This translated selection by Julia Bilger was first published in 1944.
This online edition was created and published by Global Grey on the 2nd January 2022.
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Many years ago in lovely Lindau on the Bodensee, I happened upon a thin volume of Angelus Silesius' couplets which startled, amused and greatly interested me. Although it was in 1657 the world had first received them it seemed to me that they had lost little of their significance in 300 years. Their pithy comments upon human frailty, their wholesome attempt to direct a way toward peace of mind, their often half concealed humor, have modern application.
The verse form is that of the somewhat unusual Alexandrine, a couplet with lines of twelve syllables, occasionally thirteen, which was used in early French romantic poems about Alexander the Great. In English it is perhaps oftenest met with as the last line in the Spencerian stanza.
To have translated all of the 1676 couplets would have been to encounter much repetition and boredom, and in a few instances, insurmountable rhyming difficulties. The selection here made was perhaps arbitrary but represents an attempt to include the most arresting of Angelus Silesius' couplets.
Johann Scheffler was born at Breslau in 1614, the oldest of three children of a 62 year old Protestant nobleman who after years of military service in Poland had retired to his native Silesia and married the 24 year old daughter of a Breslau physician.
Even during his public school years young Scheffler wrote voluminous poems in the flowery style of that day, and although he studied medicine at Strassburg, Leyden and Padua, his interests during those university years were directed both toward poetry and toward the lively religious controversies which followed upon the establishment of Protestantism.
During the years of 1649-1652 Scheffler practised medicine as physician to the Herzog of Oels but left that employ in 1653, embracing Catholicism and adopting the name Johann Angelus Silesius. He later held such honorary offices as that of Court Physician to Emperor Ferdinand III. of Austria and Master of Ceremonies at the court of the Prince Bishop of Breslau, but he devoted most of his energies to the publishing of at least 55 controversial tracts against Protestant protagonists. In those writings his father's choleric temperament reappears, whereas the earlier Cherubinischer Wandersmann emphasizes his quieter poetic talent and his profound analytic philosophy.
His later years appear to have been embittered and lonely, and his death occurred in 1677 at the St. Matthias monastery of Breslau, into which he had withdrawn from public life.
Children Cry Over Dolls (6:224)
Thou laughest that a child cries o'er its broken doll; -
The things o'er which thou mournest - are they not playthings all?
Mine and Thine (5:238)
Naught more than "mine and thine" - (and mark this lesson well) -
Can plunge thee bodily into the jaws of hell.
Seek No Outward Honor (6:25)
By outward marks of honor no wise man is elated.
Honor enough for him in being God-related.
Victory Brings Peace (6:75)
To strive is not enough; thou must succeed, my friend,
In order to win peace and quiet at life's end.
Wise and Foolish Beauty (6:208)
Within the clever maiden her rich adornments shine.
It is the foolish one who thinks her clothes so fine.
Love Godlier Than Wisdom (5:307)
Love, unannounced, to God may quickly penetrate.
Intelligence and wit long in the court must wait.
Space For Souls (1:187)
For me the world's too narrow and heaven itself too strait.
Where can I for my soul find space that's adequate?
Simplicity's so great that should God lack her might
He would be neither God, nor Wisdom, nor the Light.
Death is Best (1:35)
I say: since it alone can set my spirit free
That death must be the best of all good things for me.
A Standstill is Regression (1:302)
He who in paths of God doth every progress shun
Doth but retrace himself, and court oblivion.
Silence is the Highest State (2:19)
To work is very good; better, at prayer to be,
Best, to approach the Lord wordlessly, silently.
The Middle View (2:24)
He who the centerpoint hath chosen, of earth's drama,
Sees at a glance from there life's total panorama.
Your Own Unrest (2:25)
Not God nor yet creation your heart to turmoil brings;
It is yourself (Oh folly!) excites yourself with things.
The Center Wall (2:43)
Away with middle ways! That no light be deflected,
Suffer no walls to be before thine eyes erected.
The Spiritual Mountain (2:83)
I am a hill of God, and must myself ascend
That God may then reveal his face to me, my friend.
Dearest Upon Earth (2:127)
Thou askest how my soul would liefest go its way?
'Twould walk the paths of earth unspattered by its clay.
Heavenly Peace (2:239)
With God and with oneself to be at utter ease
Must be, in sooth, to know a peace beyond all peace.
The Solstice (2:231)
Wonder not, friend, if I the sight of all things shun
That I may better turn my eyes upon the sun.
The Angelic Life (2:254)
In love to walk and halt, to breathe, speak, sing of love,
Means: all one's life to live like seraphim above.
The Only Day (3:48)
Three days: Today, Tomorrow and Yesterday, I know,
Yet if the past were cancelled within the here and now
And then the future hidden, I could regain that Day
Which I, before I was, had lived in God's own way.
Meekness Possesses the Earth (3:100)
Pitiful, how thou yearnest for just a fleck of earth
When meekness would appoint thee master of all its girth.
A Pure Man is Above the Angels (3:107)
'Twere much to be an angel, yet more to stay a man
Neither befouled nor sullied by mire along life's span.
Honor Thy Body (3:109)
Honor thy body well, for 'tis a shrine serene
In which to keep God's image forever safe and clean.
The Straight Path to Life (3:129)
The everlasting life if thou would'st see unfurled,
Leave standing on thy left thyself and all the world.
Servants, Friends and Children (3:153)
'Tis knaves who fear their God, and friends who love him tensely,
But children give to him their hearts and souls immensely.
Love Eternal (3:160)
Hope ends, and even faith is often circumspect,
Tongues are no longer spoken, and all that we erect
Is levelled soon by time. 'Tis love alone persists,
And therefore he is wise who on her hope insists.
Fools Seek Variety (3:171)
Wise men to gain one thing - the Highest Good - connive;
'Tis fools who for the little and many blessings strive.
Perpetual Motion (3:170)
You seek unceasingly Life's neverending motion;
I seek perpetual peace. Which is the wiser notion?
Of Love (3:179)
A man long e'er his end his earthly love must lose;
To love unending beauty my heart doth therefore choose.
Divinity's a spring; all things therefrom have motion
And yet again flow back as if it were an ocean.
Wisdom the Best Spouse (3:194)
Desirest thou a wife resplendent, rich, and free?
Then take unto thee Wisdom, who'll be all these to thee.
God's Great Gifts (3:201)
God, being great, preferreth great blessings to impart.
Ah that we needy show him but such a paltry heart!
Of Knowledge (3:207)
Much knowledge may be fine, but greater joy is won
By being free of guile from earliest childhood on.
Do Not Presume (3:232)
Even though arrived at fame, tarry not till thine end.
Thou should'st proceed from one light into the next, my friend.
Great in Small (4:14)
Take what the Lord bestows. He gives thee great-in-small,
Even in cinders gold, when prayed for least of all.
The Goal of Virtue (4:18)
God is the goal of virtue, its purpose and renown,
Its only cause for being, its sole reward and crown.
