Friday, June 16, 2017

Every trade's motive is the hope for gain

Every trade's motive is the hope for gain
Even if toil should make you suffer pain.

Going down to the store to sell each morning
Is always with the hope to make a living:

If there's no prospect, then why step outside?
Who can feel strong with fear they'll be denied?

How can fear you'll forever be without
Not make you hesitant to seek it out?

You say, 'Although I fear I'll be denied,
That fear gets worse if I've not even tried:

When I strive hard, my hope feels stronger, while
In idleness I face a harsher trial.'

Why then in spiritual works, you doubting twit,
Does fear of loss prevent you seeking it?

Have you not seen how in our marketplace
Prophets and saints gain profit and much grace?

Huge gold-mines opened when they reached this store,
And in this marketplace they've gained much more.

To Abraham the flames became obedient
And waves bore Noah safely like a servant.

Iron obeyed, melting in David's hand;
Wing turned to Solomon's slave at his command.

-Rumi, The Masnavi, Book Three, trans. by Jawid Mojaddedi, (Oxford: Oxford University Press/Oxford World's Classics, 2013), pgs. 188-9.