At morn, to Solomon in his hall of justice
A noble suitor came, running in haste,
His countenance pale with anguish, his lips blue.
"What ails, thee, Khwajah?" asked the King.
"'Twas Azrael-- ah, such a look he cast
On me of rage and vengeance." "Come now, ask
What boon thous wilt." "Protector of our lives,
I pray thee, bid the Wind convey me straight
To Hindustan: thy servant, there arrived,
Shall peradventure save his soul from Death."
How folk do ever flee from dervishhood
Into the jaws of greed and idle hope!
Your fear of dervishhood is that doomed man's terror,
Greed and ambition are your Hindustan.
Solomon bade the Wind transport him swiftly
Over the sea to farthest Hindustan.
On the morrow, when the King in audience sate,
He said to Azrael, "Wherefore didst thous look
Upon that Musulman so wrathfully
His home knew him no more?" "Nay not in wrath, "
Replied the Angel, "did I look on him;
But seeing him pass by, I stared in wonder,
For God had bidden me take his soul that day
In Hindustan. I stood there marvelling.
Methought, even if he had a hundred wings,
'Twere far for him to fly to Hindustan."
Judge all things of the world by this same rule
And ope your eyes and see! Away from whom
Shall we fly headlong? From ourselves?
From God, then? Oh, the vain and woeful
In the grand scheme of things this is what finding a dusty, coverless book in a backroom in Pakistan leads to. Badly printed as it was, my uncle - when he heard me reading the poems to his children kindly pointed out that they were from Rumi, and although, clearly it was in english, there was no indication of the author. He also proceeded to recite them in urdu, and put the english to shame. (Things like this happen a lot in Pakistan.) Anyways, no idea who the pakistani translator was, enjoy the poem!