For a moment we paused in the human crowd,
But found no trace of loyalty among them.
It's best that we hide from view of the crowd,
Like water in steel, fire in stone, hidden deep within them.
#1082, 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)