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  • گفته شد آن داستان معنوی  ** پیش ازین اندر خلال مثنوی 
  • That spiritual tale has already been related in the course of the Mathnawí.
  • در دلت خوف افکند از موضعی  ** تا نباشد غیر آنت مطمعی 
  • He (God) puts in thy heart the fear of (losing) a certain position, in order that no other (position) may be an object of hope to thee.
  • در طمع فایده‌ی دیگر نهد  ** وآن مرادت از کسی دیگر دهد 
  • To thy hope (of gaining thy wish from that quarter) He attaches another advantage (beneficial result); but He grants thee thy wish from (the hands of) some one else.
  • ای طمع در بسته در یک جای سخت  ** که آیدم میوه از آن عالی‌درخت  4190
  • O thou who hast fixed thy hopes firmly on one quarter, saying, “The fruit will come to me from that lofty tree,”
  • آن طمع زان جا نخواهد شد وفا  ** بل ز جای دیگر آید آن عطا 
  • Thy hope will not be fulfilled from there; nay, the bounty will come from another place.
  • آن طمع را پس چرا در تو نهاد  ** چون نخواستت زان طرف آن چیز داد 
  • Why, then, did He implant in thee that hope, since He would not give thee the (desired) thing from that quarter?
  • از برای حکمتی و صنعتی  ** نیز تا باشد دلت در حیرتی 
  • (’Tis) for a wise purpose and contrivance; and also in order that thy heart may be in a state of bewilderment.
  • تا دلت حیران بود ای مستفید  ** که مرادم از کجا خواهد رسد 
  • (’Tis) that thy heart may be bewildered, O learner, (wondering) from where the object of thy desire will come (to thee).
  • تا بدانی عجز خویش و جهل خویش  ** تا شود ایقان تو در غیب بیش  4195
  • (’Tis) that thou mayst know thy weakness and thy ignorance and that consequently thy faith in the Unseen may be increased;
  • هم دلت حیران بود در منتجع  ** که چه رویاند مصرف زین طمع 
  • And, moreover, that thy heart may be perplexed concerning the source whence the (expected) benefit will arrive, and what (result) the (Divine) Disposer will produce from this hope.
  • طمع داری روزیی در درزیی  ** تا ز خیاطی بی زر تا زیی 
  • Thou hopest (to find) a means of livelihood in tailoring, so that by working as a tailor thou mayst earn money all thy life;
  • رزق تو در زرگری آرد پدید  ** که ز وهمت بود آن مکسب بعید 
  • (But) He causes thy daily bread to come to thee in the goldsmith's craft—a means of gain that was far from (entering) thy imagination.
  • پس طمع در درزیی بهر چه بود  ** چون نخواست آن رزق زان جانب گشود 
  • Wherefore, then, were thy hopes set on tailoring, when He did not intend to let thy daily bread reach thee from that side?
  • بهر نادر حکمتی در علم حق  ** که نبشت آن حکم را در ما سبق  4200
  • (’Twas) by reason of a marvellous providence in the knowledge of God— an edict which He wrote in the (eternal) past;
  • نیز تا حیران بود اندیشه‌ات  ** تا که حیرانی بود کل پیشه‌ات 
  • And also to the end that thy thoughts should be bewildered, so that bewilderment should be thy whole occupation.
  • یا وصال یار زین سعیم رسد  ** یا ز راهی خارج از سعی جسد 
  • (The eldest prince said), “My union with the Beloved will be achieved either by this effort or by some means outside of bodily effort.
  • من نگویم زین طریق آید مراد  ** می‌طپم تا از کجا خواهد گشاد 
  • I do not assert that my object will be gained in this (particular) way: I am palpitating (restlessly seeking) to ascertain from what quarter it will appear.
  • سربریده مرغ هر سو می‌فتد  ** تا کدامین سو رهد جان از جسد 
  • The decapitated bird tumbles in every direction to see in what direction its (vital) spirit may escape from its body.
