“If you want the mirror to reflect the face,
hold it straight and keep it polished bright;
although the sun does not begrudge its light,
when seen in a mist it only looks like glass;
and creatures comelier than angels even
seem in a dagger to have devils’ faces.
Your dagger will never tell you true from false;
it will never serve you as a mirror.”
Hakim Sanai, 12th Century Persian poet and one of Jalaludin Rumi’s inspirations.
Translation by David Pendlebury, ‘The Walled Garden of Truth’.