From behind distant hills, I don’t know where are those hills, On a one-humped white camel he came to the world. He was walking across the metropolis smoke-filled, And the folks were observing the man of the world. And the gray crowd of ordinary, commonplace fellows, Whose simple life was carefree, rippled and burdened with no purse, Were surprised that his face shone with tranquil contentment, And that his cryptic smile could be guessed by no person. As if he knew a thing keeping in a great secret, Which was known to no one save the Glorious Lord, As if he with the vision of the bright light was treated, Of the light each and every of mortals longs for. And the spruce crowd of weighty, self-satisfied fellows, Whose high life was substantial, rippled and burdened with big purse, Were enraged that his face shone with tranquil contentment, And that his cryptic smile could be guessed by no person. And it happened that the prominent heroes were humbled, It turned out that the deeds they performed were unright, And it happened that the beautiful women discovered, That not all the demands they put forward were right. And the gray crowd of ordinary, commonplace fellows, Who’re often reckoned to be rather rough by big persons, Asked this man of the world to be not harsh but gentle, And tell them which things are most important for folks. And went out all the sadness that formerly was there, All and sundry began going their ways again: He told them three fine words long ago forgotten, And to what they dreamed of, there was opened the straight way.
© Akbar Muhammad. Translation, 2015
(akbarmuhammad.awardspace.co.uk)