RUMI at the age of thirty-seven meets SHAMS TABRIZI (the sun of Tabriz) "a weird figure wrapped in coarse black felt, who flits across the stage for a moment and disappears tragically enough." Shams has variously been described as: being extremely ugly; a most disgusting cynic; and exceedingly aggressive with a domineering manner. Jalaluddin, who until then had no interest or liking for poetry "found in the stranger that perfect image of the Divine Beloved which he had long been seeking. He took him away to his house, and for a year or two they remained inseparable. Rumi's pupils resented their teacher's preoccupation with the eccentric stranger, and vilified and intrigued against him until Shams fled to Damascus. Rumi sent his son to bring him back; but the tongues of his jealous traducers soon wagged again, and in 1247, the man of mystery vanished without leaving a trace behind." Nicholson has selected his favourites from Rumi's love poems and translated them into English along with the original Persian.