There descended to you from the highest place
an ash-coloured dove, inapproachable, proud,
One veiled from even every Knower’s eye
yet herself without burka or veil.
She came to you with reluctance; she may well part
from you reluctantly too, dismayed.
Disdainful at first, ill at ease; but, going along,
getting used to living so close to desolate wasteland,
Forgetting, I think, her old haunts: sacred meadows
and dwellings, unhappy to have been left behind.
When joined to the D of descent from the S
of her station in Dhāt al-AjraꜤ,
She adhered to the H of Heavy and came to stay
among waymarks and humble vestigial abodes.
Now she cries, when she thinks of the homes of
her meadows, her eyes full of tears unstinting,
Cooing continuously on the dung-strewn remains,
effaced by the four recurrent winds.
The thick, coarse net has trapped her, a cage prevents her
from reaching the highest regions, spacious and lush.
But when it is nearly time to go to those grounds
and departure is nigh, to that widest expanse,
And she parts from all things left as allies of earth
that are not to accompany her,
She slumbers; the covers are raised; and she sees
what will never be seen by slumbering eyes.
And she starts to sing on the top of a lofty mount
– and knowledge will raise all those not raised -.
So why was she made to descend from that high,
lofty place to the depth of the lowest abyss?
If God in his wisdom has made her descend
that wisdom is hidden from even the cleverest mind.
For if the descent had to be, so that
she could hear what she had not yet heard,
And return with the knowledge of both worlds’ secrets
the rents in her dress will never be mended.
For Time has crossed her path, cut her off:
her sun has set, never to rise again.
She was like the lightning that flashed in the meadow,
then vanished, as if it had never flared.