Any thief of a kiss can have your lips free;
When it's my turn you set a high price.
Any crime you forgive without real cause;
But mine?--you cry for the harshest of laws.
#1947, from Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi
Edited by Badiozzaman Forouzanfar (Tehran, Amir Kabir, 1988).
Translated by Zara Houshmand
Zara Houshmand's features index
The Life Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi
By Frankin D. Lewis
By Coleman Barks (Translator)