The Bird Rises

The Phoenix

My phoenix long ago secured 
   His nest in sky-vault's cope; 
In the body's cage immured, 
   He is weary of life's hope. 

Round and round this heap of ashes 
   Now flies the bird amain, 
But in that odorous niche of heaven 
   Nestles the bird again. 

Once flies he upward, he will perch 
   On Tuba's golden bough: 
His home is on that fruited arch 
   Which cools the blest below. 

If over this world of ours 
   His wings my phoenix spread, 
How gracious falls on land and sea 
   The soul-refreshing shade! 

Either world inhabits he, 
   Sees oft below him planets roll; 
His body is all of air compact, 
   Of Allah's love his soul.

Hafiz, transl. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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