Last night while we slept gentle rain fell over the land.
The valley at daybreak was a crystal cup in God’s hand.

If my heart were like this the Master would not stint me wine,
Nor would the rose of my sweetheart’s lips my proffered song decline.

Soon love’s virtue locked in the orchard will make it fruit again,
But the singer’s mouth will utter no new song without love’s rain.

Though the pain of singing is too much for the poor singer’s heart,
Since the Beloved’s glance robbed him of sense he knows no other art.

Honor him with banquets and titles or kick him down the street,
Somehow or other he will find his way back to the Master’s feet.

Happy is he when he remains unknown, a dweller in dust
With an empty glass in his hand and in his heart perfect trust.

But when the Master fills it from the crystal jar in his hand,
His song goes as a perfumed breeze over the face of the land.


Because of our unnatural sanskaras we are dependent, totally dependent, on the rain of God’s grace. On the other hand nature is open to the rain as part of the ordinary course of events.

But the singer is happy to be a dweller in dust, to be enduring the dryness of separation. He is indifferent to the world’s praise and blame.

His drought makes all the more wonderful when the unearned bliss arrives as a gift. He knows nothing but singing, whether from pain or bliss. The heart must be empty to receive the proffered grace when it arrives.

» ghazal #97 »