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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Love
By Jāmī (1414–1492)
 
From ‘Joseph and Zulīkhā’: Translation of Samuel Robinson

A HEART which is void of the pains of love is not heart;
A body without heart woes is nothing but clay and water.
Turn thy face away from the world to the pangs of love;
For the world of love is a world of sweetness.
Let there not be in the world an unloving heart!        5
Let not the pangs of love be less in the bosom of any one!
Heaven itself is confused with longings after love;
Earth is filled with the tumult at the clamors of its passion.
Become the captive of love, in order to become free;
Lay its sorrows to thy heart, that thou mayest know its gladness.        10
The wine of love will inebriate and warm thee,
Will free from thee coldness and devotion to self.
In the memories of love the lover renews his freshness;
In his devotion to it he creates for himself a lofty fame.
If Mejnun had never drunk the wine from this cup,        15
Who would have spread his name throughout the worlds?
Thousands of the wise and learned have passed away,
Passed away—forgotten, because strangers to love;
No name, no trace remains of their existence,
No history of them is left on the records of Time.        20
Many are the birds of beautiful forms
Which the people closes its lip and refuses to speak of;
When those who have all hearts tell stories of love,
The stories they tell are of the Moth and the Nightingale.
In the world thou mayest be skilled in a hundred arts,—        25
Love is the only one which will free thee from thyself.
Turn not thy face from love: even if it be shallow,
It is thy apprenticeship for learning the true one;
If thou dost not first learn thine A B C on thy slate,
How wilt thou ever be able to read a lesson from the Koran?        30
I heard of a scholar who besought a teacher
To assist him in treading the path of his doctrine;
The teacher replied: “Thou hast never yet stirred a foot in the way of love;
Go—become a lover, and then appear before me;
For till thou hast tasted the symbolical wine-cup,        35
Thou wilt never drain the real one to the lees.”
No! thou must not stay lingering over the image,
But quickly transport thyself over this bridge:
If thou desirest ever to reach the inn,
Thou must not remain standing at the bridge ahead.        40
Praise be to God! that so long as I have dwelt in this monastery,
I have been a nimble traveler in the road of love!
When the midwife first divided the navel-string,
She divided it with the knife of love;
When my mother first put my lips to her breast,        45
She gave me to suck the blood-tinged milk of love;
Although my hair is now white as milk,
The savor of love still dwells in my mind.
In youth or in age there is nothing like love;
The enchantment of love breathes upon me forever.        50
“Jāmī,” it says, “thou hast grown old in love:
Rouse thy spirit, and in love die!
Compose a tale on the pleasures of love,
That thou mayest leave to the world some memorial of thy existence!
Draw thou a picture with thy delicate pencil,        55
Which, when thou quittest thy place, may remain in thy stead.”
 
 
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