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

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
Sufi poem

Jellaludin (1207–1273)
GRASP 1 the Skirt of his Grace, for on a sudden He will flee away:
But draw Him not impatiently to thee, lest He fly as an arrow from the bow.
What shape will He not assume? What shifts He employeth!
If He be apprehended in Form, He will flee by way of the Spirit:
If thou seek Him in the sky, He will gleam in the water like the moon:        5
If thou go into the water, He fleeth to the sky:
If thou seek Him in the spaceless, He beckoneth to Space:
When thou seekest Him in Space, He fleeth to the spaceless….
His Name will flee, the while thou mouldest thy lips for speech:
Thou may’st not even say, Such an one will flee:        10
He will flee from thee, so that if thou paint his picture,
The picture will flee from the tablet, and his features from thy soul.
Note 1. Jellaludin. The greatest Sufi poet of Islam. Born at Balkh 1207. He wrote in Persian. [See 19.] [back]

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