How Should the Soul Not Take Wings

HOW SHOULD THE SOUL not take wings
when from the Glory of God
It hears a sweet, kindly call:
“Why are you here, soul? Arise!”
How should a fish not leap fast
into the sea form dry land
When from the ocean so cool
the sound of the waves reaches its
How should the falcon not fly
back to his king from the hunt
When from the falconer’s drum
it hears to call: “Oh, come back”?
Why should not every Sufi
begin to dance atom-like
Around the Sun of duration
that saves from impermanence?
What graciousness and what beauty?
What life-bestowing! What grace!
If anyone does without that, woe-
what err, what suffering!
Oh fly , of fly, O my soul-bird,
fly to your primordial home!
You have escaped from the cage now-
your wings are spread in the air.
Oh travel from brackish water
now to the fountain of life!
Return from the place of the sandals
now to the high seat of souls!
Go on! Go on! we are going,
and we are coming, O soul,
From this world of separation
to union, a world beyond worlds!
How long shall we here in the dust-world
like children fill our skirts
With earth and with stones without value,
with broken shards without worth?
Let’s take our hand from the dust grove,
let’s fly to the heavens’ high,
Let’s fly from our childish behaviour
and join the banquet of men!
Call out, O soul, to proclaim now
that you are rules and king!
You have the grace of the answer,
you know the question as well!

Translated by Annemarie Schimmel, ‘Look! This is Love’

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