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  • یا ز نور بی‌حدش توانند کاست  ** یا به دفع جاه او توانند خاست 
  • Or can they diminish its infinite light or rise in resistance to its power?
  • هر کسی کو حاسد کیهان بود  ** آن حسد خود مرگ جاویدان بود 
  • Whosoever is envious of (him who is) the World—verily, that envy is everlasting death.
  • قدر تو بگذشت از درک عقول  ** عقل اندر شرح تو شد بوالفضول  15
  • Thy dignity hath transcended intellectual apprehension: in describing thee the intellect has become an idle fool.
  • گر چه عاجز آمد این عقل از بیان  ** عاجزانه جنبشی باید در آن 
  • (Yet), although this intellect is too weak to declare (what thou art), one must weakly make a movement (attempt) in that (direction).
  • ان شیا کله لا یدرک  ** اعلموا ان کله لا یترک 
  • Know that when the whole of a thing is unattainable the whole of it is not (therefore to be) relinquished.
  • گر نتانی خورد طوفان سحاب  ** کی توان کردن بترک خورد آب 
  • If you cannot drink (all) the flood-rain of the clouds, (yet) how can you give up water-drinking?
  • راز را گر می‌نیاری در میان  ** درکها را تازه کن از قشر آن 
  • If thou wilt not communicate the mystery, (at least) refresh (our) apprehensions with the husk thereof.
  • نطقها نسبت به تو قشرست لیک  ** پیش دیگر فهمها مغزست نیک  20
  • (My) spoken words are (only) a husk in relation to thee, but they are a good kernel for other understandings.
  • آسمان نسبت به عرش آمد فرود  ** ورنه بس عالیست سوی خاک‌تود 
  • The sky is low in relation to the empyrean; else, in respect of the earth-mound, it is exceedingly high.
  • من بگویم وصف تو تا ره برند  ** پیش از آن کز فوت آن حسرت خورند 
  • I will tell thy description in order that they (my hearers) may take their way (towards thee) ere they grieve at the loss of that (opportunity).
  • نور حقی و به حق جذاب جان  ** خلق در ظلمات وهم‌اند و گمان 
  • Thou art the Light of God and a mighty drawer of the soul to God. His creatures are in the darkness of vain imagination and opinion.
  • شرط تعظیمست تا این نور خوش  ** گردد این بی‌دیدگان را سرمه‌کش 
  • Reverence is the necessary condition for this goodly Light to bestow a salve on these sightless ones.
  • نور یابد مستعد تیزگوش  ** کو نباشد عاشق ظلمت چو موش  25
  • The ready sharp-eared man gains the Light—he who is not in love with darkness like a mouse.
  • سست‌چشمانی که شب جولان کنند  ** کی طواف مشعله‌ی ایمان کنند 
  • The weak-eyed (bat-like) ones that go about at night, how shall they make a circuit round the Cresset of the Faith?
  • نکته‌های مشکل باریک شد  ** بند طبعی که ز دین تاریک شد 
  • Difficult subtle points of disputation are the chains of (hold in bondage) the nature that has become dark (blind) to the (true) Religion.
  • تا بر آراید هنر را تار و پود  ** چشم در خورشید نتواند گشود 
  • So long as he (such an one) decks out the warp and woof of (his own) cleverness, he cannot open his eyes to the Sun.
  • هم‌چو نخلی برنیارد شاخها  ** کرده موشانه زمین سوراخها 
  • He does not lift up branches (to the sky) like a date-palm: he has bored holes in the earth after the fashion of mice.
  • چار وصفست این بشر را دل‌فشار  ** چارمیخ عقل گشته این چهار  30
  • This humankind have four heart-oppressing qualities: these four have become the gibbet of Reason.
  • تفسیر خذ اربعة من الطیر فصرهن الیک 
  • Commenting on “Take four birds and turn them towards thee.”
  • تو خلیل وقتی ای خورشیدهش  ** این چهار اطیار ره‌زن را بکش 
  • O thou whose intelligence is (resplendent) as the Sun, thou art the Khalíl (Abraham) of the time: kill these four birds that infest the Way,
  • زانک هر مرغی ازینها زاغ‌وش  ** هست عقل عاقلان را دیده‌کش 
  • Because each of them, crow-like, is plucking the eye from the intellect of the intelligent.
  • چار وصف تن چو مرغان خلیل  ** بسمل ایشان دهد جان را سبیل 
  • The four bodily qualities resemble the birds of Khalíl: their slaughter makes way for the soul (to ascend).
  • ای خلیل اندر خلاص نیک و بد  ** سر ببرشان تا رهد پاها ز سد 
  • O Khalíl, in (accomplishing) the deliverance of good and bad (alike), cut off their heads that the feet (of the people) may escape from the barrier (which confines them).
  • کل توی و جملگان اجزای تو  ** بر گشا که هست پاشان پای تو  35
  • Thou art all, and they all are parts of thee: open (the prison), for their feet are thy feet.
  • از تو عالم روح زاری می‌شود  ** پشت صد لشکر سواری می‌شود 
  • By thee the (whole) world is made a place abounding in spirit: a single cavalier becomes the support of a hundred armies.
