I have traveled from town to town,
but I haven’t seen any city like the city of Love.
At the beginning, I didn’t appreciate the value of that city,
and because of my ignorance, I suffered much in exile.
I left that land of sugar cane
and kept eating grasses like an animal in the pasture.
Why wasn’t I like the people of Moses, choosing manna?
Why did I prefer leeks and onions?
Anything I hear in this world besides the sound of Love
is nothing but the noise of drums.
Because of those noisy drums,
I dropped from the universe of wholeness
into the world of the temporary.
I was pure soul, just a soul among souls.
I was flying like a heart without wings or feet.
Just like a rose, I was drinking that wine
which gives grace and smiles
to the ones without lips and throats.
A voice came from Love.
“O soul,” Love said, “get going.
I have created a world of troubles.
I begged and begged, saying,
“I don’t want to go! I don’t want to go!
I cried and tore my shirt.
I was scared to go.
I was also scared
that I might not want to return.
“Go, O soul,” Love said.
“Wherever you are,
I am closer to you than your own carotid artery.”
I was persuaded by Love
with all kinds of charms and trickery.
Love could move worlds with that charm.
I was nothing. No one could even see me.
I was kicked out of there and led down the road.
I may have been saved if I had stayed there.
I would tell you how to go there again,
but when I came here to tell you,
Love broke my pencil.
Divan-i Kebir, Volume 18, Ghazal 149, verses 1447-1462, pages 76-78.