Sufi ideas brought to the West

[Burton, Richard Francis]. The Kasidah (couplets) of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî: A Lay of the Higher Law [...].

London, [Bernard Quaritch, 1880].

4to. (4), 33, (1) pp., final blank leaf. Bound with the original yellow printed wrappers. Contemporary giltstamped half calf over green cloth boards with giltstamped spine-title. Marbled endpapers.


First edition. Rare English-language poem by Burton, purporting to be a translation of an original Persian Sufi text. In an attempt to bring Sufist ideas to the West, Burton claims to be the translator of a Persian poem, to which he gives the English title "Lay of the Higher Law". It is thus a pseudo-translation, pretending to be based on an original Persian text which never existed.

The Kasidah is essentially a distillation of Sufi thought in the poetic idiom of that mystical tradition. Both first and second issues were published by Bernard Quaritch in 1880 for the use of the author and his friends. The present first issue omits the Quaritch name and the date from the title. Few copies of the first issue were sold (possibly fewer than 100), and the remainders were returned to Burton or members of his circle.

Cloth slightly soiled; original wrappers a little duststained. A good copy.

Penzer 97. Casada 84. OCLC 57537856.

Stock Code: BN#58870 Tags: , , ,