O GIVE me, friends, your care,
Lest in my madness loudly I proclaim
The secrets of the Lord, that all may know.
Like wax I melt within Love’s eager flame,
But in my breast a heart of stone I bear,
Mocking its glow.
Down unto death I went,
The Heavens upon me showered their cruel blows.
Pity me, O ye Chosen Ones of God!
O Enemy, when shall I gain repose,
How long shall I groan under chastisement,
Wince ’neath the rod?
How darkened is my fame!
Extravagantly have I spent my store,
And empty-handed in the market stand;
A dervish am I, and can give no more,
No emperor, with glory round my name
And lavish hand.
Foundered my boat of life;
Vainly upon the ocean of despair
I ventured out, seeking the tranquil shore
And the Beloved. No farther can I dare—
I bow to Fate, I turn me from the strife,
I scheme no more.
The time of spring is past,
The rose-leaves in the garden drift apart,
Among the trees the bulbul sings no more.
How long, O madness, shalt thou hold my heart?
How long, O exaltation, shalt thou last
Now spring is o’er?
How uselessly is spent
And cast away the treasure of my life,
In bitter separation from my Friend!
Surely, O cruel Heavens, might now my strife
My grief, my pain, my weary discontent,
Attain the end!
O King, O Teacher, see—
E’en in the tale of Alexander’s fate,
Most fortunate of mortals, thou canst read
Of Dara, broken and disconsolate;
Yea, sorrowful his shadowed history
Appears indeed.
Upon the feasting day
Friends joyfully in the assembly meet,
But Makhfi in the lane of sorrow goes
Slowly and loth, with melancholy feet,
No rest, no ease, no peace upon the way,
The faquir knows.