The beauty we see around us is a reflection
Of our Beloved’s face—singing that perfection.

Whoever your beloved may be, the love in that one’s eyes
Begat creation; and all things yearn towards it in glad surmise.

Do not on any account be dismayed if the one loved
Demands, through some impossible task, that your love be proved.

No one expects logical behavior from winds and seas;
The Beloved’s whims are divinely sanctioned vagaries.

The lover’s only freedom is freedom from desire of reward;
If this is too hard, better return home and lay aside the sword.

The field of love is a battleground only for heroes,
For those who are brave against themselves and endure the blows.

It is an advantage also to be a musician:
Serenading the Beloved helps to improve one’s position.


We go on a bit of a journey in this poem. It starts seeing the beauty of creation as praise of the beloved. All love of beauty relates to that deep intuition of love as the mainspring of creation. Then we are told the beloved must be wooed and the lover tested. Love, real love requires that radical self-abasement which is a surrender of all rights and expectations. We are on a quest to slay the dragon of self. Only for heroes the poet maintains. But then with a little sly humour he admits that the musician (or poet) does have some advantages, serenading the beloved gives one certain privileges, like in his case being able to be near the Beloved. The quest is not just ascesis, it is irradiated with beauty. Beauty and love are not subjectivity, they are qualities of the Beloved.

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