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(Masnavi Book 3: 23) Noah and Canaan







1305. Do not speak, so that you mayst hear from the Speakers that which came not into utterance or into explanation.
Do not speak, so that you mayst hear from the Sun that which came not into book or into allocution.
Do not speak, so that the Spirit may speak for you: in the ark of Noah leave off swimming!
(Be not) like Canaan, who was swimming and saying, I do not want the ark of Noah, (who is)
my enemy.
(Noah said), “Hey, come and sit in your father's ark, that you mayst not be drowned in the Flood, O despicable one!”

1310. He answered, Nay, I have learned to swim: I have lighted a candle other than your candle.”
(Noah said), Beware! Do it not, for these are the waves of the Flood of tribulation; to-day hand and foot and swimming are naught.
It is the wind of vengeance and the woe that extinguishes the candle (of contrivance). No candle but God's is enduring. Be silent!”
He said, “Nay, I will go up that high mountain: that mountain will protect me from every hurt.” (Noah said), Beware! Do it not, for at this time the mountain is (but) a straw. He giveth safety to none except His beloved.”

1315. He answered, “When have I listened to your advice, that you shouldst hope (as you didst) that I am of this family?
Thy words were never pleasing to me: I am quit of you in both worlds.
(Noah said), Beware, bá, do it not, for (this) is not the day for disdain. God has no kinship or partner.
Until now you have shown (disdain), and at this moment there is disdain (on the part of God):
whose disdain is of any effect in this Court?
From eternity He is (the One that) begetteth not, nor is He begotten: He has neither father nor son nor uncle.

1320. How will He suffer the disdain of sons? How will He hearken to the disdain of fathers? (God saith), I am not begotten: O old man, do not be proud. I am not a begetter: O youth, do not strut.
I am not a husband, I am not connected with lust: here, O lady, leave off being disdainful.Excepting humility and slavishness and utter helplessness, naught has consideration in this Presence.”
He (Canaan) said, “Father, for years you have said this; (now) you art saying (it) again: you art deranged with folly.

1325. How many of these things have you said to every one, so that oftentimes you have heard a cold (rough) answer!
This cold breath (tiresome discourse) of yours did not enter my ear, (nor will it), especially now when I have become wise and strong.
He (Noah) said, Bábá, what harm will it do if you listen once to the advice of your father?”


On this wise was he (Noah) speaking kindly counsel, and on that wise was he (Canaan) uttering harsh refusal.
Neither did the father become weary of admonishing Canaan, nor did a single breath (word)
enter the ear of that graceless man.

1330. They were (engaged) in this talk when a fierce billow dashed upon Canaan's head, and he was shivered to fragments.
Noah said,O long-suffering King, my ass is dead, and Thy Flood has carried away the load.
Many times You didst promise me, saying, ‘Thy family shall be saved from the Deluge.’
I (in) simple (faith) fixed my heart on hope of Thee: why, then, has the Flood swept my garment away from me?”
He (God) said, “He was not of your family and kinsfolk: didst not you yourself see (that) you art white, he blue?

1335. When the worm (of decay) has fallen upon your tooth, it is not a tooth (any more): tear it out, O master.
In order that the rest of your body may not be made miserable by it, become quit of it, although it was (once) yours.
He (Noah) said,I am quit of aught other than Thy Essence; he that has died in you is not other (than Thou).
You knowest how I am to Thee: I am (to Thee) as the orchard to the rain, and twenty times as much—
Living by Thee, rejoicing because of Thee, a pauper receiving sustenance without any medium or intervention;

1340. Not united, not separated, O Perfection; nay, devoid of quality or description or causation.
We are the fishes, and You the Sea of Life: we live by Thy favour, O You whose attributes are excellent.
You art not contained in the bosom of any thought, nor art You joined with the effect, as a cause.
Before this Flood and after it, You have been the object of my address in (every) colloquy.
I was speaking with Thee, not with them, O You that art the Giver of speech (both) newly and of old.

1345. Is it not the case that the lover, day and night, converses now with the ruins (of the beloved's abode), now with the traces (of her habitation)?
To outward seeming, he has turned his face towards the ruins, (but) to whom is he (really)
saying that song of praise, to whom?
Thanks (be to Thee)! Now You have let loose the Flood and removed the ruins which stood between (me and Thee).
(I thank Thee) because they were vile and evil ruins, uttering neither a cry nor an echo.
I desire such ruins to speak with as answer back, like the mountain, by an echo,

1350. So that I may hear Thy name redoubled, (for) I am in love with Thy soulsoothing name. That is why every prophet holds the mountains dear: (tis) that he may hear Thy name
redoubled.
That low mountain, resembling stony ground, is suitable for a mouse, not for us, as a resting- place.
(When) I speak, it does not join with me: the breath of my speech remains without (any) echo.
It is better that you level it with the earth; it is not in accord with your breath (voice): you shouldst join it with your foot.”


1355. He (God) said, O Noah, if you desire, I will assemble them all and raise them from
(their graves in) the earth.
I will not break your heart for the sake of a Canaan, but I am acquainting (you) with (their real)
states.”
He (Noah) said, Nay, nay, I am content that You shouldst drown me too, if it behove you (to do so).
Keep drowning me every instant, I am pleased: Thy ordinance is my (very) soul, I bear it (with
me) as my soul.
I do not look at any one (but Thee), and even if I do look at (any one), he is (only) a pretext, and You art the (real) object of my regard.

1360. I am in love with Thy making (both) in (the hour of) thanksgiving and (in the hour of)
patience; how should I be in love, like the infidel, with that which You have made?”
He that loves God's making is glorious; he that loves what He has made is an unbeliever.

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