SEVEN POEMS BY AL-HALLAJ (c. 858-922) 1 I continued to float on the sea of love, One surging wave lifting me up, another pulling me down; And so I went on, now rising, now falling, Till I found myself in the middle of the deep sea, Brought by love to a point where there was no shore. In alarm I called out to Him whose name I would not reveal, One to whose love I have never been untrue: 'Your rule is indeed just,' I said, 'Your fair dealings I am ready to defend with my very life; But this is not in the terms of our covenant.' (Diwan*, 70) ii Painful enough it is that I am ever calling out to You, As if I were far away from You or You were absent from me, And that I constantly ask for Your grace, yet unaware of the need. Never before have I 'seen such an ascetic so full of desire. (Ibid., 44) iii Your place in my heart is the whole of my heart, For your place cannot be taken by anyone else. My soul has lodged You between my skin and my bones, So what
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1983
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