Until you made me sing, I was a monk.
You made me a rabble-rouser, a hopeless drunk.
I used to sit in prayer, so dignified;
Now I'm a toy that children toss aside.
#1891, from Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi
Edited by Badiozzaman Forouzanfar (Tehran, Amir Kabir, 1988).
Translated by Zara Houshmand
Zara Houshmand's features index
The Life Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi
By Frankin D. Lewis
By Coleman Barks (Translator)