Virtue of God (4:23)
The far most gleaming light of this world can be seen
Best from the darkest place where thou hast ever been.
The Blessed (4:27)
What is the Holy Saints' most certain occupation?
They contemplate high beauty in endless adoration.
Man's Three Foes (3:233)
Man hath three enemies: - himself, the world, the devil . .
Of these the first is far the most unyielding evil.
Love is in this like death: it kills in me my senses,
It breaks my heart, and with my very soul dispenses.
Mystic Ascension (4:56)
Couldst thou forget thyself, give God the leading role,
Thou wouldst experience Ascension in thy soul.
Sin is not otherwise than that man turns his face
From God, and finds instead Death standing in that place.
Grapes From Thorns (4:76)
Who loves his evil-wisher, speaks kindly of his foe,
Is he not like a man who grapes from thorns can grow?
The Wise Man (4:109)
The wise man seeketh peace and fleeth from confusion.
His fatherland is heaven, his hell the world's illusion.
The Heaven-seeker (4:120)
The heaven-seeker dies to earth and to creation.
Why? Since he lives alone for God and adoration.
Brooks Become Seas (1:135)
Here I still flow in God as a small stream of time,
There I shall be a sea of blessedness sublime.
The Sweetest Tone (4:143)
Never in endless time will ring a sound as sweetly
As when a human heart in God is tuned completely.
Hidden Source (4:163)
Who would believe this true? From darkness light is wrought,
Life out of death, and Something out of Nought.
The Cross Reveals (4:190)
Comfort and sweetness witness never what thou hast been;
Only thy Cross reveals that which thou art within.
Friend, wouldst thou leave at once the world thou knowest of?
Then see to it that thou despise thine own self-love.
Rays Without Sun (4:202)
If broken from its sun, a ray's no longer bright;
Thou neither, leaving God, thy necessary light.
Time is not Swift (5:23)
'Tis said that time is swift, but who hath seen her fly?
Rather, she lies unmoved within world-destiny.
Eyes Cannot Behold God (5:24)
Wouldst thou behold thy God, imagine nothing new;
'Twill be an inner sight, and not external view.
View Depths From Heights (5:29)
God, being a great abyss, to men his depth reveals
Who climb the highest peak of the eternal hills.
God Plumbs the Depths (5:37)
By how, and not how much, God judgeth thy good deed;
Beholdeth not the fruit but only root and seed.
The blessed may rejoice at never being filled,
Dear hunger and sweet thirst are what their hearts have willed.
Nought more unstable is in affluence or pain
Than thine own heart, oh man. Ponder this yet again.
As the School, So the Lesson (5:267)
In schools throughout the world God's but described to you.
Within the spirit's school one sees and loves him too.
No Laws For the Just (5:277)
Laws are for evil-doers. Were no commandments, then
The pious still would love God and their fellow-men.
Love is Fire and Flood (5:290)
Love is a flood, a blaze. Sheltered thine heart within,
'Twill put out God's displeasure and burn away thy sin.
Path to God (5:320)
The nearest path to God is through the gates of love.
The path of knowledge leads more slowly up above.
The Soul's Origin (5:369)
A spark without its fire, a drop without its sea,
Without reincarnation what more, pray, wouldst thou be?
God Beyond Creation (1:199)
Go where you cannot go, see what you cannot see,
Hear where there is no sound; then where God speaks you'll be.
Find God by not Seeking (1:171)
God's neither here nor there. While striving him to find.
Let them your hands and feet, your soul and body bind.
Our everlasting God's so rich in deed and word
That he has never quite his own great depth explored.
Spoken in Silence (2:68)
Man, if thou wouldst the truth of Life Eternal preach,
Then must thou previously wean thee of every speech.
Love Seeks no Reward (2:47)
If you love God, my friend, but ask therefor a fee,
You have not tasted, yet, what love and loving be.
Because all creatures have in God their sojourn here,
How can they ever then die out or disappear?
Mortal, if Paradise were not first set in thee,
Believe me, thou wouldst never reach its security.
The Source in Us (1:55)
Thou needst not cry to God; within thyself's a spring.
Unless its source be clogged, 'twill keep on issuing.
Outward Appearance Enriches Nothing (6:209)
Men say: wealth begets worth, but that is idle twaddle;
Men are not known by clothes, nor horses by their saddle.
Humbleness is the floor, the cover and the bin
That holds the virtues all, and they are locked therein.
New and Old Love (5:210)
A new love bubbles up and sparkles, like new wine;
Older and clearer love is always still and fine.
God Lives Not Without Me (1:8)
I know that God no hour without myself can live.
If I die, God himself his precious life must give.
How to View God (1:72)
God dwelleth in a light toward which there is no path;
He must become that light who need of vision hath.
To be Part of the Whole, Progress (6:42)
The sun sets all in motion, makes even the planets dance.
You are not part of all unless you too advance.
Pretenseless is Sinless (3:98)
How seems it, not to sin? Ask not thyself nor me
But go where voiceless flowers will teach it thee.
Laugh and Weep at the World (6:223)
Truly, who all this world would accurately see
Must now Democritus, now Heraclitus be.
God is a Well (5:216)
God is a flowing well which constantly may pour
Into his whole Creation, and yet be as before.
Pity we foolish mortals can not as lustily
Cry all our songs together, as birds upon a tree.
How God is in Man (4:156)
God dwelleth more complete within this shell of me
Than if a tiny sponge contained the mighty sea.
All You Desire is Within you (4:183)
Man, all that you desire within you lies concealed;
You simply have not wrought until it be revealed.
Nought For Itself (4:186)
Not for itself the rain, nor for herself the sun;
Thou too wert born for others, earthly one.
The Dwelling of God (4:127)
God liveth in himself; his life is his abode.
Away from him there leads no pathway and no road.
The Soul is Helpless Without God (5:311)
As sweet as sounds the lute of its own effort singing,
So sweetly sings the soul whom God's not set a-ringing.
God is for All (2:17)
Come then and drink thy fill, for all of God is free;
Divinity itself becomes thy hostelry.
The Rose (1:108)
The rose beheld today by thine external eye
Hath burgeoned thus in God through all eternity.
God Died on the Cross Before (5:103)
God died not on the Cross an only time or first;
His murderer hath been long as Abel's murderer curst.
Variety is Becoming (1:268)
The more variety of voices we can bring,
The more remarkable the tunes that we shall sing.
All Things Equal in God (1:269)
God listens full as well when raw-voiced creatures bark
As to the carolling of the more tuneful lark.
I too love beauty dearly, but she is fairer yet
Wherever among thorns I see her fairness set.
God's Lute (5:366)
God toucheth tenderly a heart in him grown mute,
And lo! it answereth and hath become his lute.
One Must be Crucified (3:88)
He who for heaven's bliss a great desire shows
Must here encounter thorns for every heavenly rose.
