The Lover and The Beloved

A man knocked at the door of his beloved.
"Who are you, trusted one?" thus asked the friend.
He answered: "I!" The friend said: "Go away,
Here is no place for people raw and crude!"
What, then, could cook the raw and rescue him
But separation's fire and exile's flame?
The poor man went to travel a whole year,
And burnt from separation from his friend,
And he matured, was cooked and burnt, returned
And carefully approached the friend's abode.
He walked aound it now in cautious fear
Lest from his lips unfitting words appear.
His friend called out: "Who is there at my door?"
The answer: "You, dear, you are at the door?"
He said: "Come in, now that you are all I-
There is no room in this house for two 'I's!"

-Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, Mathnawi I 3056-63


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