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The Festival of Spring, from the Díván of Jeláleddín Rendered in English Gazels after Rückert's Versions, with an Introduction and a Criticism of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

The Festival of Spring, from the Díván of Jeláleddín
Rendered in English Gazels after Rückert's Versions, with an Introduction and a Criticism of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
Title: The Festival of Spring, from the Díván of Jeláleddín Rendered in English Gazels after Rückert's Versions, with an Introduction and a Criticism of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
Release Date: 2018-04-29
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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Transcriber's Note.

Apparent typographical errors have been corrected.

Variations in transliteration have been retained.

References to three Notes at the end of the text have been included inthe Table of Contents.

The Festival of Spring

Publishers to the University.

New York, The Macmillan Co.
London, Simpkin, Hamilton and Co.
Cambridge, Macmillan and Bowes.
Edinburgh, Douglas and Foulis.


The Festival of Spring
The Díván of Jeláleddín

Rendered in English Gazels after Rückert's Versions

With an Introduction And a Criticism of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

William Hastie, D.D.
Professor of Divinity, University of Glasgow

James MacLehose and Sons
Publishers to the University

'In Depth of Conception, as well as in Loftinessof Flight and Sublimity of Language, Jeláleddínsurpasses all the Poets of the East.'

Professor Hermann Ethé.

'The greatest Mystical Poet of any Age.'

Reynold A. Nicholson.
'And all the Breeze of Fancy blows,
And every Dew-drop paints a bow,
The wizard Lightnings deeply glow,
And every Thought breaks out a Rose.'

This Book with its Sincere
Utterances of Love and Friendship
towards the Highest
is dedicated to

William A. Sanderson, Esq.
Byethorne, Galashiels

My ever faithful Friend
in Adversity, as in Prosperity

Old Songs are sweetest
Old Friends are best


The current, popular spelling of Persian Names and Wordshas been generally adopted in the following pages, in order toavoid any appearance of pedantry. The Turkish forms haveoccasionally been preferred when in place, e.g. Devlet forDaulat, and Mevlānā for Maulānā. The exacttransliteration of the Persian—such as Jalálu-'d-Din, Shams-ud-Din,Umar, Ghasal, Díwán—will be found in the foot-note references to morelearned Works.


Jeláleddín as a Persian Poet—Judgments of Scholars and Experts in Persian Literature since Sir W. Jones—The Philosophical and Theological Interest—Hegel—Tholuck—The Poetical Form—The Gazel—The Divan—Fitzgerald's Omar Khayyám—Burns—Browning—Keats's Nightingale—Coleridge echoes the Faith of Jeláleddín.
Fifty Gazels of Jeláleddín
I. Light, 1
II. Death and Life, 2
III. Invocation, 3
IV. Faith, 4
V. Dawn, 5
VI. Allah Hu, 6
VII. Spring, 7
VIII. Spring's Festival, 8
IX. Dependence, 9
X. Mystical Union, 10
XI. Identity, 12
XII. Confession, 13
XIII. Discordia Concors, 14
XIV. Renovation, 15
XV. Revolving in Mystic Dance, 16
XVI. The Soul in All, 17
XVII. Responsibility, 18
XVIII. Action, 19
XIX. Bondage, 20
XX. Love's Freedom, 21
XXI. In My Heart, 22
XXII. Not Deaf to Love, 23
XXIII. Assimilation, 24
XXIV. Cleanliness, 25
XXV. Where is He? 26
XXVI. Love's Slavery, 27
XXVII. Psyche in Tears, 28
XXVIII. Substitutional, 29
XXVIX. God's Throne, 30
XXX. The Lion of God, 31
XXXI. Self-Realisation, 33
XXXII. Thy Hand, 34
XXXIII. The Priests, 35
XXXIV. The Pilgrims, 36
XXXV. Many Faiths, One Lord, 37
XXXVI. Love Absolute, 38
XXXVII. Renunciation, 39
XXXVIII. All Fulness, 40
XXXIX. Friendship, 41
XL. The Friend Supreme, 42
XLI. Immortality, 44
XLII. The First and Last, 45
XLIII. Mystic Love Dance, 46
XLIV. Dream Fear, 47
XLV. The Cry of Love, 48
XLVI. Night Thought, 49
XLVII. Up out of Night, 50
XLVIII. All One, 52
XLIX. O Wake in Me, 53
L. Jeláleddín, 55
A. Sir William Jones on the Mystical Poetry of the Persians. 57
B. Hegel on the Character of the Persian Lyrical Poetry. 59
C. Von Hammer's Account of Omar Khayyám. 61



Jeláleddín Rúmí (A.D. 1207-1273) is now universally recognisedby 'those who know,' as the greatest of the PersianMystical Poets. This supremacy, in his own sphere, has beenunanimously accorded to him for more than six centuries, byunnumbered myriads of his own disciples and followers in theOriental World, who have been wrapt in devoutest admirationof the great Master to whom they have owed the highest joyand inspiration of their spiritual life. And at last, in our ownWestern World, the great Persian scholars of Europe, lookingat him without personal or national bias, and through the clear,cold light of the new time, have come more and more, as withone voice, to join in this chorus of praise. His most appreciativerecent editor and interpreter in England, in presenting afew leaves plucked with reverent hand from what he callsJeláleddín's 'wreath of imperishable Lyric Song,' offers his owncareful and conscientious work to us, as a contribution 'to abetter appreciation of the greatest mystical poet of any age.' Andwith this designation, as summing up the judgment of a capableexpert and critic—strange as it may sound—we venture, in alldeference and sincerity, to agree. Jeláleddín is now rising uponour literary horizon in all his native Splendour—his name appropriatelysignifying 'The Splendour of the Faith'—as at once theDante, the St. Bernard, the Spenser, the Milton, the AngelusSilesius, and the Novalis of the Orient. As a religious Lyrical{xii}Poet his mellifluous music, his variety of strain, his captivatingcharm of words, his purity of feeling, his joyous faith, and hiselevation of thought, have never been surpassed in their ownkind. Taking what Matthew Arnold has called 'the lyricalcry' even in its widest range, it would be doing no one wrong—althoughit dare hardly be done as yet—to rank Jeláleddín,when he comes fully before us 'with all his singing robes abouthim,' with the very highest—with Shakespeare, with Wordsworthand Keats and Shelley, and with Goethe and Heine!He is certainly one of the most fertile poets of Nature amongthe Lyrical Singers of all time, and the most exuberant, if notalso the most spiritual, Hymnist the world outside of Christendomhas yet produced.

