[440] 36

I WAITED at the gate of hope

And found no respite for my pain,

And, Majnūn-like, I turned again

Through the dark wilderness to grope.

With tearless eyes and bursting heart

I dragged my weary feet to where

Jaihun deploys his waters fair,

Only with thirst unslaked to part.

Erewhile I sought with painful art

To unravel life’s entangled skein,

But all my labour was in vain,

For, lo, the knots were in my heart.

Like Farhad, when my cries of woe

Fell without response, I was fain

To gather up my load of pain

And forth with broken heart to go.

Humayun-like I left my state,

Dogged ever by relentless foes,

And never a happy omen rose

Over the cloud-rack of my fate.

So that I wonder with what aim

The powers that govern death and birth

Sent me to tread this weary earth

Just to return from whence I came.

Yet, Makhfi, in this hall to-night

Stay, where thy lamp with others burns,

Till all the lamps, when day returns,

Fade in the overflow of light.

NOTE.—Makhfi, balked in her search for truth, turns away from the orthodox teaching as barren and unsatisfying.