Have mercy, my Soul
How long will you lament, my Soul, when you know how frail I am? How long will you clamor, when I possess only human words with which to depict your dreams?
Look, my Soul, for I have spent my life listening to your teachings. Think, my torturer, for I have worn out my body following your footsteps.
My heart was my monarch, but now it has become your slave. My patience was my confidante, but under your influence it has become my critic. Youth was my boon companion, but now it reproaches me. And all this has befallen me from the gods. How will you demand more, and what do you crave?
I have repudiated my essence and abandoned the delights of my life. I forsook my glory, and only you remain to me, so judge with justice, for justice is your glory. Or summon death and release your ward from prison.
Have mercy, my Soul. For you have burdened me with a love that I cannot bear: you and Love are a unified force, whereas I and matter are fragmented in our weakness, and can your bonds long persist when stretched between force and weakness?
Have mercy, my Soul. For you showed me happiness from a great distance. You and happiness are on a lofty mountain, while wretchedness and I subsist in the depths of a ravine. Can loftiness and abasement ever meet?
Have mercy, my Soul. For you revealed Love to me and then concealed it. You and your beauty in light, and ignorance and I in the darkness. Can light and darkness ever mix?
You, my Soul, rejoice in the afterlife before it even arrives, while this body suffers from life even while it lives.
You approach eternity in haste, and this body takes slow steps toward annihilation. You do not tarry and it does not hasten; and this, my Soul, is the utmost misery.
You rise toward the heights, attracted by the heavens, whereas this body plummets downward because of the earth’s gravity. You do not console it, and it does not congratulate you; and that is rancor.
You, my Soul, are rich with your wisdom, but this body is poor by reason of its instincts. You show it no forbearance, and it does not follow; and that is the utmost wretchedness.
You go in the silence of the night toward the beloved and enjoy his embraces, and this body remains ever a martyr to yearning and separation.
Have mercy, my Soul; have mercy.
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