Deliver me from this imprisonment of free will,
O gracious and long-suffering Sustainer!
The one-way pull on the Straight Path*
is better than the two-way pull of perplexity.
Though You are the only goal of these two ways,
still this duality is agnonizing to the spirit.
Though the destination of these two ways is You alone,
still the battle is never like the banquet.
Listen to the explanation God gave in the Qur'ân:
they shrank from bearing it.**
This perplexity in the heart is like war:
when a man is perplexed he says,
"I wonder whether this is better for my situation or that."
In perplexity the fear of failure and the hope of success
always are in conflict with each other, now advancing, now retreating.
From You came this ebb and flow within me;
otherwise, O glorious One, this sea of mine was still.
From that source from which You gave me this perplexity,
likewise now, graciously give me clarity.
Mathnawi VI: 203-211
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996