THE FIRE-FLY

Introduction
This short poem in three parts, different in cadence, deals with important mystic concepts through the common-place fire fly. The first part extols the beauties of the insect in different ways, and presents it as a reflection of the creative power of God. The next two parts show how the creativity of God appears in all His creatures throughout the universe, examples of which have been taken only from the common creatures and phenomena familiar to the denizens of the earth, to make the subject easily intelligible to the common man. The essence of the poem is the twin concept of Tawd-i-Ilh (The Unity of God) and Tawd-i-Insniyat (The Unity of Mankind). This is mentioned in the last two verses. The coherence in the diversity of the universe points to the Unity of the Creator in the plurality of the universe.


Translation

The fire-fly's light is shining in the garden's abode
Or a candle is lighted in the assembly of flowers ?

Has some star flown down from the sky?
Or has a moon's ray been brought to life?

Or the emissary of the day has come to the night's kingdom?
Has become prosperous in foreign land was unknown in homeland

Has some button fallen from the cloak of the moon?
Or some speck has become prominent in the sun's shirt?

Was it the concealed glimpse of the Eternal Beauty?
Which was brought by Nature out of solitude into the assembly

Darkness as well as light is in this little moon
Now it is out of eclipse, now it is in eclipse

                The moth is an insect, as the fire-fly is an insect
                The former needs light, the latter is light's embodiment

Nature gave beauty to everything in the universe
It gave agitation to moth, it gave light to fire-fly

It gave flowery music to the speechless bird
Having given tongue to the rose1 taught it to be silent

The beauty of twilight's spectacle was decaying
Brightening up this fairy, a short life it gave

It gave color to the dawn like a beautiful bride
Clothing it in red dress gave it the mirror of dew

It gave shade to the tree, gave flight to the wind
It gave flow to water, gave restlessness to waves

                This distinction but is a way of our thinking
                The fire-fly's day is the same as our night

The Eternal Beauty's reflection is present in everything
It is speech in man. It is blooming in the flower bud

This moon in the sky is the poet's heart so to say
It is moonlight there what here the prick of pathos is

The manners of speech have deceived us, otherwise
Song is nightingale's fragrance, flower's fragrance is its song

Concealed in plurality is the secret of the Unity
What is fire-flys brightness is flowers fragrance

                Why should this difference be occasion for dissensions?
                When the Primeval Days silence be concealed in everything


Explanatory Note
1. This is a beautiful metaphor for the petals of the rose flower.