Flames from that wine

I saw my Beloved wandering about the house:
He had taken up a rebeck and was playing a tune.
With a touch like fire he was playing a sweet melody,
Drunken and distraught and bewitching from the night’s
He was invoking the cup-bearer in the mode of Iraq:
Wine was his object, the cup-bearer was only an excuse.
The beauteous cup-bearer, pitcher in hand,
Stepped forth from a recess and placed it in the middle.
He filled the first up with that sparkling wine-
Didst thou ever see water set on fire?
For the sake of those in love he passed it from hand to hand,
Then bowed and kissed the lintel.
My Beloved received it from him, and quaffed the wine:
Instantly o’er his face and head ran flashes of flame.
Meanwhile he was regarding his own beauty and saying to the
evil eye:
“there has not been nor will be in this age another like me.
I am the Divine sun of the world, I am the Beloved of the
Soul and spirit are continually moving before me.”

Rumi -Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
“The Triumphal Sun”
SUNY, 1993

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