Tablet of the Holy Mariner
O Holy Mariner!
Bid thine ark of eternity to appear before the Celestial Concourse,
Launch it upon the ancient sea, in His Name, the Most Wondrous,
And let the angelic spirits enter, in the Name of God, the Most High.
Unmoor it, then, that it may sail upon the ocean of glory,
Haply the dwellers therein may attain the retreats of nearness in the everlasting realm.
Having reached the sacred strand, the shore of the crimson seas,
Bid them issue forth and attain this ethereal invisible station,
A station wherein the Lord hath in the Flame of His Beauty appeared within the deathless tree;
Wherein the embodiments of His Cause cleansed themselves of self and passion;
Around which the Glory of Moses doth circle with the everlasting hosts;
Wherein the Hand of God was drawn forth from His bosom of Grandeur;
Wherein the ark of the Cause remaineth motionless even though to its dwellers be declared all divine attributes.
O Mariner! Teach them that are within the ark that which we have taught thee behind the mystic veil,
Perchance they may not tarry in the sacred snow-white spot,
But may soar upon the wings of the spirit unto that station which the Lord hath exalted above all mention in the worlds below,
May wing through space even as the favored birds in the realm of eternal reunion;
May know the mysteries hidden in the Seas of light.
They passed the grades of worldly limitations and reached that of the divine unity, the center of heavenly guidance.
They have desired to ascend unto that state which the Lord hath ordained to be above their stations.
Whereupon the burning meteor cast them out from them that abide in the Kingdom of His presence,
And they heard the Voice of Grandeur raised from behind the unseen pavilion upon the Height of Glory:
"O guardian angels! Return them to their abode in the world below,
"Inasmuch as they have purposed to rise to that sphere which the wings of the celestial dove have never attained;
"Whereupon the ship of fancy standeth still which the minds of them that comprehend cannot grasp."
Whereupon the maid of heaven looked out from her exalted chamber,
And with her brow signed to the Celestial Concourse,
Flooding with the light of her countenance the heaven and the earth,
And as the radiance of her beauty shone upon the people of dust,
All beings were shaken in their mortal graves.
She then raised the call which no ear throughout all eternity hath ever heard,
And thus proclaimed: "By the Lord! He whose heart hath not the fragrance of the love of the exalted and glorious Arabian Youth,
"Can in no wise ascend unto the glory of the highest heaven."
Thereupon she summoned unto herself one maiden from her handmaidens,
And commanded her: "Descend into space from the mansions of eternity,
"And turn thou unto that which they have concealed in the inmost of their hearts.
"Shouldst thou inhale of perfume of the robe from the Youth that hath been hidden within the tabernacle of light by reason of that which the hands of the wicked have wrought,
"Raise a cry within thyself, that all the inmates of the chambers of paradise, that are the embodiments of the eternal wealth, may understand and hearken;
"That they may all come down from their everlasting chambers and tremble,
"And kiss their hands and feet for having soared to the heights of faithfulness;
"Perchance they may find from their robes the fragrance of the Beloved One."
Thereupon the countenance of the favored damsel beamed above the celestial chambers even as the light that shineth from the face of the Youth above His mortal temple;
She then descended with such an adorning as to illumine the heavens and all that is therein.
She bestirred herself and perfumed all things in the lands of holiness and grandeur.
When she reached that place she rose to her full height in the midmost heart of creation,
And sought to inhale their fragrance at a time that knoweth neither beginning nor end.
She found not in them that which she did desire, and this, verily, is but one of His wondrous tales.
She then cried aloud, wailed and repaired to her own station within her most lofty mansion,
And then gave utterance to one mystic word, whispered privily by her honeyed tongue,
And raised the call amidst the Celestial Concourse and the immortal maids of heaven:
By the Lord! I found not from these idle claimants the breeze of Faithfulness!
"By the Lord! The Youth hath remained lone and forlorn in the land of exile in the hands of the ungodly."
She then uttered within herself such a cry that the Celestial Concourse did shriek and tremble,
And she fell upon the dust and gave up the spirit. It seemeth that she was called and hearkened unto Him that summoned her unto the Realm on High.
Glorified be He that created her out of the essence of love in the midmost heart of his exalted paradise!
Thereupon the maids of heaven hastened forth from their chambers, upon whose countenances the eye of no dweller in the highest paradise had ever gazed.
They all gathered round her, and lo! they found her body fallen upon the dust;
And as they beheld her state and comprehended a word of the tale told by the Youth, they bared their heads, rent their garments asunder, beat upon their faces, forgot their joy, shed tears and smote with their hands upon their cheeks, and this is verily one of the mysterious grievous afflictions --
Bahá'á Prayers, © Copyright 1954, 1982, 1985, 1991 by the
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Web Page originally by Graham Sorenson; used and reworked with permission.