On Love

by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Alan Jacobs (versified from the Nicholson translation)
Original Language Persian/Farsi

Love's way is humility and intoxication,
The torrent floods down. How can it run up?
You'll be a cabuchon in the ring of lovers,
If you're a red ruby's slave, dear friend ;
Even as Earth is a serf of the sapphire sky
And your monkey body's a slave to your spirit.

What did Earth ever lose by this relationship?
What mercy has the Self showed to weary limbs?
One shouldn't beat the snare drum of awakening
Beneath a cosy sofa's, comfy counterpane.

Hoist, like a hero, your flag in the desert.
Listen with your soul's ear to the song,
In that hollow of the vast turquoise dome,
Rising from the lover's passionate moan .

When your tight gown-strings are loosened
By the tipsy inebriation of perfect love,
The victorious heavens shout, triumphantly!
And the constellations gaze down ashamed.
This world is in deep trouble, from top to bottom,
But it can be swiftly healed by the balm of love.

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On Love