The Secret Rose Garden, by Florence Lederer, , at sacred-texts.com
THE tavern is the abode of lovers,
The place where the bird of the soul nests,
The rest-house that has no existence
In a world that has no form.
The tavern-haunter is desolate in a lonely desert,
Where he sees the world as a mirage.
The desert is limitless and endless,
For no man has seen its beginning or ending.
Though you feverishly wander for a hundred years
You will be always alone.
For the dwellers there are headless and footless,
Neither the faithful nor infidels,
They have renounced both good and evil,
And have cast away name and fame,
From drinking the cup of selflessness;
Without lips or mouth,
And are beyond traditions, visions, and states,
Beyond dreaming of secret rooms, of lights and miracles.
They are lying drunken through the smell of the wine-dregs,
And have given as ransom
Pilgrim's staff and cruse,
Dentifrice and rosary.
Sometimes rising to the world of bliss,
With necks exalted as racers,
Or with blackened faces turned to the wall,
Sometimes with reddened faces tied to the stake.
Now in the mystic dance of joy in the Beloved,
Losing head and foot like the revolving heavens.
In every strain which they hear from the minstrel
Comes to them rapture from the unseen world.
For within the mere words and sounds
Of the mystic song
Lies a precious mystery.
From drinking one cup of the pure wine,
From sweeping the dust of dung-hills from their souls,
From grasping the skirts of drunkards,
They have become Sūfīs.
THE wine, lit by a ray from his face,
Reveals the bubbles of form,
Such as the material world and the soul-world,
Which appear as veils to the saints.
Universal Reason seeing this is astounded,
Universal Soul is reduced to servitude.
Drink wine! for the bowl is the face of the Friend.
Drink wine! for the cup is his eye, drunken and flown with wine.
Drink wine! and be free from heart-coldness,
For a drunkard is better than the self-satisfied.
The whole world is his tavern,
His wine-cup the heart of each atom,
Reason is drunken, angels drunken, soul drunken,
Air drunken, earth drunken, heaven drunken.
The sky, dizzy from the wine-fumes' aroma,
Is staggering to and fro;
The angels, sipping pure wine from goblets,
Pour down the dregs on the world;
From the scent of these dregs man rises to heaven.
Inebriated from the draught, the elements
Fall into water and fire.
Catching the reflection, the frail body becomes a soul,
And the frozen soul by its heat
Thaws and becomes living.
The creature world remains giddy,
For ever straying from house and home.
One from the dregs' odour becomes a philosopher,
One viewing the wine's colour becomes a relater,
One from half a draught becomes religious,
One from a bowlful becomes a lover,
Another swallows at one draught
Goblet, tavern, cup-bearer, and drunkards;
He swallows all, but still his mouth stays open.
Are wine, torch, and beauty;
Wine and torch are the light and shining of the "knower,"
Beauty is concealed from none.
Wine is the lamp-shade,
And torch the lamp;
Beauty is the Spirit-light,
So bright, it kindles sparks
In the heart.
Wine and torch are the essence of that blinding light,
Beauty is the sign of the Divine.
Drink this wine and, dying to self,
You will be freed from the spell of self.
Then will your being, as a drop,
Fall into the ocean of the Eternal.
WHAT is pure wine?
It is self-purification.
What sweetness! what intoxication! what blissful ecstasy!
Oh! happy moment when ourselves we quit,
When fallen in the dust, drunken and amazed,
In utter poverty we shall be rich and free.
Of what use then will be paradise and houris?
For no alien can find entrance to that mystic room.
I know not what will happen after
I have seen this vision and imbibed this cup,
But after all intoxication comes headache,
Anguish drowns my soul remembering this!