All is Present in God (2:182)
There's no before or after; that which the morrow has
Waiting in store for you, God knew before time was.
Scoffers Admire Nothing (1:266)
I know the nightingale mocks not the cuckoo's call;
Though my song apes not yours, may I not sing at all?
God Becomes What He Wills (5:358)
God is an endless force that what it wills attaineth,
That formless, without goal, still as it is remaineth.
Spiritual Alchemy (1:104)
As soon as God's great fire has duly melted me,
He will have stamped his nature on me indelibly.
One Abyss Calls to the Other (1:68)
The tumult of my soul cries from its great abyss
To the abyss of God. Tell me which deeper is?
The Crowning Virtue (5:324)
One virtue can bestow the crown of deathless fame:
(Be sure you hold her fast) - Persistence is her name.
To God All Deeds Are Equal (5:170)
To God all deeds are equal; our drinking pleases him
As much as does a prayer, or singing of a hymn.
God's Other Self (1:278)
I am God's other self. He findeth but in me
That which resembleth him eternally.
The Heart Encompasseth God (3:135)
Although the Supreme God is not, can not be bounded,
Yet by a human heart can he be quite surrounded.
Space is Within Thee (1:185)
Thou standest not in space; space is a thing in thee,
And so thou cast it out, behold! - Eternity!
God is Without Will (1:294)
We pray: our Lord and Master, we do thy mighty will. .
Behold, God hath no will, he is so deep and still.
The Spirit Remains Free (1:118)
As sternly as thou wilt, bind me by thousand chains;
The true self that is I unfettered still remains.
Why the Soul is Eternal (4:201)
God is the eternal sun of which I am a beam.
That I then praise myself is in the eternal scheme.
Each in His Element (1:80)
A bird can rest in air, a stone upon the land,
A fish within the sea, my spirit in God's hand.
Eyes of the Soul (3:228)
I have a mighty soul; two piercing eyes hath she,
Of which the one sees Time, the one eternity.
One Must Apply Pressure (1:181)
Who asketh not to be dear child of the Most High
Remaineth in the stable where grooms and cattle lie.
Self-rule is Royal (3:128)
That man is well entitled to bear the rank of kings
Who under own dominion his strength and senses brings.
Of Him Who Desires God (3:56)
The present point in time, to him who seeketh bliss
Seemeth much more prolonged than all the future is.
Man is, of all the world, the strangest wonder still,
Transformed into a God or demon, at his will.
How to Become Godlike (1:84)
He who would grow like god unlike all else must be,
Must rid him of himself, of all complaints be free.
Man's Nobility (4:146)
I know that what I will on earth I then can be:
King, emperor or God - and that's nobility.
Heaven Lies Within (1:82)
Tarry! for whither away? Thy heaven lies within;
To seek it elsewhere leads to folly and to sin.
Restlessness Inherent Within (1:37)
There's nought to spur thee on; thou art the turning wheel
That spins of its own force, nor any rest may steal.
You Must Become Childlike (1:153)
For those who cannot be as children, you must know
That gate is all too small through which God's children go.
Babel is what thou art. End all this mad carouse,
Or thou wilt be forever the devil's haunted house.
To be alone is good. Be not gregarious
And thou wilt everywhere walk in a wilderness.
Who Works and Rests (5:364)
Wise men who o'er themselves a victory have won
Create while they behold, can even rest and run.
Distrust is Scorn of God (1:56)
If you petition God, by doubt and distrust torn,
And let him not prevail, beware lest that be scorn.
Virtue Brings Composure (1:53)
While you accomplish virtue through labor and through zest
You battle for her still; she is not yet possessed.
He who remains impassive through grief and pain and glee,
He must be very close to God-equality.
God Has No Thoughts (5:173)
Mortal, God thinketh not. Were he imbued with thought,
He could be made to doubt; that would become him not.
How Hear God's Word? (1:85)
If thou the immortal word wouldst hear pronounced in thee,
Then must thou previously from all unrest be free.
The Essential Man (2:71)
The unencompassed man, like immortality,
Uninfluenced remains by all externity.
One Changes into What One Loves (5:200)
That which you love enough can render you rebirth:
Love God and become God, love earth and become earth.
Honor God in Silence (4:11)
If thou wouldst duly honor God's holy majesty
Thou shouldst address him only in silent sanctity.
Each His Own Prison (2:85)
The world contains thee not; a universe thou art,
That with thee, in thyself so firmly holds thee barred.
Loathsomeness of Malice (1:228)
Creature, if thou couldst know what vermin crawl in thee,
Thou wouldst thyself more fright than frights the devil thee,
God is Our Pasture (1:156)
Behold this miracle: God willingly debased
Till he becomes the pasture in which his lambs are grazed.
Be Nothing, Want Nothing (1:24)
While you still love and hate, until you cease to be,
So long must you still bear your burdens wearily.
Seek the Source (1:119)
All water at its spring is clean and clear as beryl.
Unless you drink its source you are inviting peril.
The Noblest Prayer (4:140)
By far the noblest prayer is when the kneeler's soul
Is caught by that it worships to form a perfect whole.
The External is of No Use (1:62)
Even the Cross of Golgotha can not atone your sin
Unless it be erected in humbleness within.
The Worthiest (3:94)
Esteem no thing on earth more highly than to learn
Of men who zealously toward no distinction yearn.
True Love Persisteth (5:231)
By no means turn from God in your adversities;
He who loves God aright shares even his miseries.
You Must Rouse Yourself (5:350)
Dear Christian, you yourself must rouse your zeal in God;
Sans effort you remain through life a dreaming clod.
God Judges the Deed by the Man (6:334)
God regards more intently the slumber of the strong
Than how the sinner prays and sings the whole night long.
Even the Smallest Worm (4:221)
No worm is so concealed within the deeper soil
But God ordains it food as a reward of toil.
God Wills No Evil (5:218)
No evil wills our God. Planned he the sinner's end
And our unhappiness, he were not God, my friend.
Of Death (4:102)
A mortal yearns for death yet flees it constantly;
Yon lies impatience's way, this way timidity.
Unwilling to Die is Unwilling to Live (6:121)
Unless you gladly die, you are not glad to live.
Only another death another life can give.
Saints Do Not Die (6:252)
The saints are dead, you say; our need they cannot see.
The wise man answereth: dead to the fool, maybe.
Form is Temporal (4:96)
Mortal, the world's design in time doth disappear;
Why do you stake so much upon the glory here?
Eternal Death (1:29)
It is that death from which no new life bourgeoneth
Of which my coward soul is frightened unto death.
God's Glory in Everything (4:160)
No fleck however small, no dust however slight,
The wise man seeth God reflected there in light.
The Heart is God's Hearth (1:66)
Where God becomes the fire my heart a grate must be
Upon which he consumes the logs of vanity.
Silence the Eternal Negation (2:248)
Nothing is more negation than solitude and peace;
That is where, if at all, my soul shall find release.
