To follow one's own desires is to flee from God
and to spill the blood of spirituality
in the presence of His justice.
This world is a trap, and desire its bait:
escape the traps, and quickly
turn your face toward God.
When you have followed this Way,
you have enjoyed a hundred blessings.
When you have gone the opposite way, you have fared ill.
So the Prophet said, "Consult your own hearts,
even though the religious judge
advises you about worldy affairs."
Abandon desire, and so reveal His Mercy:
you've learned by experience
the sacrifice He requires.
Since you can't escape, be His servant,
and go from His prison into His rose garden.
When you continually keep watch over your thoughts and actions,
you are always seeing the Justice and the Judge,
though heedlessness may shut your eyes,
still, that doesn't stop the sun from shining.
Mathnawi VI: 377-384
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996