This estimate, however shaded or qualified, cannot butappear at first strangely exaggerated, and out of all justproportion, to those who mayhap read the name of Jeláleddínnow for the first time. Let us listen, then, to the greateststudents of Persian Poetry in the critical Nineteenth Century,the judges who have highest authority on the subject, and whohave the best right to pronounce judgment on Jeláleddín. Andlet us hear in the first place, as is his due, the most learnedHistorian of Persian Poetry in the Nineteenth Century, whowith indefatigable industry and completest knowledge hasadorned his pages with Extracts from no less than TwoHundred of Persia's greatest Poets. Joseph von Hammer, thegreat Austrian Orientalist (known later as Baron Von Hammer-Purgstalland as the Historian of Arabic Literature in sevenimmense volumes, containing Accounts of nearly ten thousandAuthors) says:—

'Jeláleddín Rumi is the greatest Mystical Poet of the East, the Oracle of the Sofis, the Nightingale of the contemplative life, the Author of the Mesnevi (a celebrated double-rhymed ascetic poem), and the Founder of the Mevlevi, the most famous Order of Mystical Dervishes. As Founder of this Order, as the Legislator of the Contemplative Life, and as the Interpreter of Heavenly Mysteries, he is highly revered. And as such he has to be estimated{xiii} by quite a different standard from that which applies to those Poets whose inspiration has not soared, like his, to the Vision of Divine things, to the primal Fountain of Love and Light. He cannot properly be compared either with Firdusi, the greatest of the Persian Epic Poets, nor with Nizami, the greatest of the Romantic Poets, nor with Saadi, the first of the moral Didactic Poets, nor with Hafiz, the chiefest of the erotic Lyrical Poets; for all these won the Palm of Poetry in entirely different fields from his. The only two great Poets of his kind, with whom a comparison can be in place, Senayi, the Author of the Mystical 'Flower Garden,' and Attar, the Author of the Mystical 'Bird Dialogues.' But both these works stand, as regards poetic merit, far below the Mesnevi, which is the Text Book of all The Sofis, from the banks of the Ganges to the shores of the Bosphorus. The Collection of Jeláleddín's 'Lyrical Poems'—his Divan, properly so called—'is regarded by them as of still higher value; it is practically the Law Book and the Ritual of all these Mystics. These outbursts of the highest inspiration of its kind deserve to be more closely considered, as it is from them that we see shining forth as in clear splendour the essence of the Oriental Mysticism, the cardinal Doctrine that All is One—the view of the ultimate Unity of all Being—and giving with it Direction and Guidance to the highest goal of Perfection by the contemplative Way of Divine Love. On the wings of the highest religious enthusiasm, the Sofi, rising above all the outward forms of positive Religions, adores the Eternal Being, in the completest abstraction from all that is sensuous and earthly, as the purest Source of Eternal Light. Mevláná Jeláleddín thus soars, not only like other Lyrical Poets, such as Hafiz, over Suns and Moons, but even above Space and Time, above the world of Creation and Fate, above the Original Contract of Predestination, and beyond the Last Judgment, into the Infinite, where in Eternal Adoration he melts into One with the Eternal Being, and infinitely loving, becomes One with the Infinite Love—ever forgetting himself and having only the great All in his view.'[1]

{xiv}Thus far the learned Von Hammer. But let us also hear thejudgment of the East itself, of which this is only a Westernecho, as it may be gathered from Devletshah, the greatestnative biographer—the Dr. Johnson we may appropriately say—ofthe Persian Poets. Of Jeláleddín, he says:—

'His pure Heart is filled with Divine Mysteries, and through his eradiating Soul streams the Infinite Light. His View of the World leads the thirsty in the Vale of the Contemplative Life to the refreshing Fountain of Knowledge; and his Guidance leads those who have wandered in the Wilderness of Ignorance into the Gardens where Truth is really known. He makes plain to the Pilgrim the Secrets of the Way of Unity, and unveils the Mysteries of the Path of Eternal Truth:

As when the foaming Sea high swells in Wave upon Wave,
It casts out Pearls upon Pearls on every Shore they lave.'

And to cite only one Turkish Authority—for the Turks claimJeláleddín as their own, although a Persian of royal race, bornat Balkh, old Bactra, on the ground of his having sung and diedat Qoniya, in Asia Minor (the Iconium of Paul and Barnabasand Timothy and St. Thecla), whence he was called Rumi 'theRoman,' usually rendered 'the Greek,' as wonning within theconfines of old Oriental Rome. This is how Fehîm Efendi, theTurkish Historian of the Persian Literature, himself a Poet,begins his Sketch

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