These words are like milk from the soul’s breast—
but without someone to drink, the flow decreases.
When the listener is thirsty, the speaker,
even though almost dead, is moved to speak.
When the hearer is fresh and yearning,
even the dumb and mute discover their eloquence.
Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely
is made so for the eye of one who sees.
How should the sound of melody and treble and bass
be made for the ear of one who is deaf?
Not in vain did God make musk fragrant:
He made it so for the one who can smell,
not for one whose nostrils are blocked by disease.
Mathnawi I: 2378 – 2382; 2385
~ Rumi (1207 – 1273)
13th-century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic
This quatrain was sourced from:
The Rumi Daybook
365 Poems and Teachings from the Beloved Sufi Master
Selected and Translated by
Kabir and Camille Helminsky
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