The Secrets of the Self, by Muhammad Iqbal, tr. by Reynold A. Nicholson, , at sacred-texts.com
Story of the diamond and the coal.
Now I will open one more gate of Truth,
I will tell thee another tale.
The coal in the mine said to the diamond,
"O thou entrusted with splendours everlasting,
1195 We are comrades, and our being is one;
The source of our existence is the same,
Yet while I die here in the anguish of worthlessness,
Thou art set on the crowns of emperors.
My stuff is so vile that I am valued less than earth,
Whereas the mirror's heart is rent by thy beauty. 1200
My darkness illumines the chafing-dish,
Then my substance is incinerated at last.
Every one puts the sole of his foot on my head
And covers my stock of existence with ashes.
My fate must needs be deplored; 1205
Dost thou know what is the gist of my being?
Thou art a condensed wavelet of smoke,
Endowed with the properties of a single spark;
Both in feature and nature thou art star-like,
Splendours rise from every side of thee. 1210
Now thou becomst the light of a monarch's eye,
Now thou adornest the haft of a dagger."
"O sagacious friend!" said the diamond,
Dark earth, when hardened, becomes in dignity as a bezel.
1215 Having been at strife with its environment,
It is ripened by the struggle and grows hard like a stone.
Tis this ripeness that has endowed my form with light
And filled my bosom with radiance.
Because thy being is immature, thou hast become abased;
1220 Because thy body is soft, thou art burnt.
Be void of fear, grief, and anxiety;
Be hard as a stone, be a diamond!
Whosoever strives hard and grips tight,
The two worlds are illumined by him.
1225 A little earth is the origin of the Black Stone
Which puts forth its head in the Kaba:
Its rank is higher than Sinai,
It is kissed by the swarthy and the fair.
In solidity consists the glory of Life;
Weakness is worthlessness and immaturity." 1230