The Terdjih Bend of Ahmed Hatif of Ishfahan

Love I give to you complete
now myself in every part,
For your beauty holds my heart
and my life is at your feet.

To wrest mountains in twain, less were the task than if out of your power called I my soul.
O what would you with me? – peace? – it is yours: or war? – here is my life, do as you will!
Possessed, haunted by love, seeking your face, last night dazed and enrapt far did I roam.
The fire guiding my heart, craving your sight, at last led to a true Temple of Fire:
And some there for a right gathered I saw in light not of this earth, splendour divine.
The Chief Mage I beheld lighting the flames, behind followed the young priests of the shrine:
The young mages had delicate silver faces and rose cheeks; and they spoke gently and low.
With harp, lute and sitar, timbrel and flute, with flames, roses and wine, spices outbreathed.
The Cup-Bearer, as night’s heaven suberb, his face shadowed by rich tresses, stood nigh:
And heart-cheering the glad Singing-man called his sweet-chanted replies over the throng.
The young priests and the old, servant and sage, in shared fervour of work aided the rite.
And shamefaced for my creed then did I hide behind kindly a wall: O, but they saw!
“Who hides?” questioned the Elder. One replied, “A poor lover, for whom love has no rest.”
“A cup give him of wine,” came the decree, “Although here uninvited has he come.”
The Cup-Bearer, the Fire-Worshipper, then to me proffered the sweet fire of the wine.
I scarce drank, when at once foundered my sense; and all knowledge of faith, heresy, fled.
At this, reeling, I fell. Drunken the void for me echoed with words: unknown the tongue,
Unknown, yea, but most clear: out of my limbs they seemed springing, and out, forth from my veins:-

One is he unchangingly,
one, and being’s all in one:
He, the peerless sole and sun,
one in all of deity.

If the sword should be my fate,
strewn apart my limbs in death,
Truly from my fleeting breath
love it could not separate.

A hundred, O my Love! lives would I yield for one smile of your mouth: mine were the gain!
My father bids me return, bids me be wise and tread easier ways, wander no more.
O peace, father, be yours! Love is my road and this, this is the one wisdom for me
O Love! shall not the spheres bid them have done, the tongues striving to draw me from my life?
I spoke once to a Christian girl at the church (One day questing my steps thither were led):-
“All hail, captress of mine! See, it is I whose limbs swing on the symbol at your throat!
Now where, seeking for God, find you not One? Or where seeking for one, find it in three?”
A smile brightened her face, hearing my words, and still smiling with soft lips she replied:-
“Are you mystic indeed? – knower of truth? Then not infidel name us of the Church!
The one timeless, the First Beauty, we know, in triple mirror reflects glorious its light.
The same source is in all, one is the fire yet truth owns that the flames, equal, are three.
Again: satin, brocade, silk, they are three, but all know that their true substance is one.”
Yet more should I have heard, more had I said, when thus, sudden and clear, sounded the bells:-

One is he unchangingly,
one, and being’s all in one:
He, the peerless sole and sun,
one in all of deity.

Herbs there be for fever’s aid,
amulets, and rites divine:
Naught can heal such hurt as mine
yet I live, and unafraid.

Last night, troubled at heart, under the skies of dusk forth to the bright tavern I went,
And there found I a glad company met: himself let it, the old genial Host.
He sat midmost of all, ringed with his friends while some drank, other some tippled no more.
These last sat or reclined, lost to all sense, with thoughts silent and mute innocent lips;
Their eyes fixed upon God, truth in their ears, and all bathed in a light not of the world;
While those friends who yet drank, each unto each lifted cup, and gave thanks each unto each.
The harp thrillingly rang; sparkled the cup; not earth offered, nor heaven, other desire.
I bowed then to the Host, saying, “With you to whom angels have spoken, would I speak:
Behold, I am possessed, stricken by love: can you out of your skill bring me some aid?”
His gaze scanned me; his mouth smiling replied, “Indeed, traveller, hail! Greetings to you
Who on Reason has set servitude’s yoke! For you blushes the Daughter of the Vine”
Said I, “Fevered, I burn: give me to drink, a cool draught to allay merciless fires!
Last night, seeking my Love, knew I no rest: I called over the land, echo replied,
I sought skyward, and night’s self was aflame – O, not such another night’s anguish be this!”
At that, he to my hand proffered the cup and said “Take, but have care: prudently sip.”
I drank. Reason and strict purpose their bonds at once loosened, and fled far from my mind.
With new consciousness then clearly I saw, the One Truth I beheld filling all forms,
And lo! Out of the vast height of the skies a swift angel I heard. this was the song:

One is he unchangingly,
one, and being’s all in one:
He, the peerless sole and sun,
one in all of deity.

O my brothers, open wide
eyes which you in heart posses:
You shall see the bodiless
Soul-of-Things on every side.

Your feet treading the harsh courtyards of love, the far hills are for you gardened with flowers.
When all things that you see, see you with love, then all things that you love soon will you see.
Lo some, beggars, the world’s sovereignty scorn and walk, proudly and barefoot, on the stars:
And bareheaded, with torn garments, go some beyond stars, to the last uttermost Sphere:
Or one atom divide, lo you shall find a new sun in its heart hidden, ablaze!
For love shall you perchance sacrifice all: no least fragment, i swear, thus shall you lose!
In love’s crucible quite melted your heart, its fire know for the soul’s alchemy true.
Released thus from the straight confines of earth, in bliss shall you behold limitless worlds:
And sights which you shall see, eye never saw, and sounds which you shall hear, ear never heard.
To such height you shall scale, ocean and earth with all creatures, as one shall you perceive:
Yet when full on the one fix you your gaze, revealed there you shall find myriad lives.
And when, body and soul, you shall belong to One out of all worlds, this shall you know:

One is he unchangingly,
one, and being’s all in one:
He, the peerless sole and sun,
one in all of deity.

Love I give to you complete
now myself in every part,
For your beauty holds my heart
and my life is at your feet.

Ye wise men of the world, do you not see the bright Sweetheart-of-All, there at your door?
Behold, veilless she stands, waiting. She smiles, and through portal and pane radiant shines.
The sun flames in the east: blindly you reach a hand, seeking a torch. Open your eyes!
O come forth from the thick night you have made! The skies brim with the sweet wonder of light.
In this garden’s delight eddies the stream among roses and thorns, nourishing all.
And one water, itself colourless, flows to raise blossoms of all colours to life.
O bring journey-bread, come, take you the road and seek what may befall, seek for your love!
The dear name of the Friend, morning to night repeat you and repeat, evening to dawn.
And where you shall arrive, Reason is lame and not Gabriel’s self comes as your peer.
Behold, this is the way, this is the prize: if yours, Man, is the quest, here is the road!
If not, fair is the world, bright are the skies and kind-hearted your girl: seek you no more.
But O, Hatif! be sure this is the truth: – These strange drunkards, and cup-bearers, and priests,
These fire-temples and inns, lover and sage, the veiled signs of a high secret they show.
And when you in your life surely attain the full mystery, know this is its heart:

One is he unchangingly,
one, and being’s all in one:
He, the peerless sole and sun,
one in all of deity.

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