  • زانک این تن شد مقام چار خو  ** نامشان شد چار مرغ فتنه‌جو 
  • Inasmuch as this body is the abode (nest) of (these) four dispositions, they are named the four mischief-seeking birds.
  • خلق را گر زندگی خواهی ابد  ** سر ببر زین چار مرغ شوم بد 
  • If thou wish the people to have everlasting life, cut off the heads of these four foul and evil birds,
  • بازشان زنده کن از نوعی دگر  ** که نباشد بعد از آن زیشان ضرر 
  • (And then) revive them again in another sort, so that afterwards no harm will be done by them.
  • چار مرغ معنوی راه‌زن  ** کرده‌اند اندر دل خلقان وطن  40
  • The four immaterial birds which infest the Way have made their home in the hearts of the people.
  • چون امیر جمله دلهای سوی  ** اندرین دور ای خلیفه‌ی حق توی 
  • Since in this epoch thou, O Vicegerent of God, art the commander of all righteous hearts,
  • سر ببر این چار مرغ زنده را  ** سر مدی کن خلق ناپاینده را 
  • Cut off the heads of these four live birds and make everlasting the creatures that are not enduring for ever.
  • بط و طاوسست و زاغست و خروس  ** این مثال چار خلق اندر نفوس 
  • There is the duck and the peacock and the crow and the cock: these are a parable of the four (evil) dispositions in (human) souls.
  • بط حرصست و خروس آن شهوتست  ** جاه چون طاوس و زاغ امنیتست 
  • The duck is greed, and the cock is lust; eminence is like the peacock, and the crow is (worldly) desire.
  • منیتش آن که بود اومیدساز  ** طامع تابید یا عمر دراز  45
  • His (the crow's) object of desire is this, that he forms hopes and wishes for immortality or long life.
  • بط حرص آمد که نولش در زمین  ** در تر و در خشک می‌جوید دفین 
  • The duck is greed, for her bill is always in the ground, seeking what is buried in the wet and dry.
  • یک زمان نبود معطل آن گلو  ** نشنود از حکم جز امر کلوا 
  • That gullet (of hers) is never idle for a moment: it hearkens unto naught of the (Divine) ordinance save the command “Eat ye!”
  • هم‌چو یغماجیست خانه می‌کند  ** زود زود انبان خود پر می‌کند 
  • ’Tis like the looter who digs up (ravages) the house and very quickly fills his bag,
  • اندر انبان می‌فشارد نیک و بد  ** دانه‌های در و حبات نخود 
  • Cramming into the bag good and bad (indifferently), single pearls and chickpeas,
  • تا مبادا یاغیی آید دگر  ** می‌فشارد در جوال او خشک و تر  50
  • Cramming dry and wet into the sack, for fear lest another enemy should arrive.
  • وقت تنگ و فرصت اندک او مخوف  ** در بغل زد هر چه زودتر بی‌وقوف 
  • Time presses, the opportunity is small, he is terrified: without delay he heaves it under his arm as speedily as possible.
  • لیک ممن ز اعتماد آن حیات  ** می‌کند غارت به مهل و با انات 
  • But the true believer, from his confidence in that (Divine) Life, conducts his raid in a leisurely manner and with deliberation.
  • آمنست از فوت و از یاغی که او  ** می‌شناسد قهر شه را بر عدو 
  • He hath no fear of missing his chance or of the enemy, for he recognises the King's dominion over the enemy.
  • آمنست از خواجه‌تاشان دگر  ** که بیایندش مزاحم صرفه‌بر  55
  • He hath no fear of the other fellow-servants coming to jostle him and gain the advantage,
  • عدل شه را دید در ضبط حشم  ** که نیارد کرد کس بر کس ستم 
  • (For) he perceived the King's justice in restraining his followers so that none durst do violence to any one.
  • لاجرم نشتابد و ساکن بود  ** از فوات حظ خود آمن بود 
  • Consequently he does not hurry and is calm: he hath no fear of missing his (appointed) portion.
  • بس تانی دارد و صبر و شکیب  ** چشم‌سیر و مثرست و پاک‌جیب 
  • He hath much deliberation and patience and long-suffering; he is contented and unselfish and pure of heart,
  • کین تانی پرتو رحمان بود  ** وان شتاب از هزه‌ی شیطان بود 
  • For this deliberation is the ray of the Merciful (God), while that haste is from the impulse of the Devil,
  • زانک شیطانش بترساند ز فقر  ** بارگیر صبر را بکشد به عقر  60
  • Because the Devil frightens him (the greedy man) away from poverty and kills the beast of burden, patience, by stabbing.
  • از نبی بشنو که شیطان در وعید  ** می‌کند تهدیدت از فقر شدید 
  • Hear from the Qur’án that the Devil in menace is threatening thee with hard poverty,
  • تا خوری زشت و بری زشت و شتاب  ** نی مروت نی‌تانی نی ثواب 
  • That in haste thou mayst eat foul things and take foul things, (having in thee) no generosity, no deliberation, no merit acquired by good works.