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THE AUTHOR’S MEMORIAL TO
HIM WHO IS A MERCY TO ALL
O THOU, whose manifesting was the youth
Of strenuous life, whose bright epiphany
Told the interpretation of life’s dreams,
Earth attained honour, having held the court,
And heaven glory, having kissed thy roof.
Thy face illumes the six-directioned world;
Turk, Tajik, Arab – all thy servants are.
Whatever things have being, find in thee
True exaltation, and thy poverty
Is their abundant riches. In this world
Thou litst the lamp of life, as thou didst teach
God’s servitors a godly mastery.
Without thee, whatsoever form indwelt
This habitat of water and of clay
Was put to shame in utter bankruptcy;
Till, when thy breath drew fire from the cold dust
And Adam made of earth’s dead particles,
Each atom caught the skirts of sun and moon,
Suddenly conscious of its inward strength.
Since first my gaze alighted on thy face
Dearer than father and dear mother thou
Art grown to me. Thy love hath lit a flame
Within my heart; ah, let it work at ease,
For all my spirit is consumed in me,
And my sole chattel is a reed-like sigh,
The lantern flickering in my ruined house.
It is not possible not to declare
This hidden grief; it is not possible
To veil the wine in the translucent cup.
But now the Muslim is estranged anew
Unto the Prophet’s secret; now once more
God’s sanctuary is an idols’ shrine;
Manat and Lat, Hubal and Uzza – each 
Carries an idol to his bosom clasped;
Our Shaikh – no Brahman is so infidel,
Seeing his Somnath stands within his head. 
Arabia deserted, he is gone
With all his being’s baggage, slumberous
To drowse in Persia’s wine-vault. Persia’s sleet
Has set his limbs a-shiver; his thin wine
Runs colder than his tears. As timorous
Of death as any infidel, his breast
Is hollow, empty of a living heart.
I bore him lifeless from the doctors’ hands
And brought him to the Prophet’s presence; dead
He was; I told him of the Fount of Life,
I spoke with him upon a mystery
Of the Koran, a tale of the Beloved 
Of Nejd; I brought to him a perfume sweet
Pressed from the roses of Arabia.
The candle of my music lit the throng;
I taught the people life’s enigma; still
He cried against me, “These are Europe’s spells
He weaves to bind us with, the psaltery
Of Europe that he strikes into our ears.”
O thou, that to Busiri gavest a Cloak 
And to my fingers yielded Salma’s lute, 
Grant now to him, whose thoughts are so astray
That he can no more recognize his own,
Perception of the truth, and joy therein.
Be lustreless the mirror of my heart,
Or be my words by aught but the Koran
Informed, O thou whose splendour is the dawn
Of every age and time, whose vision sees
-All that is in men’s breasts-, rend now the veil 
Of my thought’s shame; sweep clean the avenue
Of my offending thorns; choke in my breast
The narrow breath of life; thy people guard
Against the mischief of my wickedness;
Nurse not to verdure my untimely seed,
Grant me no portion of Spring’s fecund showers,
Wither the vintage in my swelling grapes
And scatter poison in my sparkling wine;
Disgrace me on the Day of Reckoning,
Too abject to embrace thy holy feet.
But if I ever threaded on my chain
The pearl of the Koran’s sweet mysteries,
If to the Muslims I have spoken true,
O thou whose bounty raises the obscure
Unto significance, one prayer from thee
Is ample guerdon for my words’ desert;
Plead thou to God my cause, and let my love
Be locked in the embrace of godly deeds.
Thou hast accorded me a contrite soul,
A part of holy learning; stablish me
More firm in action, and my April shower
Convert to pearls of great and glittering price.
Since first I cast the baggage of my soul
In this world’s caravanserai, one more
Desire I ever nourished, like my heart
Dwelling within my breast, mine intimate
From life’s first dawn; since first I learned thy name
From my sire’s lips, the flame of that desire
Kindled and glowed in me. My roll of days
As heaven lengthens, in life’s lottery
Marking me loser, even lustier grows
The youth of my desire; this ancient wine
Gains greater body with the passing years.
This yearning is a gem beneath my dust,
A single star illumining my night.
Awhile with rosy cheeks did I consort,
Played love with twisted tresses, tasted wines
With lustrous brows, the lamp of godly peace
Rudely extinguished; lightnings danced about
My harvest; my heart’s store of merchandise
By highwaymen was plundered. Yet this draught
Was spilled not from the goblet of my soul,
This gold refined not scattered from my skirt.
My reason diabolical resolved
To wear the Magian girdle; its impress
Stamped o’er my spirit’s furrows. Many years
I was doubt’s prisoner, inseparable
From my too arid brain. I had not read
One letter of true knowledge, and abode
Still in philosophy’s conjecture-land;
My darkness was a stranger to the light
Of God, my dusk knew not the glow of dawn.
And yet this yearning slumbered in my heart,
Close-shrouded as the pearl within the shell;
But lastly from the goblet of mine eye
It slowly trickled, and within my mind
Created melodies. And now my soul
Is emptied of all memories but thee;
I will be bold to speak of my desire,
If thou wilt give me leave. My life hath been
Unfurnished in good works, and therefore I
Might not aspire to worthiness of this,
Which to reveal I am too much ashamed;
Yet thy compassion maketh me more bold.
The honey of thy mercy comforteth
The whole round world; and this my yearning is,
That I be granted in Hejaz to die!
