Friendship: Rumi's Ode to Shams of Tabris

Friendship: Rumi's Ode to Shams of Tabris

At dawn a moon appeared from the waves
And ascended, gazing down at me. Then,

Like a falcon snatching a bird in flight,
It snatched me up and flew away.

When I looked up I no longer saw myself:
Into that moon my body had eased, by grace

Of the soul in which I travelled, moon-driven
Until the secret of God’s revelation halted me.

Nine spheres of Heaven had merged in that moon;
And the sea washed over the ship of my being,

Breaking against me in waves. Again Wisdom’s
Voice boomed; as it happens so it occurs.

At every foam-fleck of the ocean a figure
Emerged and slowly disappeared, just as

My foam-flecked body, receiving a sea-sign,
Melted within and slowly turned to spirit.

Without the regal power of Shams of Tabriz,
Holding the moon or becoming the sea are dreams.



May we always hold dear the gift of friendship.

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