Perplext no more with Human or Divine,
To-morrow's tangle to the winds resign,
And lose your fingers in the tresses of
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.
And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in what All begins and ends in - Yes;
Think then you are TO-DAY what YESTERDAY
You were - TO-MORROW you shall not be less.
So when that Angel of the darker Drink
At last shall find you by the river-brink,
And, offering his Cup, invite your Soul
Forth to your Lips to quaff - you shall not shrink.
Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Were't not a Shame - were't not a Shame for him
In this clay carcass crippled to abide?
'Tis but a Tent where takes his one day's rest
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
Strikes, and prepares it for another Guest.
And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, and mine, should know the like no more;
The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour.
When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast.
A Moment's Halt - a momentary taste
Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste--
And Lo! - the phantom Caravan has reach'd
The NOTHING it set out from - Oh, make haste!
Would you that spangle of Existence spend
About THE SECRET - quick about it, Friend!
A Hair perhaps divides the False from True--
And upon what, prithee, may life depend?
A Hair perhaps divides the False and True;
Yes; and a single Alif were the clue--
Could you but find it - to the Treasure-house,
And peradventure to THE MASTER too;