|Every prisoner, I freed. |
Every lover's soul, I made happy.
The mouth of the dragon – I tore it open.
The path of love – I made it smooth.
Out of water I weaved the world.
Then I filled it with the power of life.
Out of water I brought forth living images
that cannot be carved from ivory or box wood.
Water bursts forth, surging
with the ecstasy of creation
That is its nature,
That is its addiction.
I pulled Joseph out of a well,
And summoned the whole world
to remember his name.
I am the King
who enjoys the sight of every Queen.
I am the shining hero
who cut through a mountain of stone
for the sake of love.
I have caused great gardens to bloom;
I have built great empires.
The universe is my witness
I am a King who gives away land
and rules with perfect justice.
I am merely a guest, born in this world
to know the secrets
that lie beyond it.
What masters I have checkmated!
What novices I have turned to masters!
Many lions have roared at me,
Yet like a fox,
I tamed them and made them helpless.
Enough with your doubts!
Enough with your sorrows!
Let them all go,
and I will show you the way.
Everyone swept up by the storm of misery
Will be brought to solid ground
all they must do is call out to me.
I'll bring them from the center of the whirlwind
Just as I brought this whole creation
out of Emptiness . . .
Now my master has bade me to keep silent
He has struck me with his sword
and turned my tongue to steel.
Now all I can do is cut.
(THE SHINING HERO )
Poetic translation by Jonathan Star
"A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi"
Bantam Books, 1992