All in All (4:161)
Within a kernel's heart, to him who fathoms all,
The total semblance lies of all things great and small.
The man whom no one knows and who was born nowhere
May grow at peace in hell and find his country there.
Courage and confidence are very well and fine,
But if you be unjust, e'er long you will repine.
Effect of the Holy Trinity (3:199)
Law guides the universe and knowledge is her lord;
By virtue is she blest. Is God to be ignored?
As the Person, so his Dues (6:299)
His bride with one kiss God more truly honoreth
Than all his menial serfs with labor unto death.
One Must Become Essential (1:71)
It is a hardy task to live love; we must not
Love only, but we must become love, as is God.
Uncrucified, None Attains Heaven (5:354)
Christian, flee not the Cross. Thou must lie crucified
Before the gates of heaven will welcome thee inside.
To Labor and Rest is Godly (1:217)
Thou asketh which God loves, man's labor or his leisure?
I say that to know both, like God himself, gives pleasure.
Lord, Thy Will Be Done (1:232)
Those of your words which God most willingly hears said
Are when you mean and say: His will be honor’d.
The Devil is Good (5:30)
The devil in his way is just as good as we.
The qualities he lacks? - Will and serenity.
Eternity Our Heritage (5:235)
We are so well imbued with immortality,
Whether we will or not, immortal we must be.
Many Thousand Suns (1:141)
You say the firmament is lighted by one sun.
I say that it contains a thousand more than one.
The Lord is Immeasurable (3:112)
A heart that goes content with present time and space
Verily does not know its unencompassed place.
The Sun is Enough (1:114)
He whom a great sun warmeth had best not gaze around,
Whether in nearby spheres the moon and stars abound.
Glory More Attainable Than Damnation (1:230)
'Twould seem that reaching heaven of much less effort is,
Than by the toil of sinning to enter hell's abyss.
A Ray Becomes the Sun (4:136)
My spirit, caught in god, hath glory's self become,
Just as a ray is nothing but sun within its sun.
The Fault is Yours (1:178)
If looking at the sun should rob you of your sight,
That would be fault of eyes, and not of the great light.
Only the Hellish Burns (5:96)
Hell cannot do me harm though I abide therein;
If hellfire burneth me, the cause is in my sin.
Wise Men Desire No Heaven (5:68)
The wise man, when he dies, no cry for heaven makes.
He has but come from there before his spirit breaks.
You Yourself Must Be Sun (1:115)
I must myself be sun and with my rays the sea
Illuminate, of colorless Divinity.
God Is; He Lives Not (2:55)
Indeed, God only is - can neither live nor love
As you and I and things of earth are spoken of.
Light Inherent in Fire (1:195)
Light gives the world its power; God too resides in light,
Yet were he not the fire, it too would change to night.
Evil Originates in You (1:129)
God is unblemished good; damnation, death and pain
And all that evil is, you, man, alone contain.
Temple of God (3:113)
I am the church of God. The altar of my heart,
Is holiest when clean and empty of all art.
Not Without Me (1:96)
Create a single worm God may not without me;
It dies if we prolong not its vitality.
The Virtues Are Related (5:171)
Virtues are wound so tightly into so close a ball,
He that possesses one also possesses all.
God Yields As You Ask (1:21)
God giveth gifts to none, to everyone is free,
That he, when thou desirest, completely thine may be.
The Secret Death (1:26)
Death is a thing of glory; the mightier it be,
The lovelier thereafter will new life surge in thee.
Imitate God (1:18)
God loves beyond himself; loved I him more than me,
I would then give as much as he, of charity.
Nothing On Earth is Great (6:218)
The earth a mote of dust must seem in heaven's sphere;
Ah fool, how can there then be any greatness here?
God in Me and I in Him (1:11)
God is the fire in me and I in him the glow.
Are we not deeply similar since this is so?
No Death Without a Life (1:36)
I say that nothing dies; rather, another life
By dying is bestowed, though it be lived in strife.
God Incomprehensible (1:25)
God is all Nothingness, knoweth not here nor now;
The more we grope the more elusive will he grow.
What is Fine Persists (1:1)
Pure as the finest gold, firmer than porphyry,
Lucid and crystal-clear - thus shall thy spirit be.
No Crown Without a Battle (6:55)
The world's a battleplace - the wreathlet and the crown
Not his who fears to fight, nor glory nor renown.
Temporal Things Are Smoke (6:20)
Temporal good is like a bitter smoke that flies;
Allowed in thy soul's house, 'twill bite out both her eyes.
Swiftest of wing is love, for she may sometimes even
In one short moment's time reach highest heaven.
Heaven Omnipresent (4:71)
Creation soars in God, by him is motion given.
Since this is so, why ask for further trace of heaven?
The Kingdom of Heaven is for Children (1:253)
Christian, become a child with all thy heart. and see
How soon upon this earth heav'n will descend to thee.
Rage is a fire of hell; until it has abated,
So long the Holy Ghost by thee is violated.
Wisdom's Beginning, Middle and End (3:185)
Fear of the Lord at wisdom's source you'll find,
Love at the end, and midway a keen mind.
Love is the Stone of the Wise (1:244)
Love is the wise man's magnet that draweth gold from clod,
That maketh aught from naught, transformeth me to God.
Only the Present is in God (2:182)
There's no before nor after; that which the morrow has
Waiting in store for you God saw before time was.
Now Blossom (3:90)
Awake, oh frozen Christian, for May is at thy door.
Unless thou bloomest now, thou diest evermore.
God Plays With Creation (2:198)
All this is but a game played by Divinity,
Which for its own diversion created you and me.
Serene Beauty (1:288)
We mortals may learn best from tender meadow flowers
How, while our deeds please God, beauty may still be ours.
Revenge is like a wheel which never can be still,
And yet the more it runs the more it augurs ill.
Love Fears Not (5:298)
True love is never timid and cannot fear to die.
Before that God would lose his immortality.
The Fault is Yours (2:53)
Could but your heart become a manger for his birth,
God would again become a child upon this earth.
Love Vanquishes God (3:59)
Heaven's kingdom and its life are not so hard to win;
Beleaguer God with love, and he must let you in.
Sowing Upon Hope (3:198)
The wheat is strewn in hope upon the waiting land.
So too must heaven be dealt to those who understand.
The Human Heart (3:111)
These clamor for my heart: God, Satan, earth and all!
It must be splendid then, and of high rank withal?
There is No Death (1:30)
Death will I not acknowledge, although I died each hour,
Each time would only place new life within my power.
Spiritual Sowing (1:64)
God is a ploughman, corn the wealth his word doth yield,
The plough his spirit, and my soul the harrowed field.
God's Measure (1:42)
If thou art one with God, this truth will give thee pleasure:
God probes himself sans probe, measures himself sans measure.
God Creates Nothing New (5:179)
There's no new thing in God though it to us seems new;
For him has always been what we see breaking through.
