a poem by Fakhr-al-Din Ibrahīm Iraqi
Save love of thee a soul in me I cannot see, I cannot see;
An object for my love save thee I cannot see, I cannot see.
Repose or patience in my mind I cannot find, I cannot find,
While gracious glance or friendship free I cannot see, I cannot see.
Show in thy face some sign of grace, since for the pain wherewith I’m slain
Except thy face a remedy I cannot see, I cannot see.
If thou wouldst see me, speed thy feet, for parted from thy presence sweet,
Continued life on earth for me I cannot see, I cannot see.
O friend, stretch out a hand to save, for I am fallen in a wave
Of which the crest, if crest there be, I cannot see, I cannot see.
With gracious care and kindly air come hither and my state repair;
A better state, apart from thee, I cannot see, I cannot see.
Some pathway to Iraqi teach whereby thy gateway he may reach,
For vagrant so bemused as he I cannot see, I cannot see.
Translated by Sir Denison Ross
In my opinion this is one of the greatest love poems ever written, though I’m thinking it was no earthly love of which he spoke. Iraqi was a dervish.
Born 10 June 1213 in a village near Hamadan in Persia, Fakhr-al-Din Ibrahīm Iraqi was a Persian poet and writer; a Sufi gnostic who is deemed to have reached an exalted station of spiritual realisation within the Sufi tradition. Highly educated not only in theology and literary discipline but by the age of seventeen had learned all the available sciences and had begun to teach others. He died 1289.
I honour him this day, the anniversary of his birthday—and coincidentally mine.