A murderer, according to the law,
Was killed. That night the king who’s killed him saw
The same man in a dream; to his surprise
The villain lorded it in paradise –
The king cried: “You! In this celestial place!
Your life’s work was an absolute disgrace;
How did you reach this state?” The man replied:
“A friend to God passed by me as I died;
The earth drank up my blood, but stealthily
That pilgrim on Truth’s journey glanced at me,
And all the glorious extravagance
That laps me now came from his searing glance.”
The man on whom that quickening glance alights
Is raised to heaven’s unsuspected heights;
Indeed, until this glance discovers you
Your life’s a mystery without a clue;
You cannot carve your way to heaven’s throne
If you sit locked in vanity alone.
You need a skilful guide; you cannot start
This ocean-voyage with blindness in your heart.
It may be you will meet the very guide
Who glanced at me; be sure he will provide –
Whatever troubles come – a place to hide.
You cannot guess what dangers you will find,
You need a staff to guide you, like the blind.
Your sight is failing and the road is long;
Trust one who knows the journey and is strong.
Whoever travels in a great lord’s shade
Need never hesitate or be afraid;
Whoever undertakes this lord’s commands
Finds thorns will change to roses in his hands.