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The Riddle: A Vision

Recalling all my sins, I tore my clothes.
Oh, to be lamenting in the morning!
Countless my tears! Sorrow
Possessed me, day or night or dawning.

My love of life had withered like a flower.
I looked up to the night sky in its pallor,
Crying my soul was dead.
I cried aloud to Jesus and to Allah.

A vision then! The stars like honey ran
And I became an infant unattired
As three Enlightened ones
Appeared, approaching me. My thought expired…

One dressed in green, one white, one green again.
One touched me on the chest, one with a sword
Split my sad heart in twain.
One with his mouth on mine spake, “Hear the Lord !”

Speechless, I caught the words, “Let sorrow speak,
You mortal”. Love then, purging all suspicion,
Prompted a riddle from me:
My riddled life requiring exposition.

One tall, one small, and one diminutive
Serene yet smiling then, they Three attended.
“Foolish or wise,” one said,
“A man may find his life’s dilemma mended”.

Straightway, I asked1 “What’s heavier than sky,
Wider than earth1 richer than sea1 than stone
More hard, than fire more hot.
Colder than ice – and to the soul alone

More poisonous than hemlock ?” Answering,
They said,  “False accusations have more weight
Than sky. Wider than world
Are fine just words. Harder than stone or slate

The heart of hypocrite, while like vast seas
Are those who love. The favours of the mean
Chill more than ice. Oppressed,
The poor shed tears that poison souls unseen.”

Thus was my riddle laid to rest. I rose
Up from the dust and bowed to kiss their hands.
I could not say a word.
What1s man, to think he ever understands?

Fading away, the Three with one voice said,
“Be wise, O Makhtumkuli”. Still I get
In dreams a doubt that asks,
Why is the world so filled with riddles yet?

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