The wise ought not to set their hearts
on the seductiveness the world displys.
Why fall in love with the phantasms
of this world? The mirror shows
the face to be a borrowed thing.
Don’t think the knots on your brow
are firm and strong.Fate takes note
of them only to untie them.
How vainly you say, ‘I will stand firm.’
If life itself won’t stand firm, how will you?
Living, a person resembles form and sense.
Through form one tends to the sense.
My heart is in ruins
and people have hearts of stone.
One shouldn’t rebuild
this edifice with such blocks.
humankind is chaff
How can it cling to gold?
Straw is naturally drawn to amber.
You’ll get no provisions
from worthless companions
the camel is mated, but no foal is born.
When you speak bitterly, the answer will be the same.
If you curse an enemy, he won’t reply sweetly.
Seeking insight from the immature is like a fool
rubbing his head against unfired brick.
If you ask me truly
about the story of this world,
it’s an easy lie
that Khusrau sings.
-Amir Khusrau ( 1253-1325)
From IN THE BAZAAR OF LOVE
THE SELECTED POETRY OF AMIR KHUSRAU
Translated by Paul E Losensky