the location of the spirit in my body
Now listen to this reed-flute's deep lament
About the heartache being apart has meant:
"Since from the reed-bed they uprooted me
My song's expressed each human's agony,
A breast which seperation's split in two
Is what I seek, to share this pain with you:
When kept from their true origin, all yearn
For union on the day they can return.
Amongst the crowd, alone I mourn my fate,
With good and bad I've learnt to integrate,
That we were friends each one was satisfied
But none sought out my secrets from inside;
My deepest secret's in this song I wail
But eyes and ears can't penetrate the veil:
Body and soul are joined to form one whole
But no one is allowed to see the soul."
It's fire not just hot air the reed-flute's cry,
If you don't have this fire then you should die!
Love's fire is what makes every reed-flute pine,
Love's fervour thus lends potency to wine;
The reed consoles those forced to be apart,
Its notes will lift the veil upon your heart,
Where's antidote or poison like its song,
Or confidant, or one who's pined so long?
This reed relates a tortuous path ahead,
Recalls the love with which Majnun's heart bled:
The few who hear the truths the reed has sung
Have lost their wits so they can speak this tongue.
The day is wasted if it's spent in grief,
Consumed with burning aches without relief -
Good times have long passed, but we couldn't care
When you're with us, our friend beyond compare!
While ordinary men on drops can thrive
A fish need oceans daily to survive:
The way the ripe must feel the raw can't tell,
My speech must be concise, and so farewell!
Unchain yourself, my friend, escape its hold!
How long will you remain a slave of gold?
You've tried to fit inside a jug the sea -
It only has a day's capacity:
A greedy eye is never satisfied,
Shells only when content grow pearls inside,
While men whose clothes are ripped to shreds by love
Are cleansed of greed like this to rise above.
Be joyful, love, our sweetest bliss is you,
Physician for all kinds of ailments too,
The cure for our conceit and stubborn pride
Like Plato here with Galen, side by side;
Through love the earthly form soars heavenward,
The mountain dances nimbly like a bird:
Love made Mount Sinai drunken visibly,
So Moses fell and swooned immediately!
With my own confidant if I'd been paired,
Just like the reed, such stories I'd have shared;
Without a kindred spirit there to hear
The storyteller's voice must disappear,
And if the rose should vanish from its sight
The nightingale will keep it's beak shut tight -
The loved one's all, the lover's just a screen,
A dead thing, while the loved one lives, unseen.
When shunned by love you're left with emptiness,
A bird without its wings knows such distress:
"How can my mind stay calm this lonely night
When I can't find here my beloved's light?"
Love want its tale revealed to everyone,
But your heart's mirror won't reflect this sun,
Don't you know why we can't perceive it here?
Your mirror's face is rusty - scrape it clear!
- the song of the reed, Rumi