My verse resembles the bread of Egypt –
Night passes over it & you can’t eat it any more.
Devour it the moment it is fresh,
Before the dust settles upon it.
Its place is the warm climate of the heart;
In this world it dies of cold.
Even if you see it imagining it is fresh,
You’ll need to conjure up many images.
What you drink is really your own imagination;
That’s no fable, my friend.
Jalal al-Din Rumi, translated by A.J. Arberry (with a few slight changes)
(“Bread of Egypt”: I.e., manna. See Exodus 16, but also Numbers 11:5-7, which tells how the monotony of the substance led to a rebellion)