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The Distraught Heart

Once again my distraught heart

          has contracted in pain,

but speaking brings relief

          and heals the heartache.

Once we were free of pain,

          the sorrow of the heart a stranger to us.

Then a frenzied madness set in

          and the stranger became an intimate.

Unity had set us free from concern

          about having more or less.

Then from the bottle of multiplicity

          sorrow was poured into the heart’s mouth.

In the banquet of lovers

          our way is silence;

the lover who breathes a word

          is imperfect in love.

O ruinous love,

          you devastated me and said,

“Whoever is slain by me

          is of the rank of Adam.”

O love, in your presence there is safety,

          while in your district there is blame.

Whoever keeps company with you

          becomes steeped in suffering and grief.

If now and then Nurbakhsh

          remembers You with a sigh,

it is because every moment

          he receives grace from You.

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