Rumi, once again

The ritual prayer is five times daily,
but the guide for lovers is the verse,
they who are in prayer continually.*
The headache of intoxication in those heads
isn’t relieved by five times, nor by five hundred thousand.
“Visit once a week” is not the ration for lovers;
the soul of sincere lovers has an intense craving to drink.
“Visit once a week” is not the ration for those fish,
since they feel no spiritual joy without the Sea.

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Panj vaqt âmad namâz o rahnamun
`âsheqân-râ fî salâtin dâ’imûn*
Nah beh-panj ârâm girad ân khomâr
keh dar ân sar-hâst ni pânsad hazâr
Nist “zur ghibban” vazifeh-ye `âsheqân
sakht mostasqist jân-e sâdeqân
Nist “zur ghibban” vazifeh-ye mâhiyân
zânkeh bi Daryâ na-dârand ons-e jân

*al-Ma`ârij, 23

— Mathnawi VI:2669-2670
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra

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