Saturday, January 26, 2013

Translation of Baha'u'llah's Rashh-i Ama (The Mist of Unknown)

It is generally believed that Baha'u'llah's earliest extant revelation and the only preserved tablet revealed in Iran is the poem known as Rashh-i Ama. It was revealed during Baha'u'llah's imprisonment in the Siyah-Chal (Black Pit) dungeon in Tehran, sometime between the months of August and November 1852....

Our charm bids waft the Mist of Unknown
    Mystery of fidelity thus flows from Our tone
The east wind, musk-laden, from Cathay whirls
    Its scent so sweet streams forth from Our curls
The ornamented sun from the True One hath risen
     Mystery of reality from Our visage doth blazon
The sea of purity roars from waves of rapture
   This gift bestowed from His essence We capture
Love's treasures lie hid in the bosom of Fars
   Out this treasure-trove Pearls of Fidelity pours
Delight of wine evinced when All  was manifested
   To songs of providence  this Sublime Token attested
A blast on the trumpet, the attraction divine
    These two in one blow flow from the Exalted Clime
Confessed Our face to the cycle of: "I am He"
   Baha is brimming with the epoch of: "He is He"
The river of life shimmers in the closet of the heart
    This sweet wine the ruby lips of Baha doth part
The day of God by the Lord's effulgence is complete
    The warbling in Tehran from these novel words is replete
Glory overflowing, behold! Misty unknowing, behold!
     All this from one melody thy Lord doth sing, behold!
 Lo! The immortal Perfect Mystic, the Pristine Dawn
    The Pure Breast from the Highest Throne out drawn
 Lo! The Tree of Paradise, heark the Nightingale's song
    This Glorious warbling from the Light of Purity hath sprung
 Hearken the Persian melody, the Arabian tambourine
    Hearken the 'No' rhythm from the Hand of Divine
See dawning of the Godhead, the Maid of Paradise
    How mystery of Unknown from earthly appearance doth arise
 Lo! Remnant's Countenance, Cupbearer's Face Lo!
   The translucent glass pouring out from Our Chalice
Behold the Burning Bush, see the Hand so white
   Behold Mount Sinai radiating from the Palm so bright
 Hear his intoxicated moans, see the mystic ecstatic
    In the precincts of rapture all living beings are charismatic
 From His peek, observe the amorous glance of Baha
    From His reed, hearken the Farsi melody of Baha
 Emergence of Revelation 'tis, Effusion of Purity 'tis
    Warbling of Nightingales 'tis, that pours out of Nothingness!