It is cold under a rag blanket in the early hours—
Yet no eiderdown was ever embroidered with such flowers.
In Love Street there is a rose garden where sea and desert meet
In which swagmen become nightingales who for song’s prize compete.
When the Beloved opens his door even the sleepers speak;
What then of us who have sought him in long vigils—and still seek?
The unlucky ones who travel without a Master enjoy each station;
We, the fortunate, suffer only the agonies of separation.
Yet longing for union is a web of desire spun
By a spider-mind; shall a candle go to bed with the sun?
The only way out is to get drunk, and drown—not even try to swim;
But, by God, even this much doing depends on the Master’s whim!
I think of those I knew in penny-farthing prosperity—
I would give them abundant gold from my present poverty.
What a treasure and how lovely is poverty. Here of course the poor in spirit is the wealth of non-grasping.
The rose garden is found where poverty (empty desert) and sea (the One Ocean of everything) meet. Here beggars become sweet singers who win the heart of the mystic rose.
Experiences are granted to sleepers in dreams and to those without a master who have the stations of experiences. But the truly fortunate have no experiential goals, not even that of union. The real sun is beyond imagination and conception. Nothing is our own achievement, it all depends on His whim. Francis is always incisive on this point.
A penny farthing was an antique bike, but here it is a contemptuous small amount. (One penny = four farthings) as well as being outmoded possession. Worldly cash is nothing compared to the treasure of having nothing but Him.