Sunday, 11 November 2012

I am a vat, and Thou art the wine fermenting Rumi

Oh enemy of my intellect! Oh remedy of my ignorance! 
I am a vat, and Thou art the wine fermenting within. 

Thou art the First and the Last, 
Thou art the Outward and within the head , 
Thou art sultan and shah, chamberlain and guard. 

Thou art sweet natured and ill natured, heart-burning
and heart-soothing, moon-faced Joseph and an obstacle, a veil.

Thou art exceedingly fresh and verdant,
very comely and fine

Thou art in my mind like the intellect
and upon my ear like a ring.

Thou art far away and self, before and more,
ill-thinking friend, venom and elixir.

Oh Ambusher of the selfless, oh Treasurer of the dervishes!
Oh Lord, how joyful are the fakirs when Thou are in their embrace!

On the day I am sober, I am full of drunken brawling
but when I am drunk, what patience and silence !

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode) 2602
Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983

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