“Thanks be to God, the very world that birthed us
now is bathed by wondrous Nature
in a rapture of her glorious light:
the splendor of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, now revealed.
And humankind, highest of creatures,
endowed with Intellect’s might
so that all the beasts,
winged and hoof’d,
are placed under his command
And Adam’s veins are filled
with Art, Science, Faith:
he knows the sciences are clear
-but music is the weightiest
as a surging ocean
outweighs the very world through with it flows.
If he whose heart’s been moved
by the science of Music’s whole effect
were offered the pleasure of emperorship,
he’d certainly ignore it
-for Man is not alone in his delight
at that sweet sound
since even animals have sacrificed themselves for it.
More stubborn than a donkey,
he who holds that Music’s “impure”;
Ignorant of beauty
how claim acquaintance with the Lord?
the Ocean Surges!
Permit my skiff to reach the shore
I beg what kindness
thou canst afford.
—Translated from the Urdu by Pir Zia Inayat Khan and Lamborn Wilson