The Wine of Rapture (from The Secret Rose Garden)

by Mahmud Shabistari

English version by Florence Lederer
Original Language Persian/Farsi

The wine, lit by a ray from his face,
reveals the bubbles of form,
such as the material world and the soul-world,
which appear as veils to the saints.
Universal Reason seeing this is astounded,
Universal Soul is reduced to servitude.

Drink wine! for the bowl is the face of the Friend.
Drink wine! for the cup is his eye, drunken and flown with wine.
Drink wine! and be free from cold-heartedness,
for a drunkard is better than the self-satisfied.

The world is his tavern,
his wine-cup the heart of each atom;
reason is drunken, angels drunken, soul drunken,
air drunken, earth drunken, heaven drunken.

The sky, dizzy with the wine-fumes' aroma,
is staggering to and fro;
the angels, sipping pure wine from goblets,
pour down the dregs to the world.
From the scent of these dregs man rises to heaven.
Inebriated from the draft, the elements
fall into water and fire.
Catching the reflection, the frail body becomes soul,
And the frozen soul by its heat
thaws and becomes living.
The creature world becomes giddy,
forever straying from house and home.

One from the dregs' odor becomes a philosopher.
One viewing the wine's color becomes a relater.
One from half a draft becomes religious.
One from a bowl-full becomes a lover.
Another swallows at one draft
goblet, tavern, cupbearer, and drunkards;
he swallows all, but still his mouth stays open.

-- from The Secret Rose Garden: Mahmud Shabistari, Translated by Florence Lederer / Edited by David Fideler

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Recommended Books: Mahmud Shabistari

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom The Secret Rose Garden: Mahmud Shabistari Beyond Faith and Infidelity: The Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari

The Wine of Rapture