1 O Shams! Hearken with all thy heart unto the nightingale song of the Beloved, that perchance thou mayest abandon the habitation of self and desire and step into the placeless realm of eternal glory, forsake thine own life, and commune with Him Who is the life of thy life. Wert thou to traverse the limitless reaches of the spirit, thou wouldst of a certainty rend asunder the garment of patience and forbearance, hasten to offer up thy soul, renounce the dross of this fleeting world, and find repose upon the throne of ancient glory.
2 Each thing must needs have an effect and each sign reveal a secret. Not until the world-illuming sun hath shone can the east be distinguished from the west, nor the blooming garden discerned from the barren waste. Heavenly strains compare not with earthly clamours, and the croaking of the raven can in no wise be confounded with the song of the nightingale. For the latter bespeaketh the land of the Beloved and increaseth life, whereas the former telleth only of the city of the blind and causeth faith to wither.
3 One must step forth and raise aloft the banner of earnest striving. By God! Wert thou to hearken unto the heavenly words of this evanescent Servant that have been raised in this mystic Tablet, thou wouldst assuredly take to the desert of self-surrender, turn aside from thine own heart and soul, and cast thy head at the feet of the Friend. How high is the soaring flight of the phoenix of love, and how low the requisite measure of our yearning! Strive but a little to soar, that, by the grace of Him Who is the eternal King, thou mayest ascend from the dust-heap of utter non-existence unto the loftiest heights of ancient glory. Give wings to thy celestial spirit and lend strength to thy mystic soul, that haply it may take flight in the atmosphere of divine nearness and attain the ultimate and invisible goal.
4 This profitless world produceth naught save deadly poison, and its ephemeral dregs can never yield the everlasting cup. Were the Jesus of the spirit to give ear to the call of holiness from the Falcon of the realm above, He would assuredly cry out from His inmost being and be seized with fervid longing even as the lover’s soul. It is through that call that the Moses of eternity was dumbfounded; it is by its virtue that the Abraham of faithfulness shattered the idol of the mortal body. Shatter then, in turn, this idol, that thou mayest take up thine abode in the land of the Beloved; and forsake all desire, that thou mayest take flight unto the Egypt of imperishable glory. Sanctify the city of thine heart, that thou mayest behold the beauty of the Divine Essence and be quickened to a new life through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
5 No melody remaineth that was not intoned upon this branch; no song remaineth that this Nightingale hath not warbled. A thousand Arabian ears are powerless to fathom this Persian lament—nay, none but an embodiment of divine virtues can grasp this subtle mystery. Well it is, then, with the one who attaineth this ocean and drinketh therefrom the draught of life!