  • یا مراد من برآید زین خروج  ** یا ز برجی دیگر از ذات البروج  4205
  • My desire will be attained either by this going forth (in quest of it) or through (the opening of) some other gateway by (the hand of) Heaven.”
  • حکایت آن شخص کی خواب دید کی آنچ می‌طلبی از یسار به مصر وفا شود آنجا گنجیست در فلان محله در فلان خانه چون به مصر آمد کسی گفت من خواب دیده‌ایم کی گنجیست به بغداد در فلان محله در فلان خانه نام محله و خانه‌ی این شخص بگفت آن شخص فهم کرد کی آن گنج در مصر گفتن جهت آن بود کی مرا یقین کنند کی در غیر خانه‌ی خود نمی‌باید جستن ولیکن این گنج یقین و محقق جز در مصر حاصل نشود 
  • Story of the person who dreamed that his hopes of opulence would be fulfilled in Cairo, and that there was a treasure (buried) in a certain house in a certain quarter of that city. When he came to Cairo, some one said to him, “I have dreamed of a treasure in such and such a quarter and such and such a house in Baghdád”; and he named the quarter and house in which this person lived. The latter perceived, however, that the information concerning the treasure in Cairo had been given to him (in his dream) in order to make him realise that, (although) he must not seek anywhere but in his own house, this treasure would really and truly be gained only in Cairo.
  • بود یک میراثی مال و عقار  ** جمله را خورد و بماند او عور و زار 
  • There was (once) a man who inherited money and estates: he squandered all and was left destitute and miserable.
  • مال میراثی ندارد خود وفا  ** چون بناکام از گذشته شد جدا 
  • Inherited wealth indeed does not remain constant (to its new owner), since it was parted against its will from the deceased one.
  • او نداند قدر هم کاسان بیافت  ** کو بکد و رنج و کسبش کم شتاف 
  • Just because he (the heir) got it easily, he does not know its value; for he never made haste to work and toil and earn it.
  • قدر جان زان می‌ندانی ای فلان  ** که بدادت حق به بخشش رایگان 
  • O such-and-such, you know not the value of your soul because God bountifully gave it to you for nothing.
  • نقد رفت و کاله رفته و خانه‌ها  ** ماند چون چغدان در آن ویرانه‌ها  4210
  • His ready money went and his furniture and houses went: he was left (alone) like owls in the deserts.
  • گفت یا رب برگ دادی رفت برگ  ** یا بده برگی و یا بفرست مرگ 
  • He cried, “O Lord, Thou gavest (me) provision: the provision is gone: either give (me) some provision or send death.”
  • چون تهی شد یاد حق آغاز کرد  ** یا رب و یا رب اجرنی ساز کرد 
  • When he became empty, he began to call unto God: he started the tune of “O Lord!” and “O Lord, protect me!”
  • چون پیمبر گفته ممن مزهرست  ** در زمان خالیی ناله گرست 
  • Since the Prophet has said that the true believer is (like) a lute (mizhar), (which) makes music (only) at the time when it is empty—
  • چون شود پر مطربش بنهد ز دست  ** پر مشو که آسیب دست او خوشست 
  • (For) as soon as it is filled, the minstrel lays it down—do not become full, for sweet is the touch of His hand.
  • تی شو و خوش باش بین اصبعین  ** کز می لا این سرمستست این  4215
  • Become empty and stay happily between (His) two fingers, for “where” is intoxicated with the wine of “nowhere.”
  • رفت طغیان آب از چشمش گشاد  ** آب چشمش زرع دین را آب داد 
  • Frowardness departed (from him) and released the water (tears) from his eye: his tears watered (revived) the crops of devotion.
  • سبب تاخیر اجابت دعای ممن 
  • The reason why the answer to the true believer's prayer is delayed.
  • ای بسا مخلص که نالد در دعا  ** تا رود دود خلوصش بر سما 
  • Oh, how many a sincere (worshipper) moans in prayer, so that the smoke of his sincerity ascends to Heaven,
  • تا رود بالای این سقف برین  ** بوی مجمر از انین المذنبین 
  • And from the lamentation of the sinful the perfume of the censer floats up beyond this lofty roof!
