Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq by Ibn al-Arabi tr. by Reynold A. Nicholson 1911

Chapter XI

1. O doves that haunt the arák and bán trees, have pity! Do not double my woes by your lamentation!

2. Have pity! Do not reveal, by wailing and weeping, my hidden desires and my secret sorrows!

3. I respond to her, at eve and morn, with the plaintive cry of a longing man and the moan of an impassioned lover.

4. The spirits faced one another in the thicket of ghaḍá trees and bent their branches towards me, and it (the bending) annihilated me;

5. And they brought me divers sorts of tormenting desire and passion and untried affliction.

6. Who will give me sure promise of Jam‘ and al-Muḥaṣṣab of Miná? Who of Dhát al-Athl? Who of Na‘mán?

7. They encompass my heart moment after moment, for the sake of love and anguish, and kiss my pillars,

8. Even as the best of mankind encompassed the Ka‘ba, which the evidence of Reason proclaims to be imperfect,

9. And kissed stones therein, although he was a Náṭiq (prophet). 1 And what is the rank of the Temple in comparison with the dignity of Man?

10. How often did they vow and swear that they would not change, but one dyed with henna does not keep oaths.

11. And one of the most wonderful things is a veiled gazelle, who points with red finger-tip and winks with eyelids,

12. A gazelle whose pasture is between the breast-bones and the bowels. O marvel! a garden amidst fires!

13. My heart has become capable of every form: it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,

14. And a temple for idols and the pilgrim's Ka‘ba and the tables of the Tora and the book of the Koran.

15. I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love's camels take, that is my religion and my faith.

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