Stay Close, My Heart

Stay close, my heart, to the one who knows your ways; Come into the shade of the tree that allays has fresh flowers. Don’t stroll idly through the bazaar of the perfume-markers: Stay in the shop of the sugar-seller. If you don’t find true balance, anyone can deceive you; Anyone can trick out of a thing of straw, And make you take it for gold Don’t squat with a bowl before every boiling pot; In each pot on the fire you find very different things. Not all sugarcanes have sugar, not all abysses a peak; Not all eyes possess vision, not every sea is full of pearls. O nightingale, with your voice of dark honey! Go on lamenting! Only your drunken ecstasy can pierce the rock’s hard heart! Surrender yourself, and if you cannot be welcomes by the Friend, Know that you are rebelling inwardly like a thread That doesn’t want to go through the needle’s eye! The awakened heart is a lamp; protect it by the him of your robe! Hurry and get out of this wind, for the weather is bad. And when you’ve left this storm, you will come to a fountain; You’ll find a Friend there who will always nourish your soul. And with your soul always green, you’ll grow into a tall tree Flowering always with sweet light-fruit, whose growth is interior.

translated by Andrew Harvey
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