Sa'd Ud Din Mahmud Shabistari (1288–1340). Translation by Florence Lederer.
IN the sea of Uman, the pearl oysters
Rise to the surface from the lowest depths,
And wait with opened mouths.
Then arises from the sea a mist,
Which falls again in raindrops
Into the mouths of the shells
(At the command of the Truth).
Straightway is each closed as by a hundred bonds,
And the shells sink back again
Into the ocean's depths,
Bearing in their hearts the pearl drops
Which the divers seek and find.
The sea is Being, the shore the body;
The mist, grace, and the rain, knowledge of the Name;
Human Wisdom is the diver
Who holds enwrapped in his garment
A hundred pearls;
The soul in a swift lightning's flash
Bears to the listening ear voices and messages
From the shells of knowledge;
Then when the husks are opened,
Behold the royal shimmering pearls!