|Ah my friend, |
what have you brought me ?
a traveler should not arrive empty handed
at the door of a friend like me.
That's going to the grinding stone
without your wheat.
He will ask at the Resurrection,
'Did you bring Me a present? Did you forget?
Did you think you wouldn't see Me?'
Beloved kept teasing,
"Lets have it. I want my gift!"
The Friend began,
"You can't imagine how
I've looked for something for you.
Nothing seemed appropriate.
You don't take gold down into a goldmine, or a
drop of water to the Sea of Oman!
Everything I thought of was like
bringing cumin seed to Kirmanshah where
cumin comes from.
You have all seeds in your barn.
You even have my love and my soul,
so I can't even bring those.
I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself, and remember me."
He took the mirror out from his robe
where he was hiding it.
What is the mirror of being?
Always bring a mirror of non-existence
as a gift.
Any other present is foolish.
Version by Coleman Barks
(Developed from the translation by Nicholson)
"The Essential Rumi"