The Careless Will Not Reach God (6:115)
You say that some day you win see God and his light?
Ah fool, if not today, you never will have sight.
The Spiritual Virgin (1:23)
I must be Virgin Mary and carry God in me
If he's to grant me glory unto eternity.
All Senses Are One (5:351)
The senses are, in spirit, an one sense and degree.
Who sees God, feels and bears him simultaneously.
No man can e'er attain to utter blessedness
Before his oneness hath devoured his otherness.
The Complete Man (2:237)
Outgrow thyself, my child. To God if thou wouldst go
Thou must before that time into full manhood grow.
As Ye Seek Ye Find (4:203)
And as you seek you find; and if you raise your palms,
The doors will be unbarred and they will give you alms.
Solitude is Godlike (2:202)
He who lives quite alone in common with no other,
Though he be not yet God, is holier than his brother.
To Look Back is to be Lost Again (5:256)
From Sodom if thou fleest and wouldst outrun thy fate,
Forbear to east a glance behind, at any rate.
Equanimity Brings Peace (1:38)
If you accept all things without a difference,
You will be still the same through every circumstance.
Love is the mortal god, all creatures live by love.
Thrice bless’d every man for whom this thought's enough.
God's Image (1:105)
I but reflect God's image. Himself if he would see,
He must behold myself or who resembles me.
Above Knowledge (1:284)
I am not satisfied with flight of cherubim;
I will go higher still, where knowledge too is dim.
God's Likeness (4:164)
God's likeness have I seen, for he is copied fair
Within his creatures all, and you may search him there.
Time is Eternity (1:47)
Time's like eternity, eternity like time
Provided you yourself can only make them rhyme.
To an Eccentric (6:251)
Opinions are as sand, - a fool would build thereon.
You, building on opinions, are not the wisest one.
One Learns is Silence (2:8)
Rush, oh my dear one, hush! Become completely stilled
And God will manifest more good than thou hadst willed.
Prudence is Admired (4:169)
Squander not what thou hast. That merchant with his gold
Safeguarded most securely, him doth the world uphold.
God Cannot Hate (5:247)
Mortal, malign not God; his creatures hates not he,
Not even the devil's brood. Impossibility!
He Who Believes Too Much (4:209)
That God will grant you glory may all be very true;
You err, though, if you think he wills it without you.
The Alchemist's Stone in You (3:118)
Man, penetrate yourself! To gather wisdom's stone
One need not seek in lands so very far from home.
God is What He Wills (1:40)
God is a wondrous thing, is that he wills to be,
And wills that which he is, from goal and measure free.
The Deaf Man Hears the Word (2:63)
Friend, credit me not, - the word of God can come
More surely to my ears if I am deaf and dumb.
One Should Love Humanity (1:163)
That you do not love men is right and wise enough.
It is humanity in man that we should love.
All Things Are in Man (1:88)
Canst thou desire, oh man, another thing to be
When thou hast God himself and all things locked in thee?
The Eternal Resting place (1:2)
Let others be concerned about their burials
And mark their bag of bones with proud memorials;
It matters not to me, - my grave, my shrine, my stone
In which I'll soundly sleep, is Jesus' heart alone.
I am Like God and God Like Me (1:10)
I am as Great as God, he is as small as I;
He is not over me, not under him am I.
Love Without Perception (1:43)
One single thing love I, yet know not what it be;
I've reached it, since I guessed not its identity.
The Spiritual Seed (1:52)
My spirit is a seed; illumined by God's sun
It grows unto Godlikeness in Joyous unison.
In Weakness God is Found (1:57)
The man whose gait is lame and he whose eyes are blind,
If he but seek about, God easily may find.
I need but wait, to find him, at peace and quietly
When I have once attained through God to clarity.
One Contains the Other (1:100)
I mean as much to God as he can mean to me;
Each helps the other cherish his own identity.
God Has No Favorites (1:127)
Unvarying is God, and unity's his code;
As much in yonder fly as in thee his abode.
The Fairest Inn (1:207)
Oh sweetest hostelry! God's self becomes the wine,
The bench and food, the music and servant, as we dine.
Blessed Satiety (1:208)
Too much is never good; I hate satiety
Yet would I fain to God as much as Jesus be.
Though thirst is not a thing, its plague can give thee pause;
Why is it then not true that sin the sinner gnaws?
Praise God in Silence (1:239)
Dost deem, oh Pitiful, that all thy mouth's loud cries
Are proper songs of praise for Godhood, still and wise?
Let God Provide (1:290)
Who paints the lilies and who feeds narcissus flowers?
Why does your Self concern you all through your living hours?
Things Below Us Are Harmless (2:42)
Who sits where vales and hills and even clouds are under
Need never turn a hair at lightning or at thunder.
The Heart (2:82)
Below, my heart is narrow, above is open wide
That it be closed to earth, admitting God inside.
The Lamb and Lion Too (2:95)
He who can tread on all, yet suffer patiently
Must be both lamb and lion, - both simultaneously.
One Should Act Sensibly (2:113)
Friend, if you care to drink be sure to press your mouth,
Like any man of sense, against the barrel's spout.
One Thing As Old As the Other (2:168)
Children who on this earth a single hour abide
Become as old as e'er Methuselah's described.
All Works Are Equal (2:214)
Do not discriminate; angels at God's behest
As gladly spread the dung as only sing and rest.
The Eightfold Blessed One (2:217)
Be hungry, poor and meek, pure, peaceful, brotherly,
Troubled, pursued for God, then wilt thou blessed be.
The Christening - I (2:226)
Sinner, be not disturbed if christened thou once wert,
For even the loveliest lily grows muddy in the dirt!
The Christening - II (2:227)
Of what avail that once some water washed thee
If thou wilt nibble mud in intervals between?
Tree of Life (2:230)
Shall life's tree rescue thee from pangs of death and strife?
Thou must thyself become in God a tree of life.
Green and White Win (2:232)
Two colors I approve and seek industriously:
These - green in righteousness, white in Christ's chastity.
Choose What You Prefer (2:234)
Love is the queen; the virtues, they are her maids-in-waiting;
Her servants, works and deeds. Whom wilt thou choose for mating?
Derision Brings Joy (2:244)
Derided and forlorn, to suffer much in time
To be, know and have nothing, that is my state sublime.
God Is My Mother (2:245)
I was born but of God; rightly interpreted,
You must not ask what mother my Heavenly Father wed.
The Humanized God (3:11)
God drinketh mankind's milk, refusing Godhood's wine;
Why should he then not be a humanized Divine?
Upon the Cross of Our Saviour (3:34)
Surely the Tree of Life itself calls this its heir
Since it such precious fruit, even life itself, can bear?
To the Sinner (3:55)
Sinner didst thou regard this moment's fleetingness
Against eternity, thou wouldst not then transgress.
Humility Endures (3:61)
Man, you should not presume. You need humility.
