Quit ye the soul’s sorrow
Each soul has its sorrow; this ye ought first to quit and cast aside.
The soul’s sorrow galls; quit it, then there is peace.
Wide, wide is the sea of bitterness; ill-fated be more than half therein;
But whoso find joy amid the bitter, theirs is an angel-spirit.
If woe and bitterness pass beyond sufferance, then ‘tis an evil shift;
Though better than that hell which is the judge’s gate; it were more grievous far.
Draw back but a step from your petty grief; ocean widens; heaven’s void deepens; no need then to fret yourself.
The soul that can quit its thrall truly is as a land of boundless joy.
If quittance there be, but quittance be not complete, then exercise yourselves in secret charity.
Aye! But take count of all things;
The hoard of a good heart brings no hazard;
Look you! Its far reward is in the life to come, its near reward is beneath your eyes.
The soul’s sorrow is hard to quit; but quit it ye must, till plainly ye part it from you.
The word ‘quittance,’ look it round and through, lighteneth wholly a myriad troubles.
Methinks that the soul’s thousand sorrows have a thousand phases of malady as their witness;
Though, when the heart-ache is intense, it has no voice for men to hear.
Chiefly the word ‘frenzy’ drives disease in deep; likewise the word ‘passion’ has the taint of malady.
If frenzied thoughts be not discarded, then even magic medicines are of no avail.
In arbours of flower and willow it is most easy to be sense-enthralled.
So from Complaisant Thorp must ye come forth as wondrous warriors.
Probe in conscious knowledge the vanities of beauty, then verily ye are in the happy land.
But if long enthralled by flower and willow, ye will sink down to Sorrow City.
Ah! Needs must ye yourselves awake.
In the world naught is stable; ‘tis as the nature of the willow-blossom,
Whose bent is ever to incline that way which the gale goeth.