O ye noble ones, call to mind this piteous bird, (and drink in memory of me) a morning-draught amongst the meadows!
Happy it is for a friend to be remembered by friends, in particular when that (beloved) is Laylá and this (lover) Majnún.
O ye who consort with your charming and adored one, am I to be drinking cups filled with my own blood? 1560
(O thou who art my beloved), quaff one cup of wine in memory of me, if thou art unwilling to do me justice,
Or (at least), when thou hast drunk, spill one draught on the earth in memory of this fallen one who sifts dust.
Oh, where, I wonder, is that covenant and oath? Where are the promises of that lip like candy?
If thy having forsaken thy slave is because of (his) ill service (to thee)—when thou doest ill to the ill-doer, then what is the difference (between master and slave)?
Oh, the ill thou doest in wrath and quarrel is more delightful than music and the sound of the harp. 1565
Oh, thy cruelty is better than felicity, and thy vengeance dearer than life.
This is thy fire: how (what) must be thy light! This is (thy) mourning, so how (what) indeed must be thy festival!
In respect of the sweetnesses which thy cruelty hath, and in respect of thy beauty, no one gets to the bottom of thee.
I complain, and (yet) I fear lest he believe me and from kindness make that cruelty less.
I am exceedingly enamoured of his violence and his gentleness: ’tis marvelous (that) I (am) in love with both these contraries. 1570
By God, if (I escape) from this thorn (of sorrow) and enter the garden (of joy), because of this I shall begin to moan like the nightingale.
This is a wondrous nightingale that opens his mouth to eat thorns and roses together.
What nightingale is this? (Nay), ’tis a fiery monster: because of (his) love all unsweet things are sweetness to him.
He is a lover of the Universal, and he himself is the Universal: he is in love with himself and seeking his own love.”’”
Description of the wings of the birds that are Divine Intelligences.
Such-like is the tale of the parrot which is the soul: where is that one who is the confidant of (the spiritual) birds? 1575
Where is a bird, weak and innocent, and within him Solomon with (all) his host?
When he moans bitterly, without thanksgiving or complaint, a noise of tumult falls on (arises in) the Seven Spheres (of Heaven).
At every moment (there come) to him from God a hundred missives, a hundred couriers: from him one (cry of) “O my Lord!” and from God a hundred (cries of) “Labbayka” (“Here am I”).
In the sight of God his backsliding is better than obedience; beside his infidelity all faiths are tattered (worthless).
Every moment he hath an ascension (to God) peculiar to himself: He (God) lays upon his crown a hundred peculiar crowns. 1580
His form is on earth and his spirit in “no-place,” a “no-place” beyond the imagination of travellers (on the mystic Way):
Not such a “no-place” that it should come into thy understanding (or that) a fancy about it should be born in thee every moment;
Nay, place and “no-place” are in his control, just as the four (Paradisal) rivers are in the control of one who dwells in Paradise.
Cut short the explanation of this and avert thy face from it: do not breathe a word (more)—and God knows best what is right.
We return, O friends, to the bird and the merchant and India. 1585
The merchant accepted this message (and promised) that he would convey the greeting from her (the parrot) to her congeners.
How the merchant saw the parrots of India in the plain and delivered the parrot's message.
When he reached the farthest bounds of India, he saw a number of parrots in the plain.
He halted his beast; then he gave voice, delivered the greeting and (discharged) the trust.
One of those parrots trembled exceedingly, fell, and died, and its breath stopped.
The merchant repented of having told the news, and said, “I have gone about to destroy the creature. 1590
This one, surely, is kin to that little parrot (of mine): they must have been two bodies and one spirit.
Why did I do this? Why did I give the message? I have consumed the poor creature by this raw (foolish) speech.”
This tongue is like stone and is also like iron, and that which springs from the tongue is like fire.
Do not vainly strike stone and iron against each other, now for the sake of relating (a story), now for the sake of boasting,
Because it is dark, and on every side are fields of cotton: how should sparks be amongst cotton? 1595
Iniquitous are those persons who shut their eyes and by such (vain) words set a whole world ablaze.
A single word lays waste a (whole) world, turns dead foxes into lions.
Spirits in their original nature have the (life-giving) breath of Jesus, (but while they remain embodied) at one time they are (like) the wound, and another time (like) the plaster.
If the (bodily) screen were removed from the spirits, the speech of every spirit would be like (the breath of) the Messiah.
If you wish to utter words like sugar, refrain from concupiscence and do not eat this sweetmeat (the desires of the flesh). 1600
Self-control is the thing desired by the intelligent; sweetmeat is what children long for.
Whoever practises self-control ascends to Heaven, whoever eats sweetmeat falls farther behind.
Commentary on the saying of Farídu’ddín ‘Attár, -may God sanctify his spirit- “Thou art a sensualist: O heedless one, drink blood (mortify thyself) amidst the dust (of thy bodily existence), For if the spiritualist drink a poison, it will be (to him as) an antidote.”
It does not harm the spiritualist (saint) though he drink deadly poison for all to see,
Because he has attained to (spiritual) health and has been set free from (the need for) abstinence, (while) the poor seeker (of God) is (still) in the (state of) fever.
The Prophet said, “O seeker of an allowance (for food, etc.), beware! Do not contend with any one who is sought.” 1605
In thee is a Nimrod: do not go into the fire. If thou wish to go in, first become Abraham!
When thou art neither a swimmer nor a seaman, do not cast thyself (into the sea) from a (feeling of) self-conceit.