band bogsal, baash aazad ey pesar,
chand baashi bandeh sim o bandeh zar?
gar berizi bahr ra dar koozehi,
chand gonjad ghesmateh yek roozehi?
koozeyeh cheshmhe harisaan por nashod,
ta sadaf ghaaneh nashod por dor nashod,
har keh ra jameh zeh eshghi chaak shod,
oo zeh hers o eybi kulli paak shod,
shaad baash ey eshgheh khosh sodaayeh ma,
ey tabibeh jomleh ellat haayeh ma,
ey davaayeh nekhvat o naamooseh ma,
ey to aflaatoon o jaalinooseh ma,
jesmeh khaak az eshgh bar aflaak shod,
kooh dar raghs aamad o chaalaak shod,
eshgh, jaaneh tour aamad aashegha,
tour mast o kharrah musa saaeghaa,
ba labeh damsaazeh khod gar joftami,
hamcho ney man goftani haa goftami,
hark oo az hamzabaani shod jodaa,
bi zabaan shod garcheh daarad sad navaa,
choonk gol raft o golestaan dar gozasht,
nashnavi zaan pas zeh bolbol sargozasht,
jomleh mashoogh ast o aashegh pardehi,
zendeh mashoogh ast o aashegh mordehi,
chon nabaashad eshgh ra paarvaayeh oo,
oo cho morghi maanad bi par, vaayeh oo,
man chegooneh hoosh daaram pish o pas?
Chon nabaashad nureh yaaram pish o pas?
Eshgh khaahad kin sokhan biroon bivad,
Aayneh ghammaaz nabvad choon bovad,
Aaynat daani chera ghammaaz nist?
Zaank zangaar az rokhash momtaaz nist,
In original Persian from an early manuscript, transliteration in Latin script,
and translation of meaning by R.A.Nicholson.
Book 1: lines 19-34.
O son, burst thy chains and be free! How long wilt thou be a bondsman to silver and gold?
If thou pour the sea into a pitcher, how much will it hold? One day's store.

The pitcher, the eye of the covetous, never becomes full: the oyster-shell is not filled with pearls until it is contented.
He (alone) whose garment is rent by a (mighty) love is purged of covetousness and all defect.

Hail, O Love that bringest us good gain - thou that art the physician of all our ills,
The remedy of our pride and vainglory, our Plato and our Galen!

Through Love the earthly body soared to the skies: the mountain began to dance and became nimble.
Love inspired Mount Sinai, O lover, (so that) Sinai (was made) drunken and Moses fell in a swoon.

Were I joined to the lip of one in accord with me, I too, like the reed, would tell all that may be told;
(But) whoever is parted from one who speaks his language becomes dumb, though he have a hundred songs.

When the rose is gone and the garden faded, thou wilt hear no more the nightingale's story.
The Beloved is all and the lover (but) a veil; the Beloved is living and the lover a dead thing.

When Love hath no care for him, he is left as a bird without wings. Alas for him then!
How should I have consciousness (of aught) before or behind when the light of my Beloved is not before me and
behind?

Love wills that this Word should be shown forth: if the mirror does not reflect, how is that?
Dost thou know why the mirror (of thy soul) reflects nothing? Because the rust is not cleared from its face.
Konya index
Konya photos index
Traveller's Guide
Masnevi
01 - 18 call of the reed
19 - 34
35 - 54
55 - 77
Index of couplets in Masnevi