The voice of Bartari penetrated into my soul;
I was intoxicated with Bartari’s song.
Rumi said: ‘It is better to open your eyes,
better to step outside the circle of your thoughts.
You have passed by the banquet of dervishes;
give one glance also at the palace of kings.
The sovereigns of the East are here assembled,
the might of Iran, Afghanistan and Deccan —
Nadir, who knew the secret of unity
and conveyed to the Moslems the message of love;
heroic Abdali, his whole being a sign,
who gave the Afghans the foundation of nationhood;
that leader of all the martyrs of love,
“glory of India, China, Turkey and Syria”,
whose name is more resplendent than the sun and the moon,
the dust of whose grave is more living than I and you.
Love is a mystery, which he revealed in the open plain—
do you not know how yearningly he gave his life?
By grace of the gaze of the victor of Badr and Hunain
the poverty of the king became heir to Husain’s ecstasy;
the King departed from this tavern of seven days,
yet still to this day his trumpet sounds in Deccan.’
My words and voice are immature, my thought imperfect:
how can I hope to describe that place?
The beings of light from its reflected glory derive vision,
vitality, knowledge, speech, awareness;
a palace whose walls and gates are of turquoise
holding in its bosom the whole azure sky;
soaring beyond the bounds of quantity and quality,
it reduces thought to mean impotence.
The roses, the cypresses, the jasmines, the flowering boughs
delicate as a picture painted by the hand of spring;
the petals of the flowers, the leaves of the trees every moment
put on new colours out of the joy of growth—
such a spellbinder the zephyr is
that as you wink, gold is turned to scarlet;
on every side pearl -scattering fountains,
birds born of Paradise in clamant song.
Within that lofty palace was a chamber
whose motes held the sun in a lasso;
the roof, walls and columns were of red agate,
the floor of jasper, enclosed in carnation.
To the right and left of that lodge
houris with golden girdles stood in ranks,
and in the midst, seated on thrones of gold,
sovereigns stately as Jamshid, splendid as Bahram.
Rumi, that mirror of perfect refinement,
with utmost affection opened his lips
saying, ‘Here is a poet from the East—
either a poet, or an eastern magician;
his thoughts are acute, his soul impassioned;
his verses have kindled a fire in all the East’.
Welcome to you, eastern weaver of subtleties
whose lips the Persian speech so well beseems!
We are your intimate friends; tell us your secret,
reveal what you know of Iran.
After long ages she opened her eyes on herself,
but then she fell into the snare of a trap,
slain by the charm of bold and elegant idols,
creator of culture-and slavish imitation of Europe.
Lost in the cult of ‘rulership’ and ‘race’, she acclaims
the glory of Shapur, and despises the Arabs;
her day today being empty of new achievements
she seeks for life in ancient sepulchres.
Wedded to the ‘fatherland’, having abandoned her self
she has given her heart to Rustam, and turned from Haidar.
She is accepting a false image from Europe,
she takes the version of her history from Europe.
Iran was aged already in the time of Yazdajird,
her cheeks were lack-lustre, her blood was cold.
ancient her religion, her laws, her system,
ancient the light and dark of her dawn and eve;
in her vine’s flask no wine foamed,
no spark glowed in her heap of dust,
till from the desert a resurrection came to her
which endowed her with new life.
Such a resurrection is a grace of God:
Persia lives on-where is Rome the mighty?
He from whose body the pure spirit has departed
cannot rise from the dust without a resurrection.
The desert-dwellers breathed life into Iran
and then sped back to their sandy wastes;
they erased from our tablet all that was old, and departed,
they brought the apparatus of a new age, and departed.
Alas, Iran has not recognized the benefaction of the Arabs;
she has melted away in Europe’s fire.