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Salaman and Absal, by Jami, tr. Edward Fitzgerald, [1904], at

p. xviii

The several Spellings of some Proper Names, especially the Prophet's, in Memoir and Appendix, must be excused by the several Writers they are quoted from.

p. 1




Oh Thou whose Memory quickens Lovers’ Souls,
Whose Fount of Joy renews the Lover's Tongue,
Thy Shadow falls across the World, and They
Bow down to it; and of the Rich in Beauty
Thou art the Riches that make Lovers mad.
Not till thy Secret Beauty through the Cheek
Of Laila smite does she inflame Majnún,
And not till Thou have sugar’d Shírín's Lip
The Hearts of those Two Lovers fill with Blood.
For Lov’d and Lover are not but by Thee,
Nor Beauty;—Mortal Beauty but the Veil
Thy Heavenly hides behind, and from itself
Feeds, and our Hearts yearn after as a Bride
That glances past us Veil’d—but ever so
As none the Beauty from the Veil may know.
How long wilt thou continue thus the World
To cozen with the Fantom of a Veil

p. 2

From which Thou only peepest?—Time it is
To unfold thy perfect Beauty. I would be
Thy Lover, and Thine only—I, mine Eyes
Seal’d in the Light of Thee to all but Thee,
Yea, in the Revelation of Thyself
Self-Lost, and Conscience-quit of Good and Evil.
Thou movest under all the Forms of Truth,
Under the Forms of all Created Things;
Look whence I will, still nothing I discern
But Thee in all the Universe, in which
Thyself Thou dost invest, and through the Eyes
Of Man, the subtle Censor scrutinize.
To thy Harím Dividuality
No Entrance finds—no Word of This and That;
Do Thou my separate and Derivéd Self
Make one with thy Essential! Leave me room
On that Diván which leaves no Room for Two;
Lest, like the Simple Kurd of whom they tell,
I grow perplext, Oh God! ’twixt "I" and "Thou;"
If I—this Dignity and Wisdom whence?
If Thou—then what this abject Impotence?

p. 3

A Kurd perplext by Fortune's Frolics
Left his Desert for the City.
Sees a City full of Noise and
Clamour, agitated People,
Hither, Thither, Back and Forward
Running, some intent on Travel,
Others home again returning,
Right to Left, and Left to Right,
Life-disquiet everywhere!
Kurd, when he beholds the Turmoil,
Creeps aside, and, Travel-weary,
Fain would go to Sleep; "But," saith he,
"How shall I in all this Hubbub
"Know myself again on waking?"
So by way of Recognition
Ties a Pumpkin round his Foot,
And turns to Sleep. A Knave that heard him
Crept behind, and slily watching
Slips the Pumpkin off the Sleeper's
Ancle, ties it round his own,
And so down to sleep beside him.
By and by the Kurd awaking
Looks directly for his Signal—
Sees it on another's Ancle—
Cries aloud, "Oh Good-for-Nothing
"Rascal to perplex me so!
"That by you I am bewilder’d,
"Whether I be I or no!
"If I—the Pumpkin why on You?
"If You—then Where am I, and Who?"

Oh God! this poor bewilder’d Kurd am I,
Than any Kurd more helpless!—Oh, do thou
Strike down a Ray of Light into my Darkness!
Turn by thy Grace these Dregs into pure Wine,
To recreate the Spirits of the Good!
Or if not that, yet, as the little Cup
Whose Name I go by, not unworthy found
To pass thy salutary Vintage round!

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