I know this world; it never fulfills its promises.
You won’t find a real friend in the whole world.
Don’t go on gazing at that glided disk in the sky:
It has nothing inside it, not even a straw mat!
So many idiots swarm into the trap of this world
Like blind men who don’t have a stick to hand!
They worry for this world and tremble at its poverty.
Bizarre lunacy which nothing can ever cure!
It’s easy to credit the world’s beauty since it stays veiled.
In reality, it’s hideous old hag, without any allure.
Whoever submits to her witchcraft is like a serpent
Without feet, or hands, or intelligence, or religion.
What an absurd fate to give your life to this world!
It’s the fate of all those who don’t find the path to Him.
What is this copper full of dross, that forgets its copper-nature
And imagines that the philosophers stone doesn’t exist?
Because of a vain image, you yourself become illusion
And then all you can know is grief, anguish, and disaster.
Translations by Andrew Harvey