The Path – July 1887


DEAR PATH:  I send you a little fragment from the Sufi poetry, and hope you will find it acceptable.

Rome, Italy.        K. H.

At the Beloved's door a timid knock was heard;
And a voice came from within, sweeter than morning bird,
Softer than silver drops that from plashing fountains fall,
     "Who is there?" — And the stillness stirred
     For a moment and that was all.

And the lover who stood without, eager and full of fear,
Answered the silver Voice, — "It is I, who am waiting here;
Open then, my Beloved, open thy door to me!"
     But he heard the response ring clear
     "This house will not hold Me and Thee!"

And the door remained fast shut, and the lover went away
Far into the desert's depths, to wait and fast and pray:
To dwell in the tents of Sorrow and drink of the cup of Grief:
     And Solitude taught him each day,
     And Silence brought him relief.

And after a year he returned, and knocked at the close-shut door,
And he heard the Beloved's Voice as it answered him once more,
"Who is there?" And soft as the dew, or the velvety roseleaf's fall,
     And low as when angels adore,
     He said — "Tis Thyself that doth call!"

And his heart stood still with fear, and his eager eyes were dim; —
Then through the silent night rang the sound of a marriage hymn;
And the bolts and bars flew back, and the door was open wide,
     And fair on the threshold's rim
     Stood his Beloved, his Bride!

The Path