A Muslim, stranger to all else but God –
How long shall he the heathen girdle wear
And keep the temple? O the bitter shame
If, when his earthly days are at an end,
A pagan shrine receives his mortal bones.
If from thy door my scattered parts arise,
Woe to this day, that morrow how sublime!
O happy city that thy dwelling was,
Thrice-blessed earth wherein thou dost repose!
“My friend’s abode, the city of my king –
True patriotism this, the lover’s creed.”
Give to my star an ever-wakeful eye,
And in the shadow of the wall a place
To slumber, that my restless heart at last
May find repose, my spirit’s quicksilver
Be stilled; that I may say unto the skies,
“Behold me, tranquil; ye who looked upon
My first beginning, witness now my close.”
 numele unor idoli venerați de către arabii idolatri.
 Somnath este locul unui cunoscut altar hindus, distrus, în 1026, de Mahmud of Ghazna în cursul invaziei sale în India.
 cel-Iubit din Najd este Profetul Muhammad ﷺ.
 Mantia descrie legenda lui Busiri, vindecat de paralizie mărturisind o viziune în care Profetul ﷺ și-a aruncat mantia asupra lui; în acest spirit s-a alcătuit Qasidat al-Burda (Cântecul Mantiei).
 Salma este o renumită fată-ce-cântă.
 se referă la versetele Sfântului Coran.
THE PSYCHOLOGIST AND THE POET
The psychologist swims, the poet dives.
THE INSTINCT TO COLLECT TESTIMONIALS
In a certain class of Indian families – mostly creatures of the British rule – the tendency to collect and print testimonials from various officials has grown into a sort of instinct which reveals itself sometimes very early in the offspring. I look upon it as a kind of moral infirmity developed by an unhealthy environment.
THE ANATOMY OF THE HUMAN MIND
If you wish to study the anatomy of the human mind, you may go to Wundt, Ward, James or Stout. But a real insight into human nature you can get from Goethe alone.
MAN AND INFINITY
As a plant growing on the bank of a stream heareth not the sweet, silver music which sustains it from beneath, so man growing on the brink of infinity listeneth not to the Divine undertone that maketh the life and harmony of his soul.
THE POET AS A HUMAN BEING
Come, Dear Friend! Thou hast known me only as an abstract thinker and dreamer of high ideals. See me in my home playing with the children and giving them rides turn by turn as if I were a wooden horse! Ah! see me in the family circle lying at the feet of my grey-haired mother the touch of whose rejuvenating hand bids the tide of time flow backward, and gives me once more the school-boy feeling in spite of all the Kants and Hegels in my head! Here Thou wilt know me as a human being.
THE EFFECT OF PHILOSOPHY AND POETRY
Philosophy ages; poetry rejuvenates.
SHAKESPEARE AND GOETHE
Both Shakespeare and Goethe re-think the Divine thought of creation. There is, however, one important difference between them. The realist Englishman re-thinks the individual – the idealist German, the universal. His Faust is a seeming individual only. In reality, he is humanity individualised.
THE VALUE OF THE MOMENT
I judge the worth of my days, months and years from the experiences which they bring to me; and sometimes I am surprised to find that a single moment is more valuable than a whole year.
EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE
Every experience evokes something from the soul of man. Even the experience of sin will reveal some aspect of your soul of which you were not cognizant before. Experience, then, is a double source of knowledge; it gives you an insight into what is without you, as well as an insight into what is within you.
Nothing is more common-place than facts; yet mankind were blind to them until Bacon opened their eyes.
HORACE, MONTAIGNE AND AZAD
“So are we drawn, as wood is shoved,
By others’ sinews each way moved.”
Montaigne remarks on the above lines of Horace:
“We got not, but we are carried, as things that float, now gliding gently, now hulling violently, according as the water is either stormy or calm.”
While reading this passage in Montaigne, I was put in mind of a verse by our late and lamented poet “Azad” who has given an expression to this idea much more beautifully than either Horace or Montaigne. Says he:
جهاز عمر رواں ھر سوار بيٹھے ھص
سوار خاک ھيں بے اختيار بيٹھے ھيں
Literary criticism does not necessarily follow the creation of literature. We find Lessing at the very threshold of German literature.
GOETHE AND HEINE
No nation was so fortunate as the Germans. They gave birth to Heine at the time when Goethe was singing in full-throated ease. Two uninterrupted springs!
In words like cut jewels Hafiz put the sweet unconscious spirituality of the nightingale.
LOVE IS A PLAYFUL CHILD
Love is a playful child. She makes our individuality and then quietly whispers in our ears – “Renounce it.”
I have often played hide and seek with wisdom; she conceals herself always behind the rock of determination.
THE MAN WITH A SINGLE IDEA
If you wish to be heard in the noise of this world, let your soul be dominated by a single idea. It is the man with a single idea who creates political and social revolutions, establishes empires and gives law to the world.
ART ALONE IS BOUNDLESS
Science, philosophy, religion all have limits. Art alone is boundless.
ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE AND MORAL GROWTH
The result of all philosophical thought is that absolute knowledge is an impossibility. The poet Browning turns this impossibility to ethical use by a very ingenious argument. The uncertainty of human knowledge, teaches the poet, is the necessary condition of moral growth; since complete knowledge will destroy the liberty of human choice.
Flattery is only exaggerated good manners.