If I Forsake this Thorn-bush

Peace, one and all…

‘A servant is dismissed for bad behaviour:
if You behave oppressively, what’s different?

The harm You do in anger and in strife
is sweeter than an ecstasy of harp strings.

Your cruelty is better than a victory,
Your scolding’s more desired than life itself.

This is Your fire – what does Your light look like?
This is the funeral – what’s Your wedding like?

As for the sweetness which violence holds,
and for Your subtlety, none plumb Your depths.

I weep and then I fear He will believe me,
and then from kindness moderate His violence.

I love so much His violence and His grace –
how wonderful, I love these two extremes!

If I forsake this thorn-bush for the garden,
I’ll sing for sadness like the nightingale.

How wonderful, this nightingale, who lifts
his beak to eat the thorns among the rosebeds.

What kind of nightingale is this? A dragon!
In love all bitter things are sweet to him.

He’s lover of the whole; He is the whole.
He’s lover of Himself; He seeks His love’

(Mevlana, Masnavi 1. 1574-1584)


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