Story of those who ate the young elephant

Story of those who ate the young elephant from greed and because they neglected the advice of the sincere counsellor. قصه‌ی خورندگان پیل‌بچه از حرص و ترک نصیحت ناصح

آن شنیدی تو که در هندوستان دید دانایی گروهی دوستان
Hast thou heard that in India a sage espied a party of friends?
گرسنه مانده شده بی‌برگ و عور می‌رسیدند از سفر از راه دور
Left hungry, lacking provisions, and naked, they were coming from travel on a far road.
مهر داناییش جوشید و بگفت خوش سلامیشان و چون گلبن شکفت
His wisdom’s love was stirred (within him), and he gave them a fair greeting and blossomed like a rose-bush.
گفت دانم کز تجوع وز خلا جمع آمد رنجتان زین کربلا
“I know,” he said, “that anguish has gathered upon you from this Karbalá (of suffering) in consequence of hunger and emptiness;
لیک الله الله ای قوم جلیل تا نباشد خوردتان فرزند پیل
But, for God’s sake, for God’s sake, O illustrious company, let not your food be the young of the elephant!
پیل هست این سو که اکنون می‌روید پیل‌زاده مشکرید و بشنوید
The elephant is in this direction that ye are now going; do not tear in pieces the elephant’s offspring, but hearken (to me).
پیل‌بچگانند اندر راهتان صید ایشان هست بس دلخواهتان
The young elephants are on your road: to hunt them down is what your hearts desire exceedingly.
بس ضعیف‌اند و لطیف و بس سمین لیک مادر هست طالب در کمین
They are very weak and tender and very fat, but their mother is searching (after them and) lying in wait.
از پی فرزند صد فرسنگ راه او بگردد در حنین و آه آه
She will roam a hundred leagues’ distance in quest of her children, moaning and making lament.
آتش و دود آید از خرطوم او الحذر زان کودک مرحوم او
Fire and smoke issue from her trunk: beware of (hurting) those pitied (cherished) children of hers!”
اولیا اطفال حق‌اند ای پسر غایبی و حاضری بس با خبر
O son, the saints are God’s children: (both) in (their) absence and presence they are well aware (of this).
غایبی مندیش از نقصانشان کو کشد کین از برای جانشان
Do not deem absence (from Him) to be the result of imperfection on their part, for He takes vengeance for the sake of their spirits (which are one with Him).
گفت اطفال من‌اند این اولیا در غریبی فرد از کار و کیا
He said, “These saints are My children in exile, sundered from dominion and glory;
از برای امتحان خوار و یتیم لیک اندر سر منم یار و ندیم
(They are) despised and orphaned for the sake of probation, but secretly I am their friend and intimate.
پشت‌دار جمله عصمتهای من گوییا هستند خود اجزای من
All of them are supported by My protections: you may say they are in sooth parts of Me.
هان و هان این دلق‌پوشان من‌اند صد هزار اندر هزار و یک تن‌اند
Take heed! Take heed! These are My dervishes; they are a hundred thousand thousand and (yet) they are one body.”
ورنه کی کردی به یک چوبی هنر موسیی فرعون را زیر و زبر
Else, how should a Moses have overthrown Pharaoh by means of one goodly rod?
ورنه کی کردی به یک نفرین بد نوح شرق و غرب را غرقاب خود
Else, how should Noah have submerged East and West in his Flood by means of one evil curse?
بر نکندی یک دعای لوط راد جمله شهرستانشان را بی مراد
One prayer of the generous Lot would not have rased (to the ground) all their (his people’s) city (and left them) in despair.
گشت شهرستان چون فردوسشان دجله‌ی آب سیه رو بین نشان
Their city, resembling Paradise, became a lake of black water: go, behold the sign!
سوی شامست این نشان و این خبر در ره قدسش ببینی در گذر
This sign and this information (admonition) lies in the direction of Syria: you will see it as you pass on the way to Jerusalem.
صد هزاران ز انبیای حق‌پرست خود بهر قرنی سیاستها بدست
Hundreds of thousands of prophets who worshipped God truly there have been chastisements (inflicted by them) in every generation.
گر بگویم وین بیان افزون شود خود جگر چه بود که کهها خون شود
If I should tell on and if this narration should increase (in length), not only (men’s) hearts but the (very) mountains would bleed.
خون شود کهها و باز آن بفسرد تو نبینی خون شدن کوری و رد
The mountains bleed and again become solid, (but) you do not see them bleed: you are blind and reprobate.
طرفه کوری دوربین تیزچشم لیک از اشتر نبیند غیر پشم
Human greed sees hair by hair (every detail) of self-interest: like a bear, he keeps dancing to no purpose.
مو بمو بیند ز صرفه حرص انس رقص بی مقصود دارد همچو خرس
Man, from the parsimony of greed, inspects hair by hair: like a bear, he keeps dancing to no purpose.
رقص آنجا کن که خود را بشکنی پنبه را از ریش شهوت بر کنی
Dance (only) where you break (mortify) yourself and (when you) tear away the cotton from the sore of lust.
رقص و جولان بر سر میدان کنند رقص اندر خون خود مردان کنند
(Holy) men dance and wheel on the (spiritual) battle-field: they dance in their own blood.
چون رهند از دست خود دستی زنند چون جهند از نقص خود رقصی کنند
When they are freed from the hand (dominion) of self, they clap a hand; when they escape from their own imperfection, they make a dance.
مطربانشان از درون دف می‌زنند بحرها در شورشان کف می‌زنند
From within them musicians strike the tambourine; at their ecstasy the seas burst into foam.
تو نبینی لیک بهر گوششان برگها بر شاخها هم کف‌زنان
You see it not, but for their ears the leaves too on the boughs are clapping hands.
تو نبینی برگها را کف زدن گوش دل باید نه این گوش بدن
You do not see the clapping of the leaves: one must have the spiritual ear, not this ear of the body.
گوش سر بر بند از هزل و دروغ تا ببینی شهر جان با فروغ
Close the ear of the head to jesting and lying, that you may see the resplendent city of the soul.
سر کشد گوش محمد در سخن کش بگوید در نبی حق هو اذن
The ear of Mohammed draws out the hidden meaning in the words (of the religious hypocrites), for God saith of him in the Qur’án, “He is an ear.”
سر به سر گوشست و چشم است این نبی تازه زو ما مرضعست او ما صبی
This Prophet is entirely ear and eye; we are refreshed by him: he is (as) the suckler and we (as) the (infant) boy.
این سخن پایان ندارد باز ران سوی اهل پیل و بر آغاز ران
This discourse hath no end. Go back to those who had to do with the elephant, and start at the beginning.




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