HOW uselessly and long I struggled hard
With thee, mine Enemy, nor from the fight
Aught have I won; my trait’rous heart I guard,
And turn away for ever from thy sight.
What wonder if the fire within me rise
Into a flame outleaping fierce and swift,
And that the heavy vapour of my sighs
Unto the darkened eyes of Heaven should drift!
Think not, though at the feast no more I sit,
That I have done with joy: there still remains
The dream that once was mine—I cherish it,
Like wine its memory courses in my veins.
What though within this valley of Despair
From sorrow I can never find surcease,
May I be given, in answer to my prayer,
One day at least of rest, one night of peace!
So sad my fate that, though I long and toil
Until my forces flag and faint and tire,
I cannot burnish off the stains that soil,
The rust that dims my mirror of desire.
Though poor I am indeed, yet weak am I
And cannot dare with my irresolute will
The purse that holds my treasure to untie,
Its golden harvest in my lap to spill.
And yet, O Makhfi, if with eyes made clear,
Freed from the world’s illusion, thou shalt see,
Lo, the faquir’s torn garments shall appear
More regal than the robes of majesty.