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


The Shah ceased Counsel, and The Sage began.
"Oh Thou new Vintage of a Garden old,
"Last Blazon of the Pen of 'Let There Be,'
"Who read’st the Seven and Four; interpretest
"The writing on the Leaves of Night and Day—
"Archetype of the Assembly of the World,
"Who hold’st the Key of Adam's Treasury—
"(Know thine own Dignity and slight it not,
"For Thou art Greater yet than all I tell)—
"The Mighty Hand that mix’d thy Dust inscribed

p. 29

"The Character of Wisdom on thy Heart;
"Oh Cleanse thy Bosom of Material Form,
"And turn the Mirror of the Soul to Spirit,
"Until it be with Spirit all possest,
"Drown’d in the Light of Intellectual Truth.
"Oh veil thine Eyes from Mortal Paramour,
"And follow not her Step!—For what is She?—
"What is She but a Vice and a Reproach,
"Her very Garment-hem Pollution!
"For such Pollution madden not thine Eyes,
"Waste not thy Body's Strength, nor taint thy Soul,
"Nor set the Body and the Soul in Strife!
"Supreme is thine Original Degree,
"Thy Star upon the Top of Heaven; but Lust
"Will fling it down even unto the Dust!"

Quoth a Muezzin unto Crested
Chanticleer—"Oh Voice of Morning,
"Not a Sage of all the Sages
"Prophesies of Dawn, or startles
"At the wing of Time, like Thee.
"One so wise methinks were fitter
"Perching on the Beams of Heaven,
"Than with these poor Hens about him,
"Raking in a Heap of Dung."
"And," replied the Cock, "in Heaven
"Once I was; but by my Evil
"Lust am fallen down to raking
"With my wretched Hens about me
"On the Dunghill. Otherwise
"I were even now in Eden
"With the Bird of Paradise."

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