  • پس ملایک با خدا نالند زار  ** کای مجیب هر دعا وی مستجار 
  • Then the angels beseech God piteously, saying, “O Thou who answerest every prayer and O Thou whose protection is invoked,
  • بنده‌ی ممن تضرع می‌کند  ** او نمی‌داند به جز تو مستند  4220
  • A faithful slave (of Thine) is making humble entreaty: he knows none but Thee on whom to rely.
  • تو عطا بیگانگان را می‌دهی  ** از تو دارد آرزو هر مشتهی 
  • Thou bestowest Thy bounty (even) on strangers: every ardent wisher gains his desire from Thee.”
  • حق بفرماید که نه از خواری اوست  ** عین تاخیر عطا یاری اوست 
  • God saith, “’Tis not that he is despicable (in My sight); (nay), the very deferment of the bounty is (for the sake of) helping him.
  • حاجت آوردش ز غفلت سوی من  ** آن کشیدش مو کشان در کوی من 
  • Need caused him to turn towards Me from his (former state of) forgetfulness: it dragged him by the hair into My presence.
  • گر بر آرم حاجتش او وا رود  ** هم در آن بازیچه مستغرق شود 
  • If I satisfy his need, he will go back and (again) become absorbed in that idle play.
  • گرچه می‌نالد به جان یا مستجار  ** دل شکسته سینه‌خسته گو بزار  4225
  • Although he is (now) crying with (all) his soul, ‘O Thou whose protection is invoked,’ let him (continue to) moan with broken heart and wounded breast!
  • خوش همی‌آید مرا آواز او  ** وآن خدایا گفتن و آن راز او 
  • It pleases Me (to hear) his (piteous) voice and his cries of ‘O Lord’ and his secret (prayer),
  • وانک اندر لابه و در ماجرا  ** می‌فریباند بهر نوعی مرا 
  • And how in supplication and pleading (with Me) he would fain beguile Me with every sort (of persuasion).”
  • طوطیان و بلبلان را از پسند  ** از خوش آوازی قفس در می‌کنند 
  • Parrots and nightingales are put into cages because they give pleasure by their sweet song;
  • زاغ را و چغد را اندر قفس  ** کی کنند این خود نیامد در قصص 
  • (But) how should crows and owls be caged? This has never been recorded in story.
  • پیش شاهد باز چون آید دو تن  ** آن یکی کمپیر و دیگر خوش‌ذقن  4230
  • When two persons, one of them a decrepit old man and the other a fair-chinned (youth), come to (a baker who is) an admirer of handsome boys,
  • هر دو نان خواهند او زوتر فطیر  ** آرد و کمپیر را گوید که گیر 
  • And both ask for bread, he will at once fetch the unleavened bread and bid the old man take it;
  • وآن دگر را که خوشستش قد و خد  ** کی دهد نان بل به تاخیر افکند 
  • But how should he (immediately) give bread to the other, by whose figure and cheeks (countenance) he is pleased? Nay, he will delay him
  • گویدش بنشین زمانی بی‌گزند  ** که به خانه نان تازه می‌پزند 
  • And say to him, “Sit down a (little) while, ’twill do (thee) no harm; for the new bread is baking in the house”;
  • چون رسد آن نان گرمش بعد کد  ** گویدش بنشین که حلوا می‌رسد 
  • And when, after the work (of baking is finished), the hot bread is brought to him (the youth), he (the baker) will say to him, “Sit down, for halwá (sweetmeat) is coming.”
  • هم برین فن داردارش می‌کند  ** وز ره پنهان شکارش می‌کند  4235
  • In this same fashion he is always detaining him and seeking covertly to make him his prey,
  • که مرا کاریست با تو یک زمان  ** منتظر می‌باش ای خوب جهان 
  • Saying, “I have some (important) business to do with thee: wait a moment, O beauty of the world!”