“Doors in Metal” by Rumi
Tell me, O Love,
Who is more elegant,
You or this vast garden of yours?
Shine, O moon,
You are an inspiration
to all who look upon the night sky.
Sour will turn to sweet,
Blasphemy will turn to truth,
Thorn bushes will turn to jonquil,
A hundred bodies will spring to life
with one breath of yours.
You place doors in the sky.
You place wings on the human heart.
You enchant every mind
and bewilder both worlds.
your face is sweet and rosy red,
how rosy red.
yours is the pleasure of this world
and the way to the next.
The threshed corn assumes your color;
All truth becomes one
under the stamping of your foot.
Every note of my song
longs to ring
with the sweetness of your voice.
Without you, the markets would be empty,
The gardens and the vineyards
would wash away in the rain.
You show trees how to sway in the wind.
You show wet branches how to weep.
The leaves and fruits get drunk
on your life-giving water.
If the vast gardens wished for one thing
During the eternal Spring
it would be for leaves, flying forever,
in this flower-wind of yours.
The lights of heaven and the moving planets
Think little of any star
that dares to shine
in this vast galaxy of yours.
O, what a promise you have made!
To serve joy instead of bread
to any soul who becomes a guest of yours. . . .
I went somewhere and I returned.
In a moment, as in a dream,
I was at the beginning and the end;
This elephant of a soul
saw the open plains of yours.
From all my plans I gained nothing.
In the end my heart broke its chains,
grabbed my soul,
and dragged it into your presence.
There I see no pettiness, no pain.
Every moment a new life enters,
born from the flowing compassion of yours.
O, the mountain looks small
beside your grandeur.
And the heart seems rude
beside your love . . .
You are holding every door wide open.
Doors in metal, in mountains, in stone!
Yet my heart crawls around like an ant
looking for its tiny hole.
I may sing till the end of time
Trying to describe your face
but I’ll always sound mute.
How can a person talk straight
when he is in love?
How can a person walk straight
when he is drowning
in this wine-filled ocean of yours?
— Ghazal 2138
Version by Jonathan Star, based on a translation by
“A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi”
Bantam Books, 1992