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Story of the diamond and the coal


NOW I will open one more gate of truth,
I will tell thee another tale.
The coal in the mine said the diamond.
O thou entrusted with splendours eve lasting.
We are comrades, and our being is one; 1195
The source of our existence is the same,
Yet while I die here in the anguish of worthlessness,
Thou art set on the crowns of emperors.
My stuff is so vile that I am valued less than earth,
Whereas the mirror's heart is rent by thy beauty, 1200
My darkness illumines the chafing dish,
Then my substance is incinerated at last
Every one puts the sole of his foot on my head
And covers my stock of existence with ashes.
My fate must needs be deplored: 1205
Dost thou know what is the gist of my being
It is a condensed wavelet of smoke,
Endowed with a single spark.92
Both in, feature and nature thou art star-like,
Splendours rise from every side of thee. 1210
Now thou become'st the light of a monarch's eye,
Now thou adornest the haft of a dagger."
"O sagacious friend!" said the diamond,
"Dark earth, when hardened, becomes in dignity as a bezel.
Having been at strife with its environment, 1215
It is ripened by the struggle and grows hard like a stone.
'Tis this ripeness that has endowed my form with light.
And filled my bossom with radiance.
Because thy being is immature, thou hast become abased;
Because thy body is soft, thou art burnt. 1220
Be void of fear, grief, and anxiety;
Be hard as a stone, be a diamond!
Whosoever strives hard and grips tight,
The two worlds are illumined by him.
A little earth is the origin of the Black Stone 1225
Which puts forth its head in the Ka’aba:
Its rank is higher than Sinai,
It is kissed by the swarthy and the fair.
In solidity consists the glory of Life:
Weakness is worthlessness and immaturity."


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