Why is my own existence to myself the least known?
Whence have I come, why this coming here?
Where to must I go, when will my home to me be shown?
I am in desperate awe, why was I ever created?
For this, my creation, whatsoever was the reason?
Whatever is of the celestial realm, of that I speak
I am ready to go, my clothes are packed to be away thrown.
Why, take me to the tavern of that mighty King
I am drunk of that aroma, only by that wind may be blown
Joyous be that day that in search of the beloved
I take wing towards that land, upon that air I am flown.
Where is that ear that can hear my speech and song?
Who is the one who puts voice in this mouth of dust and stone?
Who is in these eyes through which gazes out to see?
Who is the one who wears this garment of flesh and bone?
Until I am lead without a doubt to my way home,
I will hold my breath, will only complain and moan.
Let me taste the wine of eternal communion
Cry out in drunkenness, intoxicated, broken, alone.
I did not come here on my own accord, nor will I thus leave
He who brought me here, shall return me to my very own.
Think not that I write these verses in a sober state
If sober, such seeds I could not possibly have sown.
Shams-e Tabriz, if you show not your face here and now
My earthly corpse, by God, I shall surely disown.
Between my beloved and I this is the only veil
It is time to unveil and disrobe the light that brightly shone
With extreme joy I tear and shred my earthly garment
By casting of my clothes, into the glory of my soul I’ve grown.
I wear this earthly corps for what use, to what avail?
I am not a cawing crow, of heavenly birds is my tone
I am a bird of Paradise, I am not of the earthy realm
For a few days imprisoned in my cage of flesh and bone.
My soul is my guide, for my soul is of that abode
I will not speak of the earthly, I am of the unknown.
The fragrant morning breeze brings news of union
With joy and with song I’ll leave this cage, this earthly throne.
Translated By: Shahriar Shahriari
June 21, 1998