Solitude

I stood beside the ocean
And asked the restless wave–
To what eternal troubling,
To what quest are you slave?
With orient pearls by thousands
Your mantle’s edges shine,
But is there in your bosom
One gem, one heart, like mine?
–It shuddered from the shore and fled,
It fled, and did not speak.

I stood before the mountain,
And said–Unpitying thing !
Could sorrow’s lamentation
Your hearing never wring?
If hidden in your granite
One ruby blood-drop lie,

Do not to my affliction
One answering word deny !
–With its cold unbreathing self
It shrank, and did not speak.

I travelled a long pathway,
And asked the moon–Shall some
Far day, oh doomed to wander,
Or no day, end your doom?
Our earth your silver glances
With lakes of jasmine lace ;
Is it a heart within you
Whose hot glow sears your face ?
–It stared with jealous eyes towards
The stars and did not speak.

Past moon and sun I journeyed,
To where God sits enskied ;–
In all Your world no atom
Is kin of mine, I cried :
Heartless that world, this handful
Of dust all heart, all pain ;
Enchantment fills Your garden,
But I sing there in vain.
–There gathered on His lips a smile ;
He smiled, and did not speak.

– Allama Muhammad Iqbal

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