A tower without foundation crumbles spontaneously.
Wealth of the Pious (3:69)
Be poor! The pious man owns nothing in this life
Save what he's loth to own: this mortal body's strife.
Wealth of the Pious and Wicked (3:74)
The pious call no thing within this world their own,
The godless not a thing within the heavenly zone.
God Must Have Help (3:80)
God, who made all the world and may destroy it too,
Cannot without my will make my rebirth come true.
Each of His Own (3:82)
The sailor speaks of ships, the hunter of his hounds,
The miser of his gold, the soldier of his wounds;
I, since I am a lover, have nought to prattle of
Save always to discourse of God and of his love.
To Open Like the Rose (3:87)
Thy heart receives thy God and all that with him goes
When it expands toward him as does an opening rose.
The Great Sanctuary (3:93)
There can no greater blessing upon this earth be found
Than With a body chaste a sinless soul and sound.
The Most Harmful Thing (3:95)
Sinning, which angers God and wounds yourself, can do
Far more decisive harm than Satan's self, to you.
Your Pure Heart Beholds God (3:99)
The eagle's glance goes boldly straightway into the sun;
Yours may encounter lightning if your heart's pure, dear one.
The Best Tinting (3:120)
Him do I call a master of color undisputed
Who for the sake of God his heart to gold's commuted.
Spiritual Overthrow of the Dragon (3:124)
When sin and its confusion out of your heart are driven,
Is when St. Michael casts the dragon out of heaven.
Arrogance and Humility (3:125)
Though arrogance is hated and humbleness approved,
Men to observe the latter are far too rarely moved.
God's Drink (3:130)
The drink which God the Master finds most to satisfy
Is water that has dropped from out my loving eye.
Love is the Virtues All (3:137)
Love is not ever lonesome; he who takes her to bride,
He weds as well all virgins of virtue, far and wide.
Love Is Dead (3:138)
Alas! for love is dead! Of what, then, did she die?
She suffered from the frost, since none esteemed her high.
One Finds What One Seeks (3:139)
The rich man hunteth gold, the poor man seeketh God;
Gold, will the pauper truly find, the rich his clod.
The Royal Life (3:140)
Offer thy will to God, for he to whom 'tis lost
It is he only wins a truly royal post.
God Dwells in Gentleness (3:142)
Becalm thy stormy heart, for never in high winds
In earthquakes or in fires a heart God ever finds.
Dawn and Soul (3:144)
The glow of dawn is lovely; still lovelier I rate
The soul into whose depth God's light doth penetrate.
God Wants To Be Alone (3:147)
Let thou no other in; bar God within thine heart,
Then he'll thy prisoner be and nevermore depart.
God is My Circle and Centerpoint (3:148)
God is my centerpoint when I lock him in me,
And my circumference when love dissolveth me.
The Lord's Yoke and Burden (3:150)
Sweet is the master's yoke, his burden light and sort;
'Tis well when on your shoulders you carry it aloft.
The Pious Never Sorrow (3:151)
The pious man is never much troubled in his mind.
Why? He in great affliction still praise of God will find.
Signpost to Joy (3:155)
A heart replete with God, a body full of woe,
Point us the sign which way the road to bliss must go.
Virginity Must Produce (3:158)
Only for its sweet fruits does God love maidenhood;
Alone she never yet has in his presence stood.
Whom God Denies (3:161)
God, who all other things discerns and brings to light,
Wastrel nor barren virgin will ever view aright.
His is not heaven's kingdom who loveless goes his way;
He leaps this way and that, like will-o-the-wisps at play.
The Cross (3:166)
Once on a time the cross meant deepest shame and scorn;
Now on the emperor's brow and on his throne 'tis borne.
Confession is a stream whose waves can soon dispel
The greatest wrath of God, and check the fires of hell.
Noblest is Commonest (3:172)
The loftier a thing, the commoner 'twill be,
As thou may'st see in God, and his sun's clarity.
Love is the Sign (3:173)
Man, if among the people thou would'st select God's friends
Behold then who holds love in both his heart and hands.
God Be Your Only "Why" (3:174)
Not you, your friend nor foe shall ever give you pause;
To honor God's your wherefore, your only end and cause.
One Must Battle (3:182)
Fight bravely, worthy man, until you reach the crown.
Who fails to win the battle reaps others' scorn and frown.
You Must Have Patience (3:184)
Be patient, oh my soul; the robe of majesty
No man receives in times of such brutality.
Of Sinners and God's Spirit (3:190)
The spirit of the Lord fills all this earthly sphere.
Where is a sinner, even, untouched and unaware?
Three Words Are Frightening (3:192)
Three words affright my heart: forever, unabated,
Eternally to be: lost, damned and execrated.
Love is the Best (3:193)
Of all the arts on earth there's none I'd practise freer
Than always to love God more deeply and sincerer.
Wisdom and Love (3:196)
'Tis knowledge vieweth God and love that him doth kiss.
Ah, that I were imbued with love's and wisdom's bliss!
Wisdom is God's Advisor (3:197)
He who would like to share the secrets of the Lord
Must turn to wisdom then; she hides his secret hoard.
The Eternal is Disregarded (3:204)
Alas! on idle pleasures they waste their wealth and blood,
But for the joys of heaven not one of them has sued.
Most Loving is Most Holy (3:205)
Who then is holiest? Those who most deeply love.
Love is the cause why some are rated high, above.
Of Conscience (3:206)
A goodly conscience rests, a bad one bites and barks
And is a chained-up dog that to no order harks.
Beasts Live By Their Senses (3:212)
Who lives for just his senses I rank among the beasts;
To him who grows divine I bend upon my knees.
Wisdom is a Spring (3:213)
Knowledge is like a spring; the more one drinks its flow,
The more and mightier it then will sprout and grow.
Heaven Has Neither Man Nor Woman (3:218)
No man or woman's seen in heaven. Why not so?
There but angelic virgins and virgin angels go.
The Soul's Highest Station (3:220)
No one has yet attained as great and high a station
As has the soul whose moods are free from tribulation.
Evil Ones Cannot Rest (3:221)
Ah wonder! all thing's hurry to come at last to rest,
Yet is an evil man thereby the more depressed.
Alone and Not Alone (3:226)
'Tis true I shun the crowd, but never go alone:
For ah, without my Saviour how sad I should have grown!
Soul is Most Precious (3:234)
I hold my soul to be the dearest thing of aught,
That with the blood of God has been so dearly bought.
Never Be Sure (3:244)
Hast thou become a mother, beware, oh Virgin mild!
The foe will straightway seek the murder of thy child.
Depth, Height, Width and Length of God (4:35)
Through wisdom God is deep, broad through his charity,
Through mighty power high, long through eternity.
The measure of the mind is modesty's sweet savor;
Who gauges not by that shall fail of virtue's favor.
Point, Line and Plane (4:62)
God-Father is the point; from him flows God-the-Son,
The line; and God-the-Spirit of both is plane and crown.
