799. Your Soul Is So Close to Mine, by Jalal al-din Rumi

Your soul is so close to mine
I know what you dream.
Friends scan each other's depths;
Would I be a Friend, if I didn't?
A Friend is a mirror of clear water;
I see my gains in you, and my losses.
Turn away from me for one moment
My mouth fills and chokes with gall.
Like a dream that flows from heart to heart,
I, too, flow continually through all hearts.
Everything you think, I know;
Your heart is so close to mine.
I have other symbols, even more intimate,
Come closer still, dare to invoke them.
Come, like a real dervish, and dance among us,
Don't joke, don't boast I am already present.
n the center of your house I am like a pillar,
On your rooftop I bow my head like a gutter.
I turn like a cup in the heart of your assembly;
In the thick of your battles, I strike like an arrow.
When I give my life for yours, what Grace descends!
Each life I give gives you a thousand new worlds!
In this house, there are thousands of corpses.
You sit and say: "Here is my kingdom."
A handful of dust moans: "I was hair."
Another handful whispers: "I was bones."
Another cries: "I was old."
Yet another: "I was young."
Another shouts: "Stop where you are! Stop!
Don't you know who I am! I am so-and-so's son!"
You sit destroyed, astounded, and then suddenly Love appears.
"Come closer still," Love says, "it is I, Eternal Life."

(trans Andrew Harvey)

Source: The Rumi Collection

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