HOW hard to read, O Soul,
The riddle of life here and life beyond!
As hard as in the pearl to pierce a hole
Without the needle-point of diamond.
Chide not that ’mongst the flowers
The bulbul doth ecstatically sing;
His passion, yea and his delight, are ours,
Along the garden paths meandering.
We, by our pain made brave,
Seek not despair nor hope; neither outlast
Their little day. We take but what Fate gave,
Not as Zuleikha, brooding o’er the past.
O careless ones, in vain
The treasure of your life has passed away,
Heedless that nothing of your years remain,
You talk like children of another day.
How vain the tears you weep!
Your sorrow fruitless, your remorse too late;
The threshold with your lashes wherefore sweep,
When, Makhfi, see, the shrine is desolate?