One Must Become a Citizen Here (4:73)
Toward citizenship in heaven strive while thou tarriest here;
It will not then hereafter cost thee so very dear.
Holy Writ (4:82)
Much as a spider sucks its poison from the rose,
Scripture is oft converted for evil by God's foes.
Healers Attend the Sick (4:85)
Why does the Lord persist in being the sinner's friend?
Why does a faithful healer the sick and maimed attend?
Worldly and Divine Love (4:87)
The aim of worldly love is but itself to please,
The love of God would share with others all its flees;
This everyone as love must quickly recognize,
That should be known as envy, and true love in no wise.
Theophilic Apartness (4:91)
You say that godly men prefer alone to be;
Do eagles fraternize with small birds, answer me?
Times of Day (4:92)
In heaven is the day, in hell the bitter night
And here we have the twilight. Blest he who finds this right.
Of John the Baptist (4:93)
St. John ate very little, he wore coarse raiment too,
Sat in the wilderness his whole long lifetime through.
Holy he was, yet fell most humbly at God's feet.
I say the greatest saints do penance most complete.
The World (4:94)
One reaches God through God, but through the world the devil;
Alas, that mortals still serve such a whore of evil!
Repentance Quenches Fire (4:100)
The fires of hell can never be quenched, I hear you cry.
Behold! Penance can quench them with one tear from her eye.
To a Self-lover (4:111)
Narcissus drowns, attempting to love himself. But see,
Self-lover, laughest thou? This thing was writ of thee.
One Thing Attracts and Repels the Other (4:116)
One thing's the other's end, and also is its source;
While God is being born, Adam must die, of course.
The World and the New Jerusalem (4:117)
The world seems spherical and therefore may not stay;
Foursquare God's city's built, shall therefore stand for aye.
The Mirror (4:118)
Your mirror but reveals your outer countenance;
Alas that it forbears to show your inner glance!
The Barrel Must Be Clean (4:119)
The barrel of your heart you must keep clean and fine;
If yeast remains therein, God will not pour his wine.
There Are Beasts in Heaven Too (4:121)
'Tis said no beast shall enter where God the Master's been.
Who then may be those four that stand so near to him?
Man is a Coal (4:133)
Man, thou art but a coal; God is thy fire and light.
Thou art black, dull and cold, unsheltered by his might.
The Happy Drowning (4:139)
Once thou hast launched thy skiff on Godhood's mighty sea,
If thou canst drown in it, how blissful shalt thou be!
What Expands the Soul (4:148)
What is it that expands the heart and soul of man?
A love of God does this as nothing other can.
A Loveless Thing Smells Ill (4:149)
Comest thou, man, sans love, then stand away from here!
That which smells not of love stinks in God's house, I fear.
How Loves Consumes Sin (4:152)
As you see flax and tow consumed within a fire,
So do your sins in love as in a flame expire.
The Sea Within a Drop (4:153)
How into one small drop - yea, tell how this can be? -
Doth flow the sea of God when it flows into me?
How God is in Man (4:155)
Closer than soul in body, intelligence in mind,
In thee and in thy hovel wilt thou God's presence find.
One in the Other (4:162)
The hen is in the egg; the egg is in the hen;
Two are in one and yet one is in two again.
Medicine for Lovesickness (4:170)
A heart once sick with love will strengthen nevermore
Till God has further wounded and pierced it to the core.
Marvel at God's Commonness (4:177)
It is astonishing that I, dust, ash and clod,
Stand on such common ground and friendly terms with God.
Creatures Compared With God (4:178)
What is a speck of dust compared to all the earth?
And what am I, oh God, compared with thy great worth?
Day and Dawn of Souls (4:180)
God is the dawn of souls within this present time
But he will be their noon in future states sublime.
Parable of the Joy of God (4:182)
Friend, even as you prefer honey to dirt and dust,
So is your joy in God compared to body's lust.
Creation in God (4:185)
As fire in flint and trees in seed are always found,
So must you find creation in the Creator bound.
Sinners Never Quite Gay (4:189)
Sinners, though they may live in constant gaiety,
Yet must their souls still float in great anxiety.
What Spiritual Tranquillity Is (4:198)
Tranquillity God loves is sin- and hunger-free,
Will-less, serene, and fraught with deep sincerity.
Earthly Wealth is Dung (5:13)
All earthly wealth is dung; the poor are soil for it,
And he reaps goodly harvest who hauls and scatters it.
The Spiritual Seasons (5:18)
Sin is the wintertime, and spring is the atonement;
Summer is state of grace, and autumn is fulfillment.
The Firm Rock (5:20)
A man of many virtues is like a rocky wall;
Storm though it may severely, he will not ever fall.
The Nature of Sin and Virtue (5:21)
Fragrant is atonement, but all the sins smell evil.
The virtues upright go, but limpingly the devil.
God Can Do Much, Better Than Little (5:35)
Scoffer, forbear to laugh. There's nought God cannot do.
Though he cannot make God, he can make gods anew.
Everything is Perfected (5:61)
Man, nothing's incomplete; gravel is ruby's kin,
And frogs are just as lovely as angels seraphim.
We Serve Ourselves, Not God (5:64)
You man, do not serve God with fasting, watching, prayer;
In those you serve yourself, becoming heaven's heir.
As You Are, So You Become (5:58)
The sun can soften wax or harden softest clay;
God gives you life or death, according to your way.
He is at Peace Who Knows Nothing (5:85)
If at the tree of knowledge Adam had not grown clever,
He would have had his sojourn in Paradise forever.
Why So Few Enter at the Door of Life (5:78)
Strange that at heaven's doorway so few crave to go in!
None wish to shed thereon their old and outworn skin.
Sinners' Paradise (5:162)
What praises of the Lord are by the unjust given
Are less by him regarded than dogs barking to heaven.
Man in the Beast (5:228)
Crawl forth, oh man, that still abidest in the beast.
Thou canst not reach to God till thou hast been released.
The Cross Brings Joy and Pain (5:237)
For you the cross has grief but joy as well in store -
Grief but a little while, then joy forevermore.
The Soul Without God (5:254)
A sheep without its shepherd, a body dead as clod,
A well without a spring, - such is the soul sans God.
Compassion Open Heaven's Door (5:314)
Child, cultivate compassion, she is the porteress
That serves thee at the door of Castle Blessedness.
How to Look Into Heaven (5:318)
You need no telescope for spying into heaven.
Just turn you from the world, 'tis then already given.
The Devil's Beast of Slaughter (5:333)
The soul that has submitted to sin's foul murderdom
- For shame! - the devil's beast of slaughter has become.
Poverty is in the Mind (5:344)
Poverty's in the mind; I could an emperor be
Yet share with an the saints their earthly poverty.
Milk is for Children (5:346)
God giveth to grown men a drink of stronger wine;
While thou art still a child, a milder drink be thine.
