Part III - How The Saint, Having Discovered The Illness, Laid The Cause Before The King

That healer then got up and left her quarters to find the king:
upon finding him he told him what he had been discovering.
The king said: “ Tell me your result of discovery, what is it?
Plan to remove sorrow that’s stopping recovery, what is it?”
He answers: “The plan is, we have to get him brought here
because that’s the only way that the illness will disappear.

Send a messenger, tell him to quickly come here: so he does;
so if he comes… he comes freely, without fear. So... he does.
Tell that goldsmith in that far off place that he must come;
offer him a robe of honour and some gold, an enormous sum.
For when that poor man all of that gold and silver is seeing,
for that gold he will leave his house, he will leave everything.
Making all logic turn into craziness is the work that it does;
it, especially turn poor people into a state that’s unfit, does.
Although gold can bring to one wisdom and that is for sure;
only the wise should have it for it is then kept pure… pure.”
When the king had finished hearing that from the physician,
his heart and soul he welcomed guidance from this wise man.
The king said: “Whatever it is that you command, I will do...
whatever you say or whatever you may demand... I will do.”
He chose two messengers carefully and them he quickly sent,
intelligent men, honourable and loved… wherever they went.
They travelled to Samarqand those messengers of the king...
goldsmith they soon found, those two messengers of the king.
They said: “O great master of the craft… such perfect skill,
your work’s perfection is shouted from each valley and hill…
listen, our great king of whom you’ve heard has chosen you,
for in the goldsmith’s craft you are by far the best, it is true!
Here, we bestow upon you this robe of honour and this gold,
when you come you will his friendship and his favour hold.”
When the man saw all of the gold and all the gifts of honour,
he left his city and children, he’d been completely won over;
Without another thought this man stepped out on the road,
oblivious to the king’s plan to him of his load... life, unload.
He climbed on an Arabian stallion and galloped off happily;
he only saw the honours, his blood as the price he didn’t see.
You, you whose own foot did over a hundred times consent;
by travelling on such a journey to your destruction you went!
He fantasized about great riches, power and a high position.
Death’s Angel Ezra’il: “Go, they’ll be in your possession!”
When the goldsmith left the road on reaching his destination
he was brought to the presence of the king by the physician.
With much pomp and pride they ushered him into the king,
so that on that candle of Tiraz… that one would be burning.
The king welcomed him and showed him great regard he did:
and he gave him his treasure house of gold to guard… he did.
Then the king offered the goldsmith the commission to make
anklets, badges, medallions, using whatever gold it may take.
Every sort one could imagine: in numbers, beyond counting...
each one would of the king’s horsemen be worthy of wearing.
That goldsmith received the gold and he began working at it;
the meaning behind the king’s gestures he knew not one bit.
The physician said quietly… “ O great and mighty Sultan,
give to this newly appointed lord the hand of that maiden...
So through union with him that servant-girl happy becomes
and by water of union... fever quelled completely becomes.”
The moon-faced one was given to the goldsmith by the king:
as he married them their desire for each other was showing.
In following six months they set about fulfilling their desire,
until the peak of her health could not have been any higher.
After some time the physician prepared for the man a potion
so that after drinking, she saw he was pale, lacking emotion.
When all of his good looks vanished, because of the illness,
the soul of the girl was forgotten, he only knew his distress.
And soon after, when he ugly, out of favour… gaunt became,
gradually her heart a cold place he didn’t even haunt became.
Loves that are skin deep... that based on form’s colour were,
are not true love but in the end a disgrace to the lover were.
It would’ve been better if he had originally been very ugly,
so that such a fate upon his head would never have to be!
Blood with tears flowed like a river from those eyes of him;
his face had now become the enemy in that demise of him.
The peacock’s real enemy is the colour and fair tail of his...
a king’s death due to magnificence is often the tale of his.
He cried: “I’m the muskdeer and because of gland of mine,
