They ask me 'Why are you in so much pain?
Why do you sing and wail? Why is your face so pale?'
I say, 'Don't tell me what I do is wrong.
Look at the moon of her face; you'll understand my song.'
#401, 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)