Listen to the reed and the tale it tells...
The first 18 lines of Masnavi (Hz. Molana Rumi) in English
Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,
how it sings of separation:
Ever since they cut me from the reed bed,
my wail has caused men and women to weep.
I want a heart that is torn open with longing
so that I might share the pain of this love.
Whoever has been parted from his source
longs to return to that state of union.
At every gathering I play my lament. I'm a friend to both happy
Each befriended me for his own reasons,
yet none searched out the secrets I contain.
My secret is not different than my lament,
yet this is not for the senses to perceive.
The body is not hidden from the soul,
nor is the soul hidden from the body, and yet the soul is not for
everyone to see.
This flute is played with fire, not with wind,
and without this fire you would not exist.
It is the fire of love that inspires the flute.
It is the ferment of love that completes the wine.
The reed is a comfort to all estranged lovers.
Its music tears our veils away.
Have you ever seen a poison or antidote like the reed? Have
you seen a more intimate companion and lover?
It sings of the path of blood;
it relates the passion of Majnun.
Only to the senseless is this sense confided.
Does the tongue have any patron but the ear?
Our days grow more unseasonable,
these days which mix with grief and pain. . .
but if the days that remain are few, let them go; it doesn't
matter. But You, You remain, for nothing is as pure as You are.
All but the fish quickly have their fill of His water,
and the day is long without His daily bread.
The raw do not understand the state of the ripe,
and so my words will be brief.
- Hz. Molana Jalaladdin Rumi
translation: Kabir Helminski