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17. Feb 2006

This Life is less than shadows

    This Life is less than shadows; if thou yearn
         To know and find the God thou worshippest,
    From all the varying shows of being turn
         To that true Life which is unmanifest.

    Beware, O travellers, dangerous is Life's Way
         With lures that call, illusion that deceives,
    For set to snare the voyagers that stray
         Are fortresses of robbers, lairs of thieves.

    The seer's eyes look on the cup of wine
         And say -- We need no more thy drunkenness;
    An exaltation that is more divine,
         Another inspiration, we possess.

    O praise not peacock youth; it flits away
         And leaves us but the ashes of regret,
    A disappointed heart, a memory,
         An empty foolish pride that lingers yet.

    Upon the path, Amir, we journey far,
         Weary the road where mankind wandereth;
    O tell me, does it lead through Life's bazar,
         Or is it the dread gate and house of Death?

    Amir Minai (1828-1900)