Photo: Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine in Qajar era; Iran
We are of the sea, and the sea is our essence;
why then is there this duality between us?
The world is an imaginary line before the sight;
read well that line, for it was inscribed by us.
Whatsoever we possess in both the worlds
in reality, my friend, belongs to God.
His love I keep secretly in my heart;
the less of the pain of His love is our cure.
Companions are we of the cup, comrades of the saki,
lest thou suppose that he is apart from us:
it is the assembly of love, and we are drunk --
who ever enjoyed so royal a party?
So long as Mi'mat Allah is the slave of the Lord,
the king of the world is a beggar at his door.
(Shah Nematollah Vali)
Source and Recommended Reading:
'Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty'
By Alan Jacobs (Editor)
Spanning 4,000 years of world literature, this expansive anthology gathers 600 poems by more than 250 poets. In addition to hundreds of masterworks in English, there are verses translated from Sanskrit, Egyptian, Hindi, Persian, Hebrew, Chinese, and Homeric Greek, including selections from the great epics and meditations, such as the Rig Veda, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, and Tao Te Ching. The writers represented here range from ancient and medieval greats (Homer, Lu Yun, Dante, Rumi, Judah Halevi) to the metaphysical poets, including Donne; from the mystics and religious poets (Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Hopkins) to more secular visionaries (Blake, Shelley, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats, Rilke, Stevens, and Ginsberg). The range of themes is equally wide, so whatever path your journey may take, Poetry for the Spirit will open your mind and touch your heart.