My Soul is Heavy Laden
My Soul is heavy laden with its fruits, so is there anyone hungering who will harvest them, and eat of them, and be satiated?
Is there no one among the people who has been fasting who will graciously break the fast upon my offspring and relieve me of the burden of my fecundity and abundance?
My Soul is collapsing beneath the weight of gold ore and silver. Will anyone among the people fill his pockets and lighten my load?
My Soul is overflowing with the wine of eons. Is there anyone thirsting who will pour, and drink, and slake his thirst?
There stands a man in the middle of the road, thrusting toward passers-by a handful of gems, calling to them: “Look! Have mercy and snatch them from me. Take pity and relieve me of what I have!” As for the people, they walked on, paying no attention.
Indeed, would that he were a beggar, entreating and stretching out his quivering hand toward the pedestrians, and bringing it back, empty and trembling. Would that he were sitting there blind, and the people were passing by, indifferent.
There is the wealthy, munificent sheik, who raises his tent between the white, unexplored peaks and the foothills of the mountains. He lights the fire of a hospitable reception every night and sends his servants to monitor the roads, in hopes that they will lead to him a guest whom he might feed and honor. But the trails prove miserly, yielding no caller who might eat of his free banquet and sending no seeker to accept his gifts.
Would that he were a cast-out pauper!
Would that he were a homeless vagabond who roamed the lands, a staff in his hand and a begging bowl at his waist, and that when evening came the bends in the alleyways gathered together him and his companions among the vagrants and tramps, and that he sat next to them and shared out the bread of charity.
There is the daughter of the great king, who awakens from her repose and rises from her bed. She clothes herself in purple and lavender, adorns herself with pearls and sapphires, sprays perfume on her hair, and soaks her fingers in liquid ambergris. Then she walks in her garden, where droplets of dew moisten the hems of her robes.
In the quiet of the night the daughter of the great king walks in her garden, looking for her beloved, but no one in all the realm of her father loves her.
Would that she were the daughter of a peasant, herding her father’s sheep in the valleys and returning at night to his hovel, her feet dusty with her toil, the odor of vineyards lingering in the folds of her clothing. Then, when night descended and the people of the quarter had fallen asleep, she would steal away to the place where her lover was awaiting.
Would that she were a nun in a convent, her heart burning with incense, the fragrance of which the wind would waft abroad. Her spirit would ignite a candle, and the ether would convey the light of her Soul. She would genuflect in prayer, and the specters of the unseen would bear her prayers to the treasure-hold of time, where the devotions of worshipers are safeguarded beside the flames of lovers and the misgivings of hermits.
Would that she were aged and timeworn, sitting and sunning herself with the one who shared her youth. For that would be better than to be the daughter of the great king whose realm contains no suitor to eat of her heart like bread or drink of her blood like wine.
My Soul is heavy laden with its fruits; is there anyone on earth hungering who will harvest them, and eat them, and be satiated?
My Soul is overflowing with its wine. Is there anyone thirsting who will pour, and drink, and slake his thirst?
Would that I were a never-blossoming tree, which gave no fruit. For the pain of fecundity is more bitter than the anguish of barrenness, and the torments of the well-to-do with their inalienable wealth hold horrors greater than any suffered by a pauper who goes without food.
Would that I were a dry well, and that the people tossed stones into me, for that would be easier than to be a spring of flowing water that the thirsty pass by, and from which they avoid drinking.
Would that I were a crushed cane, trampled beneath the feet, for that would be better than to be a lyre with silver strings in the house of a master who has lost all his fingers and whose family is deaf.
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