He set the world aflame,
And laid me on the same;
A hundred tongues of fire
Lapped round my pyre.

And when the blazing tide
Engulfed me, and I sighed,
Upon my mouth in haste
His hand He placed.

(translation by A.J. Arberry)

II

MAULANA’S LAST LETTER TO SHAMS

rumi & shams

Sometimes I wonder, sweetest love, if you
Were a mere dream in along winter night,
A dream of spring-days, and of golden light
Which sheds its rays upon a frozen heart;
A dream of wine that fills the drunken eye.

And so I wonder, sweetest love, if I
Should drink this ruby wine, or rather weep;
Each tear a bezel with your face engraved,
A rosary to memorize your name…

There are so many ways to call you back-
Yes, even if you only were a dream.

(translation by Annemarie Schimmel)