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"Song of the Reed" by Rumi

‘From the reed-flute hear what tale it tells;
What plaint it makes of absence’ ills:

“From jungle-bed since me they tore,
Men’s, women’s eyes have wept right sore.
My breast I tear and rend in twain,
To give, through sighs, vent to my pain.
Who’s from his home snatched far away,
Longs to return some future day.
I sob and sigh in each retreat,
Be’t joy or grief for which men meet.
They fancy they can read my heart;
Grief’s secrets I to none impart.
My throes and moans form but one chain,
Men’s eyes and ears catch not their train.
Though soul and body be as one,
Sight of his soul hath no man won.’

--Translated by James W. Redhouse. From "The Mesnevi of
Mevl’n’ Jel’lu'd-din Muhammed er-Rumi. Book the First"
(London, 1881).

Complete version of this and Other versions of “The Song of the Reed” are available at dar-al-masnavi

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