The Sufi

Lulled in the purple darkness is my soul,
Behind the curtain, Allah, of my sight,
Where recreative waves of wonder roll
From sad seas of color over dead seas of light :—
I close my eyes and lo, the laden Night
Stops at the ivory gate to pay thy toll
               To my soul.

And with it Wealth in Destitution’s van,
And power in the chariot of Dole,
And Fame upon the skeleton she stole
From Death, Ambition, too, amidst her clan,
Spurring her jaded nag :—the Caravan 
Of Life is at the gate to pay thy toll
               To my soul. 

They pass : I open my eyes : and as I try
To con the cruel pages of the scroll
Which Censure left in fragments at their goal,
Then suddenly, illumining the sky,
A form of grace and beauty I descry.
’T is Love, O Allah, come to pay thy toll
               To my soul. 

But once, while lingering in the doleful shades,
Among the fallen, wine-stained colonnades
Of what was once thy temple, where still troll,
With languid step, the spirit of pagan maids,
I saw thee, Allah, coming though the glades
With food of love and from thy scrip I stole
           A jasmine for my hungry soul.

From A Chant of Mystics (James T. White & Co., 1921) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.