Showing that when the self is strengthened by love it gains dominion over the outward and inward forces of the universe
When the self is made strong by Love
Its power rules the whole world.
The Heavenly Sage who adorned the sky with stars
Plucked these buds from the bough of the self.
Its hand becomes Godʹs hand,
The moon is split by its fingers.
It is the arbitrator in all the quarrels of the world,
Its command is obeyed by Darius and Jamshid.
I will tell thee a story of Bu Ali,
Whose name is renowned in India,
Him who sang of the ancient rose‐garden
And discoursed to us about the lovely rose:
The air of his fluttering skirt
Made a Paradise of this fire‐born country.
His young disciple went one day to the bazaar –
The wine of Bu Aliʹs discourse had turned his head.
The governor of the city was coming along on horseback,
His servant and staff‐bearer rode beside him.
The forerunner shouted, “O senseless one,
Do not get in the way of the governorʹs escort!”
But the dervish walked on with drooping head,
Sunk in the sea of his own thoughts.
The staff‐bearer, drunken with pride,
Broke his staff on the head of the dervish.
Who stepped painfully out of the governorʹs way.
Sad and sorry, with a heavy heart.
He came to Bu Ali and complained
And released the tears from his eyes.
Like lightning that falls on mountains,
The Shaykh poured forth a fiery torrent of speech.
He let loose from his soul a strange fire,
He gave an order to his secretary:
“Take thy pen and write a letter
From a dervish to a sultan!
Say, ʹThy governor has broken my servantʹs head;
He has cast burning coals on his own life.
Arrest this wicked governor,
Or else I will bestow thy kingdom on another.
The letter of the saint who had access to God
Caused the monarch to tremble in every limb.
His body was filled with aches,
He grew as pale as the evening sun.
He sought out a handcuff for the governor
And entreated Bu Ali to pardon this offence.
Khusrau, the sweet‐voiced eloquent poet,
Whose harmonies flow from the mind
And whose genius hath the soft brilliance of moonlight,
Was chosen to be the king’s ambassador.
When he entered Bu Ali’s presence and played his lute,
His song melted the fakir’s soul like glass.
One strain of Poesy bought the grace
Of a kingdom that was firm as a mountain.
Do not wound the heart of dervishes,
Do not throw thyself into burning fire!