top of page

The Treasure Chest of Mysteries

I remember bygone days

          when my breast was the treasure chest of mysteries.

The soul was fervently occupied with love,

          and the hands were held out in supplication.

The heart pined for the Beloved

          and was steeped in need.

He was there, with beauty

          and purity and the play and teasing of love.

There was hope and desire for union with the Friend.

          From night till dawn my eyes

were fixed on His door

          and it was open all the while.

How drunkenly

          I passed my days,

with goblet in hand,

          listening to the melody of the lute.

There was no separation,

          no suffering or unfaithfulness,

and out of fidelity

          the Beloved was kind to my heart.

There was only the image of His visage

          in the core of the heart;

the soul, through its rapt attention to His face,

          was in perpetual prayer.

I never regret

          that those pleasant dreams have ended,

for illusion was the chamberlain

          of the Truth.

O Nurbakhsh, the discussion

          about truth and illusion

does not remain now

          though it began long ago.

I only meant to tell the story

          and the state of the heart

when burning and contentment

          were its intimates.

During those years,

          freed from the worry of the world,

the Mahmud-like soul

          was captivated by the beauty of Ayaz.

I said to myself, “Those were happy days.”

          Hearing this, my heart said,

“Don’t conceal that

          our affair burned us away in tribulation.”

bottom of page