What (power of) action (remains in him), since he has been so overpowered and all the qualities of an agent have been removed from him? 3685
Story of the Sadr-i Jahán's Wakíl (minister), who fell under suspicion and fled from Bukhárá in fear of his life; then love drew him back irresistibly, for the matter of life is of small account to lovers.
In Bukhárá the servant of the Sadr-i Jahán incurred suspicion and hid from his Sadr (prince).
During ten years he roamed distractedly, now in Khurásán, now in the mountain-land, now in the desert.
After ten years, through longing he became unable to endure the days of separation (from his beloved).
He said, “Henceforth I cannot bear to be parted (from him) any more: how can patience allay (the lover's) state of abandonment?”
From separation these soils are nitrous (barren), and water becomes yellow and stinking and dark; 3690
The life-increasing wind (air) becomes unhealthy and pestilential; a fire turns to ashes and dust.
The orchard which resembled Paradise becomes the abode of disease, (with) its leaves yellow and dropping in decay.
The penetrating intellect, through separation from its friends, (becomes) like an archer whose bow is broken.
From separation Hell has become so burning; from separation the old man has become so trembling.
If I should speak of separation, (which is) like sparks of fire, till the Resurrection, ’twould be (only) one (part) out of a hundred thousand. 3695
Therefore do not breathe (a word) in description of its burning: say only “Lord, save (me)! Lord, save (me)!”
Everything by which you are rejoiced in the world—think at that time of the parting from it.
Many a one has been gladdened by what made you glad: at last it escaped from him and became even as wind.
It will escape from you also: set not your heart upon it. Do you yourself escape from it before it escapes (from you).
The appearance of the Holy Spirit (Gabriel) in the shape of a man to Mary when she was undressed and washing herself, and how she took refuge with God.
Before the slipping away of your possessions, say to the form (of created things), like Mary, “(I take) refuge from thee with the Merciful (God).” 3700
Mary in her chamber saw a form that gave increase of life— a life-increasing, heart-ravishing one.
That trusted Spirit rose up before her from the face of the earth, like the moon and the sun.
Beauty unveiled rose up from the earth (in) such (splendour) as the sun rises from the East.
A trembling came over Mary's limbs, for she was undressed and was afraid of evil.
(’Twas) such a form that if Joseph had beheld it plainly, he would have cut his hand in amazement, like the (Egyptian) women. 3705
It blossomed from the earth like a rose before her—like a phantasy which lifts its head from the heart.
Mary became selfless (beside herself), and in her selflessness she said, “I will leap into the Divine protection,”
Because that pure-bosomed one had made a habit of betaking herself in flight to the Unseen.
Since she deemed the world a kingdom without permanence, she prudently made a fortress of that (Divine) Presence,
In order that in the hour of death she should have a stronghold which the Enemy would find no way to attack. 3710
She saw no better fortress than the protection of God: she chose her abiding-place near to that castle.
When she beheld those amorous reason-destroying glances whereby hearts were ever being pierced (as) by arrows—
King and army are enthralled by Him, the sovereigns of wit (intelligence) are made witless by Him;
Hundreds of thousands of kings are held in servitude by Him; hundreds of thousands of full-moons He hath given over to (love's) wasting fever;
Zuhra hath not the courage to breathe (a word); Universal Reason, when it sees Him, humbles itself. 3715
What shall I say? for He has sealed my lips: His furnace has consumed the place (channel) of my breath.
“I am the smoke of that fire, I am the evidence for it”—far from that King be their false interpretation!
Verily, there is no evidence for a sun except the light of the lofty sun.
Who (what) is the shadow that it should be an evidence for Him? ’Tis enough for it that it should be abased before Him.
This majesty (which I have attributed to Him) in (the matter of) evidence declares the truth: all perceptions are behind (Him), He is outstripping (them). 3720
All perceptions are (mounted) on lame asses; He is mounted on the wind that flies like an arrow.
If He flee, none (of them) finds the dust of the King; and if they flee, He bars the way in front (of them).
All the perceptions are unquiet: it is the time for battle, not the time for the (festal) cup.
One perceptive faculty is flying like a falcon, while another, (swift) as an arrow, is tearing its place of passage;
And another is like a ship with sails, and another is turning back every moment. 3725
When an object of chase appears to them from afar, all those birds (the perceptions) increase (the speed of) their onset.
When it vanishes from sight, they become lost: like owls, they go to every wilderness,
Waiting, with one eye closed and one eye open, that the delectable prey may appear.
When it tarries long, they say (from weariness), “We wonder whether it was a (real) prey or a phantom.”
The right course is that, for a short while, they should gather come strength and vigour by (taking) a rest. 3730
If there were no night, on account of cupidity all people would consume themselves by the agitation (of pursuit).
From desire and greed of amassing gain, every one would give his body to be consumed.
Night appears, like a treasure of mercy, that they may be delivered from their greed for a short while.
When a feeling of (spiritual) contraction comes over you, O traveller, ’tis (for) your good: do not become afire (with grief) in your heart,