden of thy heart;
As the long-prisoned bird,
Forgetting that it ever flew, and heard
Songs of the wild, and pinions wide unfurled,
Makes of the cage its world.
No fear indeed thou hast,
O heart within the net of love held fast,
Of separation’s bitter agony—
Thy love is one with thee.
Sadly we wait and tire,
And sight of the Belovèd Face desire
In vain, till in our hearts the hope is born
Of Resurrection morn.
O heart, thine be no less
Than the ascetic Brahman’s faithfulness,
The knotted veins his wasted body bears
As sacred thread he wears.
What is a lover’s fate?
What shall befall to him unfortunate?
The world shall cry, to please its idle whim,
“Crucify him!”
Why dost thou then complain
That on thy feet there drags this heavy chain?
Nay, it befits thee well such weights to wear;
Much hast thou learned to bear.
As, far upon the hills,
Despairing Ferhad, weary of life’s ills,
Welcomed kind Death, and wept, so for relief
Weep thou and salve thy grief!
And see the thorny waste
Whereon thy bruisèd feet their pathway traced,
This wilderness, touched by thy blood that flows,
Blooms fragrant as the rose.
O Love, shall I repine
The noose of death around my neck to twine
At thy behest? Nay, if thy glory gain,
Proud am I in my pain.
O Makhfi, if thy fate
Be that, without the garden, desolate
Thou dwell—reck not of it; life is a dream,
And we, that seem
To live and move and love, no more at all
Than shadows on a wall.