By the God who was in pre-eternity living and moving and omnipotent, everlasting

by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by A. J. Arberry
Original Language Persian/Farsi

By the God who was in pre-eternity living and moving and omnipotent, everlasting.
His light lit the candles of love so that a hundred thousand secrets became known.
By one decree of Him the world was filled -- lover and loved, ruler and ruled.
In the talismans of Shams-e Tabrizi the treasure of His marvels became concealed.
For from the moment that you journeyed forth, we became separated from sweetness like wax;
All the night we are burning like candles, paired to his flame and deprived of honey.
In separation from his beauty, my body is a waste, and the soul in it is like an owl.
Turn those reins in this direction, twist the trunk of the elephant of joy.
Without your presence concert is not lawful; music has been stoned like Satan.
Without you not one ode has been uttered, until that gracious vision of yours arrived and was understood;
Then out of the joy of hearing your letter five or six odes were composed.
May our eventide through you be radiant dawn, O you in whom Syria and Armenia and Rum glory.

-- from Mystical Poems of Rumi: Volume 2, Translated by A. J. Arberry

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By the God who was