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

Attar(14) saith:



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

earth.



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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