Friday, August 5, 2011

Come, come again, whoever you are, come!

Come, Come again!
Whatever you are…
Whether you are disbeliever,
idolater or fireworshipper.
You have broken your vows
of repentance a hundred times
this is not the gate of despair,
this is the gate of hope.
Come, come again…

- Poet unknown
(Inscribed at Rumi's grave, Konya, Turkey)

Comment: This is one of the most frequently quoted poems attributed to Rumi, but is not authenticated as his (and it is also not in the earliest manuscripts of the quatrains attributed to him). It is found in the same form in the quatrains of Bâbâ Afzaluddîn Kâshânî (died 1274-- Rumi died 1273) and is related to a similar quatrain attributed to Abu Sa`îd ibn Abi 'l-Khayr, died 1048 (see "Nobody, Son of Nobody: Poems of Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir," renditions by Vraje Abramian, 2001, p. 4, c). It is one among the most frequently quoted poems by Turkish Mevlevis (the "Whirling Dervishes") themselves (who have long assumed it to be a Rumi poem), from a Turkish translation of the original Persian.

Nevit Ergin (translated from Golpinarli's Turkish translation), "Crazy As We Are," 1992, p. 1.

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Variant translations:

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving — it doesn't matter,
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times,
Come, come again, come.

  • As quoted in Sunbeams : A Book of Quotations (1990) by Sy Safransky, p. 67
  • Variant translations:
    Come, come, whoever you are.
    Wanderer, idolator, worshipper of fire, come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
    Come, and come yet again. Ours is not a caravan of despair.
    • As quoted in Muslim Narratives and the Discourse of English (2004) by Amin Malak, p. 151
  • Come, come, whoever you are.
    Wanderer, worshipper, lover of living, it doesn't matter
    Ours is not a caravan of despair.
    Come even if you have broken your vow a thousand times,
    Come, yet again, come, come.
    • As quoted in Rumi and His Sufi Path of Love (2007) by M Fatih Citlak and Huseyin Bingul, p. 81
  • Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
    Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
    Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
    Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.
    • As quoted in Turkey: A Primary Source Cultural Guide (2004) by Martha Kneib
UPDATE:
A dear friend recalled seeing this verse written in Persian on one of the doors of some haveli in Lahore, back in his youth (should be around 70s), and was kind enough to mail over the verses with translation, here it is:

Baz Aa, Baz Aa, Har An Cheh Hasti Baz Aa
Come again, Come again, Whoever you are come again
 
Kafir o, Gabr o, Butparasti Baz Aa
Whether you are a Kafir, a Gabr (Gabr is probably a christian sect) or worshipper of idols, come again
 
Ein Bargah-e ma bargah-e nameedi neest
This bargah (Caravan!!!) of ours is not the bargah of of despair (hopelessness).
 
Sau bar agar Taubeh Shakasti Baz Aa
Even if you have broken your vow (taubah - repentance) a hundred times, come again

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