Masked Men (5:365)
Those men who, like the beasts, in all their lusts persist
They are but human masks, and seem but to exist.
To the Small All Things Are Large (6:213)
Child, grow and be adult. As long as thou art small,
Small things win seem enlarged and of great moment all.
God is Not Virtuous (5:50)
God is not virtuous; from him thy virtues seep
As rays from out the sun or water from the deep.
God Cannot Steer the Will (5:98)
None stronger is than God, yet may he not decree
Either what I shall will, nor what I choose for me.
A Man Has Two Beings (5:120)
Two men exist in me; one serves the will of God,
The other wants the world, the devil and earth's clod.
Eternity is Considered Nothing (6:18)
Oh folly! Man will strive for time unto his death
Yet for eternity will never waste a breath!
Grasping at Mist is Foolish (6:22)
How foolish is a man who seeks to grasp at mist;
How foolish too were you, that empty honors wished.
A Worm Can Shame Us (6:32)
The silkworm works and spins until it learns to fly.
For shame, that as thou art upon the earth dost lie!
One Must Change (6:33)
Man, why must you alone, since all things tend to move,
Remain a clod of flesh which nothing can improve,
No Sparkle Without Sun (6:37)
The moon itself is harsh without sun's clarity.
As harsh without thy Sun would thy soul's image be.
The Isolated Part and the Whole (6:46)
The sere and fallen leaf, the drop of sour wine, -
What semblance bear they now to spreading tree or vine?
The Disgraced Prisoner (6:50)
Fie upon thee whom earth, that nullity of all,
Holds, like a woman's web, so endlessly in thrall.
Choose the Best (6:62)
Up, soldier, up and fight! You will reap more from life
In victory-given peace than if peace ends in strife.
The Greatest Fool (6:64)
Christian, him you behold hell-bound in headless haste,
You may name errant fool without a moment's waste.
Good and Evil Retreat (6:71)
How wisely he retreats who from the Fiend would flee;
Who turns his back on God, how more than evil he!
We Ape Not What We Praise (6:85)
E'en while we extol the man of diffidence,
We reach out to devour like sores and pestilence.
Other Faiths, Other Deeds (6:91)
You say it is more blessed to give than to receive,
Yet to prepare to give is bitter, I perceive.
Meekness is Free, Miserliness Bound (6:94)
A gentle man expands, a miser shrinks his span;
The latter's soon enslaved, the former a free man.
Poison in Place of Sugar (6:98)
Sugar is strewn by God, by Satan poisoned gall.
Man spurns the sweet but licks the poison, to his fall.
Treasury of the Wise and the Stingy (6:99)
The wise man, wisely rich, keeps money in a chest,
The miser in his soul, and therefore has no rest.
A Sage Outwits Thieves (6:100)
The wise man never waits till robbers cause him grief;
He sooner robs himself, and thereby robs the thief.
Sensitive are Eye and Heart (6:102)
The heart is like the eye; - a single tiny grain
Lodging within thine heart can cause thee mighty pain.
Progress, Beladen, Is Slow (6:103)
The skipper in a storm heaves ballast from the hold.
Thinkst thou to enter heaven beladen with thy gold?
A Spiritual Doghouse (6:111)
A spirit truly great will let no baseness in;
'Tis but a doghouse still if thine delights in sin.
Sated Here, Not Hungry There (6:148)
Why does the glutton fail Last Supper to attend?
He has been sated here and hungers not, my friend.
God Cannot Quench the Drunkard's Thirst (6:149)
God wills to succor those who hunger and who thirst.
How can he serve thee drink lest thou be sober first?
The Sinner Prays in Vain (6:156)
The sinner aims at God the while he turns apart.
How can he then expect to reach the target's heart?
Hearts Must be Accurately Loaded (6:159)
Nay, load it right and clean. Why puff into the air?
That which is blindly loaded will send its shot nowhere.
The Heart Must be Clean and Empty (6:161)
Christian, unless the barrel and chamber of thy gun
Be clean, thou'lt cock in vain and only dream thou'st won.
Nothing in Storage (6:168)
A wise man keeps no wealth in chest or cupboard drawer;
Whatever can be lost he reckons his no more.
In Ocean, Drops are Ocean (6:171)
The drop becomes the sea when into sea 'tis blended.
The soul turns into God if unto God ascended.
Many in One (6:174)
A loaf is many grains, and many drops a sea.
So too in God the many are but a unity.
Acts of the Miser and Sage (6:179)
The dying miser leaves his wealth, and so is vexed;
The wise man sends it on from this world to the next.
Appraisal of Fool and Sage (6:181)
The fool deems himself rich with just a bag of gold.
A sage would still feel poor though all the earth he'd hold.
Our Riches Must Lie Within (6:185)
In thee must lie all wealth; what thou dost not contain,
Though it be all the earth, would cause thee nought but pain.
Retirement is Shelter (6:198)
Bride, if 'tis true you'd shun all strangers and all boors,
Then keep your windows shut, and stand away from doors.
Caution is Necessary (6:199)
'Tis well to be on guard. Many would not have died
Had they their senses' door more strongly fortified.
Audacity Causes Harm (6:200)
Maiden, be not audacious, for who with danger plays
Will find herself in trouble and saddened all her days.
Three Things to Avoid (6:202)
Child, fear, avoid and flee wine, women and the dark.
They've robbed full many a man of soul and body's spark.
Of Sinners (3:101)
Man, though your face be fair, your soul of sickly hue
Pronounces, though you live, gravediggers kin to you.
The Secret Crowing Figure (5:8)
Ten is the crowning figure, composed of one and nought;
When God and his creation amalgamate, 'tis wrought.
God Feels Not Thy Damnation (5:56)
It gives the sun no pain that thou hast spurned her bliss,
Nor doth it pain thy God to have thee seek the abyss.
Poverty is Godlike (1:65)
God is the poorest thing; He stands unclothed and free,
Therefore I say to you: dearth is divinity.
Creator in Creation (5:86)
Creation is a book. Who wisely reads its lines
Revealed therein completely the great Creator finds.
As His Company, So the Man (5:76)
With whom thou tarriest, his nature dost thou drink;
From God receivest God, from devil but hell's brink.
Time Nobler Than Eternity (5:125)
Time's of more use to me than great eternities;
Here and not there prepare I God to please.
No Night in the Soul (5:128)
In your desires I marvel day plays so great a role
Since I have never known a sunset in my soul.
You the First Sinner (5:46)
Hush sinner, and condemn not Adam, and not Eve.
Had they not fallen first, you would have, that believe!
The Rich Are Truly Poor (5:157)
Hear'st thou the wealthy man bemoan his poverty?
He surely doth not lie. Believe him willingly.
Sweetest is Love (4:141)
There's not a single joy, no single happiness,
Which can outrank love's own and utter blessedness.
Friend, I have said enough. If thou wouldst read still more,
Then go thou and thyself become the script and lore.