hunter took my innocent blood, with no command of mine.
O that fair fox of the meadow am I whose head they will
cut off… yes, for the sake of my fur, me… they would kill.
O… that elephant am I whose blood was made to flow…
for the sake of my tusks my master has delivered the blow.
That one who has killed me for something not really me…
doesn’t that one fear that my blood always restless will be?
Today my blood lies upon me and tomorrow on him it lies:
blood of my type is never wasted no matter what one tries.
Even though the well may throw out a very long shadow...
when comes the end that shadow back to the wall will go.
The world is like a mountain and our actions like a shout:
echo of the sound is everywhere after the shout goes out!”
And at that very moment he expired, went under the earth:
For the servant girl he longer felt pain or love of any worth,
Because the love of one who’s dead forever lasting... is not,
and sight of one who is dead available to our seeing, is not:
While love of the living is fresh every moment of the day...
fresher than a bud seen by heart, soul, eyes... in every way.
Choose the love of that Living One… Who will never die
and will give such wine to drink that your life won’t fly by.
Choose Love of that One... that One Whose Love Divine
gives Prophets Power, Glory, Knowledge of Divine Design.
Don’t you say this: “We can’t go and approach that King.”
With One generous, merciful it’s not difficult to be dealing.
This man’s life was not taken by the hand of the physician,
through a base motive such as fear or to gain some position.
He wasn’t killed by the physician to gain the king’s favour:
command of the Divine inspired the physician’s behaviour.
And in relation to the boy whose throat was cut by Khizer,
such a mystery is not understood by all... who it does hear.
One receiving inspiration and answers from the Almighty,
whatever he may do or say to do is right... for he acts truly.
If One who has given everlasting life kills, it isn’t a crime:
he is God’s messenger and his action is that of the Divine.
Lay your head before him like Ishmael lay down his head...
like Mohammed’s soul... that with Allah is commingling.
The cup of joy is emptied by the lovers at every moment...
when their lives by the hands of those fair Ones are spent.
Blood of that man wasn’t shed by the king because of lust:
from such wrong thinking and argument desist you must.
You’ve been thinking that he has committed a nasty crime
but when sublimation’s pure how can its leavings be slime?
Such a harsh treatment and rough process has a meaning...
it is so that the dross and muck from the silver is leaving.
The good... and also the bad are tested in such a way that
gold is brought to boil and scum rises to the top of the vat.
If the actions of the king weren’t inspired by a Divine Being
he would have been a dog that hunts, he wouldn’t be a king.
No passion, lust, desire to possess stained that king’s heart,
what he did was good… but a bad impression it did impart.
If Khizer happened to sink the boat to the bottom of the sea,
this sinking by Khizer… a hundred times right it would be.
Moses didn’t understand despite his mind of a high degree,
that… was beyond him. Without wings, to fly is not easy!
Don’t name a red rose wrongly, saying it’s something bloody:
he’s imbibed full Understanding, don’t say he a madman be.
If his only intention had been making blood of a Muslim flow
then I would truly be an infidel if I’d gone and praised him so.
When one praises those evil ones the highest heaven shakes,
and by such praise the thoughts of a holy man... to evil takes.
He was a king that was full of wisdom and understanding...
he was in that position: God him that position was trusting.
A one who dies by the hand of a king… such as this king is,
is taken by him to a fortunate place… much better than this.
If there had been no gain to the king by being violent to him,
that Mercy that is Absolute wouldn’t bring violence on him.
The sharp razor of the barber makes the child shake with fear,
the loving mother is happy... although her child’s fear is near.
God takes half a life and then gives lives by the hundred…
what is given by your imagination couldn’t be known or read.
You make a judgement based on what you yourself know…
but so far away from it are you. Think! Into the meaning go!


From RUMI’S MASNAVI
Translated by Paul Smith & Omid Honari into correct
meaning and rhyme-structure. Paul Smith is Author of
English Version of Divan of Hafiz and other books.
Omid Honari is an Iranian Poet and Film-maker
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26-30
Nov 18, 2010