Where were your songs, my bird, when you spent your nights in the nest?
Was not all your pleasure stored therein?
What makes you lose your heart to the sky--the sky that is boundless?
While I rested within bounds I was content. But when I soared into vastness
I found I could sing.
Messenger, morning brought you, habited in gold.
After sunset your song wore a tune of ascetic grey, and then came night.
Your message was written in bright letters across black.
Why is such splendour about you to lure the heart of one who is nothing?
Great is the festival hall where you are to be the only guest.
Therefore the letter to you is written from sky to sky, and I, the proud
servant, bring the invitation with all ceremony.
I had travelled all day and was tired, then I bowed my head towards thy
kingly court still far away.
The night deepened, a longing burned in my heart; whatever the words I
sang, pain cried through them, for even my songs thirsted. O my Lover, my
Beloved, my best in all the world!
When time seemed lost in darkness thy hand dropped its sceptre to take up
the lute and strike the uttermost chords; and my heart sang out, O my
Lover, my Beloved, my best in all the world!
Ah, who is this whose arms enfold me?
Whatever I have to leave let me leave, and whatever I have to bear let me
bear. Only let me walk with thee, O my Lover, my Beloved, my best in all
Descend at whiles from thine audience hall, come down amid joys and
sorrows; hide in all forms and delights, in love and in my heart; there
sing thy songs, O my Lover, my Beloved, my best in all the world!