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p. 128


O Creator of the world, who preservest the soul in beauty; O Thou who guidest the understanding to the path of true devotion; in the Paradise of the skies they are all raw youths; in Thy Paradise are those who drink of Hell. What are good and ill to me at Thy door? What is Heaven to me when Thou art there? Who can show forth in this deceptive mirror, the import of the words "All-knowing" and "All-powerful"?

When the heart's blood bores the liver, what is Hell, what a baker's live coal? Hell would become Heaven through fear of Him; how can clay become a brick without a mould? Those who

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love Thee weep in their laughter because of Thee; those who know Thee laugh in their weeping because of Thee. They rest in Paradise who are in Thy fire; but the most are contented apart from Thee with the maidens of the eyes. If Thou send me from Thy door to Hell, I will not go on foot but on my head; but whoso opposes Thy decree, his soul shall hold up a mirror to him, because of his recklessness.

His standing and his occupation Thou givest to everyone; a friend is a snake,--a snake a friend if sent by Thee. Though threatened with "None will think himself secure," I cannot have enough of Thee; nor do I become bold because of "Be not in despair." If Thou givest poison to my soul, I cannot mention anything bitterer than sugar. He only is secure from Thy craft who is mean and

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lowly; Thy peace and Thy craft appear alike, but at Thy craft the wise man trembles. We must not think ourselves secure against Thy craft, for neither obedienee nor sin is of avail; he only thinks himself secure, who knows not Thy craft in dealing with wickedness.