WHO SHALL GIVE THEE COMFORT
Who shall give thee comfort In the days of thy trouble, In the days of thy sorrow? From whom shalt thou seek The consolation of thy heart, The satisfaction of thy mind, In the days of darkness, In the days of affliction? As the rain cometh And falleth on the land In due season, So, O friend, Sorrow descends on all, And it shall spare none. The poor who are humble in the ways Of life, The wealthy who are arrogant in their hearts, The oppressor who maketh the land to cry, The ruler who is far from the peoples, The ardent lover of God, The pursuer of fleeting pleasures; Yea, None shall be spared.
Shall the offering of flowers In the temple Bring to thee the lasting comfort That thou seekest? Shall the chanting of many voices Chase away from thy heart The shadow that covereth it? Shall the perfume of incense Drive away from thy mind The anxiety that over-layeth it? Shalt thou forget the oppression Of thy heart By the consuming of drink? Shalt thou chase away the shadow By the company of many friends? Shall the multitude of rejoicings Bring to thee the consolation That thou seekest? Shall songs and music Entice thee away From thine affliction? Shall the fleeting love In its delight hold thee back From thine aching heart? O friend, As the dark cloud Blotteth out the sun And casteth shadows on the land,
Sorrow shall encompass thee about And destroy the smile on thy face.
In the days of mine illusion, When darkness lay about me, I sought to overpower The sorrow-laden heart With the multitude of rejoicings. Every abode of music knew me, Every flower of decay held me, Every jewel of the eye enticed me. The cool temples, With their great shadows And the cooing of many doves, Gave the passing comfort of a day. The Gods thereof played with me In the innocence of their greatness. They whispered to me of the life In the haven of their rest. The preachers thereof Lulled me to sleep By the words of their books, And the promises of reward For my good deeds. The perfume of the sacred flowers Gave to me of their comfort.
As the leaf is The plaything of the winds, So was I the toy Of sorrow. As the cloud is chased By the cruel winds, So was I driven From shelter to shelter By the mutterings of affliction. But now, O friend, I am beyond The haven of the Gods. The limitations of the preachers, Of books, No longer bind me. As the soft breeze That plays about the temple, So have I become. Not a thing shall hold me, For sorrow is the companion Of the seekers of shelter. Yea, I have found The eternal abode of happiness, I have opened up The fountain of lasting joy. I am beyond sorrow, I am liberated.
My Beloved abideth in me, We two are one.
O friend, I tell thee, As behavior dwelleth with righteousness, So eternal happiness abideth in thine own heart. This vain search After the desires of thy heart Among the flowers of decay Holds thee in its shadows. Thou canst not escape This fury of sorrow In a moment of forgetfulness. No God will give thee The happiness thou seekest. No mutterings of sacred words Will loosen thee From the cords of affliction. There is no way To that abode of lasting happiness Save by the union of the self With the Beloved.
Conceal not thy heart In the sanctity of thoughtlessness As the bird of prey From the open skies Examines the fields of the earth For its food, So thou must look into thy heart And destroy the shadows That are concealed therein, For in the shade Hides the self. There must never be a moment of ease Or the satisfaction of contentment, For thou shalt not behold The face of the Beloved In a heart heavy with stagnation. There must be revolt And great discontentment, For with these Thou shalt purify thy heart. Who shall give thee Of these things? Who will purify thee Of thy stagnation? Who shall uphold thee In thy ceaseless struggle? The perfume cometh forth From the heart of the lotus. O friend, I tell thee As behaviour dwelleth with righteousness, So eternal happiness abideth in thine own heart.