Farid ud-Din Attar quote #89 from The Conference of the Birds

The hoopoe said Your hearts congealed like iceWhen will you free yourself from cowardiceSince you have such a short time to live hereWhat difference does it make What should you fearThe world is filth and sin and homeless menMust enter it and homeless leave again.They die as worms in squalid pain if weMust perish in this quest that certainlyIs better than a life of filth and grief.If this great search is vain if my beliefIs groundless it is right that I should die.So many errors throng the world - then whyShould we not risk this quest To suffer blameFor love is better than a life of shame.No one has reached this goal so why appealTo those whose blindness claims it is unrealId rather die deceived by dreams than giveMy heart to home and trade and never live.Weve been and heard so much - what have we learnedNot for one moment has the self been spurnedFools gather round and hinder our release.When will their stale insistent whining ceaseWe have no freedom to achieve our goalUntil from Self and fools we free the soul.To be admitted past the veil you mustBe dead to all the crowd considers just.Once past the veil you understand the WayFrom which the crowds glib courtiers blindly stray.If you have any will leave womens storiesAnd even if this search for hidden gloriesProves blasphemy at last be sure our questIs not mere talk but an exacting test.The fruit of loves great tree is povertyWhoever knows this knows humility.When love has pitched his tent in someones breastThat man despairs of life and knows no rest.Loves pain will murder him and blandly askA surgeons fee for managing the task -The water that he drinks brings pain his breadIs turned to blood immediately shedThough he is weak faint feebler than an antLove forces him to be her combatantHe cannot take one mouthful unawareThat he is floundering in a sea of care.

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