The Valley Of Love
and be dissolved in the fire of love. In this city the heaven of ecstasy
is upraised and the world-illuming sun of yearning shineth, and the fire
of love is ablaze; and when the fire of love is ablaze, it burneth to
ashes the harvest of reason.
Now is the traveler unaware of himself, and of aught besides himself. He
seeth neither ignorance nor knowledge, neither doubt nor certitude; he
knoweth not the morn of guidance from the night of error. He fleeth both
from unbelief and faith, and deadly poison is a balm to him. Wherefore
For the infidel, error--for the faithful, faith;
For Attar's heart, an atom of Thy pain.
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey
will never end. In this station the lover hath no thought save the
Beloved, and seeketh no refuge save the Friend. At every moment he
offereth a hundred lives in the path of the Loved One, at every step he
throweth a thousand heads at the feet of the Beloved.
O My Brother! Until thou enter the Egypt of love, thou shalt never come to
the Joseph of the Beauty of the Friend; and until, like Jacob, thou
forsake thine outward eyes, thou shalt never open the eye of thine inward
being; and until thou burn with the fire of love, thou shalt never commune
with the Lover of Longing.
A lover feareth nothing and no harm can come nigh him: Thou seest him
chill in the fire and dry in the sea.
A lover is he who is chill in hell fire;
A knower is he who is dry in the sea.(15)
Love accepteth no existence and wisheth no life: He seeth life in death,
and in shame seeketh glory. To merit the madness of love, man must abound
in sanity; to merit the bonds of the Friend, he must be full of spirit.
Blessed the neck that is caught in His noose, happy the head that falleth
on the dust in the pathway of His love. Wherefore, O friend, give up thy
self that thou mayest find the Peerless One, pass by this mortal earth
that thou mayest seek a home in the nest of heaven. Be as naught, if thou
wouldst kindle the fire of being and be fit for the pathway of love.
Love seizeth not upon a living soul,
The falcon preyeth not on a dead mouse.(16)
Love setteth a world aflame at every turn, and he wasteth every land where
he carrieth his banner. Being hath no existence in his kingdom; the wise
wield no command within his realm. The leviathan of love swalloweth the
master of reason and destroyeth the lord of knowledge. He drinketh the
seven seas, but his heart's thirst is still unquenched, and he saith, Is
there yet any more?(17) He shunneth himself and draweth away from all on
Love's a stranger to earth and heaven too;
In him are lunacies seventy-and-two.(18)
He hath bound a myriad victims in his fetters, wounded a myriad wise men
with his arrow. Know that every redness in the world is from his anger,
and every paleness in men's cheeks is from his poison. He yieldeth no
remedy but death, he walketh not save in the valley of the shadow; yet
sweeter than honey is his venom on the lover's lips, and fairer his
destruction in the seeker's eyes than a hundred thousand lives.
Wherefore must the veils of the satanic self be burned away at the fire of
love, that the spirit may be purified and cleansed and thus may know the
station of the Lord of the Worlds.
Kindle the fire of love and burn away all things,
Then set thy foot into the land of the lovers.(19)
And if, confirmed by the Creator, the lover escapes from the claws of the
eagle of love, he will enter
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