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Ecstasy

ECSTASY
(Most of these Verses Were Written in Palestine)

The morning sun’s silver beams
Are absorbed in the sand;
The eyes are bathed in radiance;
The mind is lost in thought.

Eternal beauty is revealed,
And life’s image unveiled;
The heart is softened in ravishment,
The eyes are dazed by the sun.

The night clouds are drifting,
In scattered colours on the hill;
The balmy air has bathed the trees,
And the sand is soft as silk.

Ashes of a fire, and ropes of tents,
Is all that remains behind—
The only imprints that the caravans
Have left behind as they marched.

The storm that has been raging
In my heart of late,
Has turned life’s wine
Into a poisonous potion.

The temples reared by holy men
Are waiting to be demolished;
Is there no idol-breaker new-born—
No Ghaznavi in the battlefield?

There is neither Arab passion,
Nor Ajami refinement,
In the deeds of the one,
In the thought of the other.

The regions of Euphrates
Have waited, and waited in vain,
For a martyr like Hussain,
On a death-defying march.

Love is the mentor of the eye,
Of the heart and reason;
Faith without love
Is a pantheon of fantasies.

Love is Abraham’s faith;
Love is Hussain’s endurance;
Love is Badr and Hunayn,
On the battlefield of life.

Of this varied world
Thou art the meaning long sought—
Long sought by multitudes of men,
From every corner of the earth.

The disciples in tile schools
Are insipid and purblind;
The esoteric few
Have an empty unseening soul.

My song seeks to recapture
The flame that has been lost—
To rediscover the great
And noble souls of the past.

As the breeze infuses
Life into the green earth,
My fire-breathing song
Infuses passion into men.

It is my life-blood
That nourishes my song;
The harpist’s blood streams
In the strings of the harp.

Let not this anxious heart of mine
Have a spasm to struggle;
Bright are Thy tresses,
Brighten them even more.

Thou writest my book of fate;
Thou art my arbiter;
The starlit dome, in its expanse,
Is but a bubble in Thy sea.

The myriad-coloured earth
Is illumined by Thee;
Thou makest even a piece of sand
As radiant as the sun.

The majesty of’ kings
Is but a reflection of Thy power;
The sanctity of pious men
Is a mirror of Thy beauty.

If my prayer is not inspired
By a love of Thee,
My prayer is futile,
My bowing to Thee is a pose.

To my reason Thou didst give
The quest born of Absence,
And to my love for Thee,
Thy Presence and anxiety.

The earth is dark, benighted,
Revolving round the old sun,
Bring the dawn of life to the earth,
With Thy glimpse unveiled.

Thou knowest all about
My past and my present;
I had not known that knowledge
Is a tree without fruit.

That old battle was raged
In my heart again,
Between love, which is all good,
And reason, which is all evil.

Love has a strange beginning,
And a strange end—
It snatches by excuses sometimes,
And drags by force at others.

In the world of passion,
Absence is greater than Presence,
Absence is the pleasure of yearning,
Presence is desire’s death.

In fulfilment in the past.,
Perception I had none;
Though my audacious eye
Was looking for pretences.

The wave’s enduring quest,
The rain-drop’s search to be a pearl,
The heart’s eternal yearning,
Are all before fulfilment.

.

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