From Rumi: Poet and Mystic 1207-1273. Translated from the Persian with Introduction and Notes by Reynold A. Nicholson (1950).
The Beauty of Death
He who deems death to be lovely as Joseph gives up his soul in ransom for it; he who deems it to be like the wolf turns back from the path of salvation.
Every one’s death is of the same quality as himself, my lad: to the enemy of God an enemy, to the friend of God a friend.
In the eyes of the Turcoman the mirror is fair; in the eyes of the Ethiopian it is dark as an Ethiopian.
Your fear of death is really fear of yourself: see what it is from which you are fleeing!
‘Tis your own ugly face, not the visage of Death: your spirit is like the tree, and death like the leaf.
It has grown from you, whether it be good or evil: all your hidden thoughts, foul or fair, are born from yourself.
If you are wounded by thorns, you planted them; and if you are clad in satin and silk, you were the spinner.
Know that the act is not of the same complexion as its result; a service rendered is not homogenous with the fragment given in return.
The laborer’s wage is dissimilar to his work: the latter is the accident, while the former is the substance.
The latter is wholly toil and effort and sweat, the former is wholly silver and gold and viands.
When the worshiper has sown a prostration or genuflection here, it becomes the Garden of the Blessed hereafter.
When praise of God has flown from his mouth, the Lord of the Daybreak fashions it into a fruit of Paradise.