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Love’s Torments

Rivers of love surged forth and overflowed.
I surfaced with a cloudburst in my blood -
The throne of heart o’erturned – the world in code -
I swam and swam3 a candle in the flood!

Sleeping I dreamed and waking I arose.
Love’s cruel – so I have read, I think -
Its fatal dram of ecstasy I chose:
I seized the chalice. Now I have to drink!

Dark gales from my beloved blew. Eclipse
Brought separation. Hope was overdue.
She held her hand out but withdrew her lips,
And I lay drowning in a fevered brew.

To that bewitching eye and brow I came.
The fires of love, once lit, were blazing grass.
I started to engrave the sacred name
Of my beloved on my inmost glass.

These mirrors that we build within the mind
Betray us and our love’s image misplace.
I long to read her countenance, but find.
I’m gazing at my own love-clouded face!

From this reflection once I journeyed far
Beyond, I hoped, passion’s deceitful scope.
I met the thief of love in that bazaar
At once, the glass was shattered – and all hope!

I quaffed the hemlock offered by my friend.
If poison’s remedy, trust is its price.
From slave to wrecker next I did descend -
Wrecking my self, love’s inbuilt edifice.

Whoever ventures in that stormy realm,
Says Makhtumkuli, finds there’s no escape
Or cure, my friends, from pains that overwhelm
The wanderer in dooms of female shape!

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