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(Masnavi Book 4: 02) The perfidious Lover (continued)







Conclusion of the story of the lover who fled from the night-patrol into an orchard unknown to him, and for joy at finding his beloved in the orchard called down blessings on the night-patrol and said, It may be that ye loathe a thing although it is better for you.

40. We were at the point (of the story) where that person (fled) in terror from the night-patrol
(and) galloped into the orchard.
In the orchard was the beauteous one for love of whom this (youth) had been in tribulation eight years.
He had no possibility of seeing (even) her shadow: he was (only) hearing the description of her,
as (of) the ‘Anqá,

Except (for) one meeting which happened to him by (Divine) destiny at the first and enravished his heart.
After that, however much effort he made, in sooth that cruel one would give him no opportunity.

45. Neither entreaty nor wealth availed him: that (fresh) sapling was fully satisfied and without desire.
(In the case of) the lover of any craft or object of pursuit, God has touched his lip (with honey or the like) at the beginning of the affair;
(But) when at that contact they have entered upon the quest, He lays a snare before their feet
every day.
When He has plunged him (the lover) into search for the matter (which he has at heart), after that He shuts the door, saying, Bring the dowry.”
Still they cling to that (sweet) scent (hope) and go (on their quest): at every moment they become hopeful and despairing.

50. Every one (of them) has hope of (winning) the fruit whereto a door was opened to him on a certain day;
Then it was shut (upon them) again; (but) that devotee to the door, (continuing) in the same hope, has become fire-footed.
When the youth joyously entered that orchard, verily on a sudden his foot sank in (struck upon)
the (buried) treasure.
God had made the night-patrol the means, so that in fear of him he (the lover) should run into the orchard by night
And should see the beloved one searching with a lantern for a ring in the rivulet of the orchard.

55. Therefore at that moment, from the delight (which he experienced), he conjoined praise of God with prayers for the night-patrol,
Saying,I caused loss to the night-patrol by fleeing (from him): scatter o’er him twenty times as much silver and gold.
Set him free from policing: make him glad even as I am glad.
Keep him blest in this world and in that world, deliver him from policing and currishness— Though it is the nature of that policeman, O God, that he always desires the people to be afflicted.

60. If news come that the king has imposed a fine upon the Moslems, he (the policeman)
waxes big and exultant;
And if news come that the king has shown mercy and has generously taken off that (penalty)
from the Moslems,
A mournfulness falls upon his soul thereat: the policeman has a hundred such depravities.
He (the lover) was bringing the policeman into the prayer (of benediction), because such solace had come to him from the policeman.
He (the policeman) was poison to all (others), but to him (he was) the antidote: the policeman
was the means of uniting that longing lover (with the object of his desire).

65. Hence there is no absolute evil in the world: evil is relative. Know this (truth) also.
In (the realm of) Time there is no poison or sugar that is not a foot (support) to one and a fetter
(injury) to another—
To one a foot, to another a fetter; to one a poison and to another (sweet and wholesome) like sugar.
Snake-poison is life to the snake, (but) it is death in relation to man.
The sea is as a garden to the water-creatures; to the creatures of earth it is death and a (painful)
brand.

70. Reckon up likewise, O man of experience, (instances of) this relativity from a single individual to a thousand.
Zayd, in regard to that (particular) one, may be a devil, (but) in regard to another person he may be a (beneficent) sultan.
That one will say that Zayd is an exalted siddíq (saint), and this one will say that Zayd is an infidel who ought to be killed.
Zayd is one person—to that one (he is as) a shield, (while) to this other one (he is) wholly pain and loss.
If you wish that to you he should be (as) sugar, then look on him with the eye of lovers.

75. Do not look on that Beauteous One with your own eye: behold the Sought with the eye of seekers.
Shut your own eye to that Sweet-eyed One: borrow an eye from His lovers. Nay, borrow eye and sight from Him, and then look on His face with His eye,
So that you may be secure from satiety and weariness: on this account the Almighty said, God shall belong to him:
I shall be his eye and hand and heart, to the end that His fortunate one should escape from adversities.

80. Whatsoever is loathed is a lover and friend when it becomes your guide towards your beloved.

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