Actor Helen Morse reads from Rumi's
Masnavi, translated by Reynold A Nicholson.
This reading is part of a series of excerpts from the romantic stories and lyrical verse written or inspired by some of the great Persian poets of the past, as showcased in the
Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond exhibition.
Read the transcript From the
Masnavi of Rumi, translated by Reynold A Nicholson
Listen to the reed how it tells a tale, complaining of separations –
Saying,'Ever since I was parted from the reed-bed, my lament hath caused man and woman to moan.
I want a bosom torn by severance, that I may unfold (to such a one) the pain of love-desire.
Every one who is left far from his source wishes back the time when he was united with it.
In every company I uttered my wailful notes, I consorted with the unhappy and with them that rejoice.
Every one became my friend from his own opinion; none sought out my secrets from within me.
My secret is not far from my plaint, but ear and eye lack the light (whereby it should be apprehended).
Body is not veiled from soul, nor soul from body, yet none is permitted to see the soul.
This noise of the reed is fire, it is not wind: whoso hath not this fire, may he be naught!
'Tis the fire of Love that is in the reed, 'tis the fervour of Love that is in the wine.' Close