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Saturday, December 09, 2006

THE TRUE SUFI


What makes the Sufi? Purity of heart;
Not the patched mantle and the lust perverse
Of those vile earth-bound men who steal his name.
He in all dregs discerns the essence pure:
In hardship ease, in tribulation joy.
The phantom sentries, who with batons drawn
Guard Beauty's place-gate and curtained bower,
Give way before him, unafraid he passes,
And showing the King's arrow, enters in.

R. A. Nicholson
'Persian Poems', an Anthology of verse translations edited by A.J.Arberry, Everyman's Library, 1972

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