Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
Beneath the Canopy of the Skies

Tahir (11th Cent.)
BENEATH 1 the canopy of the skies roam I night and day:
My home is in the desert by night and day.
  No sickness troubleth me nor silent pain tormenteth;
One thing I know, that I sorrow night and day.
Homeless am I, O Lord: whither shall I turn?        5
A wanderer in the desert, whither shall I turn?
  I come to Thee at last, driven from every threshold;
And if Thy door be closed, whither shall I turn?
Blessèd are they who live in sight of Thee,
Who speak with Thee, O Lord, and dwell with Thee.        10
  Faint are my limbs, and my heart is fearful;
Humbly I sit with those who are dear to Thee.
Drunk tho’ we be with pleasure, Thou art our Faith;
Helpless, without hand or foot, Thou art our Faith;
  Whether we be Nazarenes, Mussalmans or Gebres,        15
Whatsoe’er our creed, Thou art our Faith.
Note 1. Tahir. One of the wandering Saints of Persia. In all my Oriental quotations, I owe everything to my friend Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy for putting his taste and wide learning at my disposal. The choice of this and of some other pieces is due to him; and I worked on his admirable English translations under his guidance, having myself no knowledge of any Oriental language. [back]

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