|As yet the tresses of the bride of night were not familiar with their graceful curls;|
And the stars of heaven had tasted not the bliss of whistling motion through the depths of space.
|The moon in her new robes looked rather strange|
And knew not revolution’s ceaseless law.
|From the dark house of possibilities the world had just emerged to spin along,|
No joy of life had throbbed as yet within the furthest limits of immensity.
|The order of existence scarcely had begun unfolding to perfectionment;|
It seems as if the world, like a ring whose socket waiteth for its precious stone, longed to evolve the archetypes to come.
|They say there was an alchemist on high,|
Dust of whose footsteps sparkled even more than Jamshid’s crystal cup.
|And on the pedestal of heaven there was engraved Elixir’s wondrous recipe,|
Which angels always guarded from the ken of Adam’s soul destined by it to live.
|The alchemist was ever on the watch|
Knowing this recipe more precious than the Great Name itself.
|Till seemingly saying his orisons, he nearer drew|
And gained the strictly guarded pedestal, his constant effort yielding in the end the fruit of his desire for which he burned.
|And having learnt it, he went forth to seek through the vast field of possibilities for its ingredients and collected them;|
Yea! what is there that can be hid from those who know the halls where truth for ever dwells.
|From stars he took their brightness; from the moon the marks of burnt-out passions of the past;|
And from night’s floating and dishevelled tresses a little darkness;
|From the lightning he received its restlessness; and purity from houris;|
And the gentle warmth that runs rippling from healing breath of Mary’s son.
|Then from the quality of Providence he took that splendour which dependeth not on aught else than itself,|
And from the dew and angels took he their humility.
|Then in the waters of the spring of life he made them to dissolve;|
And from the Throne of Most High they called this essence “Love.”
|That alchemist sprinkled this liquid on the new sprouting being,|
And its magic touch released the spell-bound process of the worlds.
|Motion appeared in atoms; forthwith they abandoned their repose,|
And roused themselves embracing their affinities again.
|The suns and stars rolled in majestic curves,|
The buds received fresh tints, and poppy flowers were branded with the burning marks of Love.
Translated by: Umrao Singh Sher Gil