Profession of Faith, c. 1120
Ye, who seek for pious fame,
And that light should gild your name,
Be this duty ne'er forgot---
Love your neighbor---harm him not.
To Thee, Great Spirit, I appeal,
Who can'st the gates of truth unseal;
I follow none, nor ask the way
Of men who go, like me, astray;
They perish, but Thou canst not die,
But liv'st to all eternity.
Such is vain man's uncertain state,
A little makes him base or great;
One hand shall hold the Koran's scroll,
The other raise the sparkling bowl---
One saves, and one condemns the soul.
The temple I frequent is high,
A turkish-vaulted dome---the sky,
That spans the world with majesty.
Not quite a Muslim is my creed,
Nor quite a Giaour; my faith indeed
May startle some who hear me say,
I'd give my pilgrim staff away,
And sell my turban, for an hour
Of music in a fair one's bower.
I'd sell the rosary for wine,
Though holy names around it twine.
And prayers the pious make so long
Are turned by me to joyous song;
Or, if a prayer I should repeat,
It is at my beloved's feet.
They blame me that my words are clear;
Because I am not what I appear;
Nor do my acts my words belie---
At least, I shun hypocrisy.
It happened that but yesterday
I marked a potter beating clay.
The earth spoke out--- "Why dost thou strike?
Both thou and I are born alike;
Though some may sink and some may soar,
We all are earth, and nothing more."
From: Charles F. Horne, ed., The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East, (New York: Parke, Austin, & Lipscomb, 1917), Vol. VIII: Medieval Persia, pp.
13-14 (Translated by E. H. Whinfield)
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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