Behold the faithfulness of spring

The red rose, which tears its cloak to shreds — I
for one know its motive.
The willow has let down its branches in straight
rows to make up for all the ritual prayers it has missed.
The lily with its sword and the jasmine with its
shield are preparing themselves for the holy war.
The poor nightingale–how he suffers! He sighs
at the rose’s display.
Each of the lovely brides in the garden says,
“The rose is glancing at me.”
The nightingale replies, “The rose makes those
amorous gestures for my sake, headless and footless me!”
The plane-tree has lifted up its hands in
lamentation–shall I tell you what supplications he makes?
Who put the hat on the bud’s head? Who bent
the violet over double?
Although autumn was very cruel, behold the
faithfulness of spring!
Whatever autumn took in pillage, spring has
come and replaced.
I speak of roses, nightingales and the beauties of
the garden as a pretext — why do I do it?
For the sake of Love’s Jealousy — at any rate, I
am describing God’s graces.
The pride of Tabriz and the world, Shams al-
Din, has again shown me favor.

— Ghazal (Ode) 1000
Translation by William C. Chittick
“The Sufi Path of Love”
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983

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