Seek what you shall e’er possess,
Although it be a will-o’-the-wisp
Of the Unseen,
Which you may never behold
Until my suns and satellites are cold.
And in the seeking you shall find
The hidden jewels of the soul and mind ;
And every jewel shall reveal
Even in a Sufi’s logic wheel,
Yea, even in the lowing kine.
The eyewash, O lone Badruddin, I bring
Is of the first dews of the first-born spring.
Apply it and behold!
Your dog-bitten sandals are transformed into gold ;
Your staff, sand-eaten and far-wandering,
Is bursting into foliage, blossoming.
Bearing fruits of wondrous lush and glow ;
And underneath the heavy-laden tree
A maid, whose face dispels all human woe,
Is cooking sesame for you and me.
Cast off the garments of the world
And wear the sacred shades,
Whose color of contentment never fades,
And sit beside me with the golden fawn,
Whose name is Eternal Dawn.
O thou Beloved, every word of thine
Is like a draught of purple wine ;
Is like the singing of the bulbul.
More potent are they than the magic lore
Which to the blind the sight restore,
As now to one, who through a pilgrim old,
Is but an infant in the cradle of love.
Yea, O thou incomparably Sweet,
Thy words are to mine eyes a heating kohl,
Musk to my nostrils, balm to my soul,
Strengthening ointments to my feet.
And what, in the stores and treasures of the world,
Is equal unto this?
Wealth and Beauty, Fame and Power,
They are but mirages in the boundless waste
That separates me from thee—for an hour.
Once I tarried at a Well in an Oasis fair
But in the cup I lifted to my lips
I saw the image of thy wrath
And my despair :—
I dashed against a rock the common clay
And hastened away.
Now, O thou Beloved, I come to thee :
With thy beauty drunk and dumb ;
Burdened with thy wealth, and lame ;
Ushered by thy liveried Fame ;
In thy glory garbed I come.
But I tremble at thy threshold lest the thorns in my feet
The story of my sacrifice repeat ;
I tremble at thy threshold lest the flowers of my heart
Betray the painted lips of conscious art ;
I tremble at thy threshold lest the eyes
That long have sought to behold but once thy face,
Deserve not even thy shadow to embrace.
A Chant of Mystics (James T. White & Co., 1921) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.