how very close
is your soul with mine
i know for sure
everything you think
goes through my mind
i am with you
now and doomsday
not like a host
caring for you
at a feast alone
with you i am happy
all the times
the time i offer my life
or the time
you gift me your love
offering my life
is a profitable venture
each life i give
you pay in turn
a hundred lives again
in this house
there are a thousand
dead and still souls
making you stay
as this will be yours
a handful of earth
i used to be hair or
i used to be bones
and just the moment
when you are all confused
leaps forth a voice
hold me close
i'm love and
i'm always yours
Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi -- Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994
How close your soul is to my soul! For whatever thing you are
thinking, I know.
I have a token even closer than this; come close, and behold
In dervish guise you come into the midst; do not jest and say,
"I am in the midst."
I am like the column amidst your house; I am like a water-
spout hanging down from your roof.
I am a sharer of your secrets on the day of mustering and
resurrection, I am not a passing host like worldly friends.
In your banquet I go round like the wine, in time of your
battle I go before you like a lance.
If like lightning I make a trade of dying, like the lightning of
your beauty I am without a tongue.
Always I am joyful; it makes no difference whether I yield my
soul, or seize a soul.
If I give you my soul, it will be good trade, for in exchange for
a soul you will give me a hundred worlds.
In this house thousands and more are dead; there you are
seated saying, "Behold my household!"
A handful of dust says, "I was once a tress"; another says, "I am
You become bewildered; then suddenly Love comes saying, "I
will deliver you this very instant from yourself."
Silence, Khusrau, speak no more of Shirin; my mouth is
burning with sweetness.*
Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi - 1"
The University of Chicago Press, 1968
* A play on "Shirin" and "shirini" (sweetness).