Rumi (Multilingual Translations) - The Meaning of Love


The Meaning of Love

Both light and shadow
are the dance of Love
Love has no cause,
it is the astrolabe of God's secret
Lover and Loving are inseparable
and timeless
Although I may try to describe love
when I experience it I am speechless
Although I may try to write about Love
I am rendered helpless
My pen breaks and the paper slips away
at the ineffable place
where Lover, Loving and Loved are one
Every moment is made glorious
by the light of Love
  • Love has no cause:

    In the original version of this poem (Farsi version), the word "علت = ellat" is mentioned. That word in Persian means both "cause" and "ailment". But here, the poet means "ailment".

thanked 6 times
Submitted by malucamaluca on Sun, 08/05/2016 - 02:56
Last edited by líadanlíadan on Tue, 14/07/2020 - 19:05


Rumi (Multilingual Translations): Top 3
ahmad azizahmad aziz    Wed, 17/06/2020 - 16:06

As you are moderator I didn't edit it without permission
Those lyrics are actually an English translation of these lyrics:
The original name: علت عاشق ز علت‌ها جداست
The transliterated title: Ellat-e āshegh ze ellatha jodāst
مثنوی معنوی دفتر۱ | The Masnavi Dafter 1

علت عاشق ز علت‌ها جداست
عشق اصطرلاب اسرار خداست

عاشقی گر زین سر و گر زان سرست
عاقبت ما را بدان سر رهبرست

هرچه گویم عشق را شرح و بیان
چون به عشق آیم خجل باشم از آن

گرچه تفسیر زبان روشن‌گرست
لیک عشق بی‌زبان روشن‌ترست

چون قلم اندر نوشتن می‌شتافت
چون به عشق آمد قلم بر خود شکافت

عقل در شرحش چو خر در گل بخفت
شرح عشق و عاشقی هم عشق گفت

آفتاب آمد دلیل آفتاب
گر دلیلت باید از وی رو متاب

malucamaluca    Wed, 17/06/2020 - 16:30

Hello, thank you for finding the original Persian version. Feel free to edit this entry or merge it if the poem already exists in the original version on LT. As I don't speak or read Persian I'd rather leave it to you to do this.

ahmad azizahmad aziz    Wed, 17/06/2020 - 16:40

Thanks, but I want to keep your translation, I have no access to swap translations, so could you add your translation as English translation as its owner? then I will edit the lyrics

malucamaluca    Wed, 17/06/2020 - 18:18

Yes, of course we should keep the English translation as translation. You can do so by just adding the English translation as a translation and changing the authorship to my name. Maybe you could edit the English version in a way that the paragraphs are matching the original Persian version? I will then later edit it to provide a link to where I found this poem in its English version and inform the other translators.

ahmad azizahmad aziz    Wed, 17/06/2020 - 22:56

I added the English translation, now you can change the authorship to your name, I can't. And I couldn't match it line by line with the original lyrics, it's a samurai of a long poem but it's still good.

malucamaluca    Thu, 18/06/2020 - 16:33

Ahmed, are there more verses in the Persiam version? It seems so much longer than the English version...

ahmad azizahmad aziz    Thu, 18/06/2020 - 17:41 this is the source of the poem, I thought I better add the complete poems, as I said that translation is not a line by line translation, but it's an abstract of a long poem, like those Turkish translation of Rumi's poems that have been submitted as original lyrics. some of them are only 1 line and I think most of them are not poem but a translation and abstract of long poems, I'm looking for a chance to ask some expert and native Turkish about them.

BlueBirdBlueBird    Sat, 17/04/2021 - 22:29

This is not a translation but an interpretation of part of a poem by Rumi(see here)


The quote you sent is not a translation, but someone's interpretive version (probably of Nicholson's translation - see clues in the link, such as the word "helpless") of a famous passage from the Masnavi, 1: 110-117 -

The title, ("The Meaning of Love") and the first verse ("Both light and shadow are the dance of love") have been created and added by the version-maker.

You can find a fairly accurate translation, by Reynold_A._Nicholson - a known scholar and translator of Rumi, in the link provided in the quoted text.

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