1 HE knew not God and worshipped not,
Who displayed not contentment with his fortune and daily

Contentment makes a man rich;
—Inform the greedy one, world-travelling.—

Oh one without permanence! bring tranquillity to thy
For, vegetation grows not on the rolling stone.

If thou art a man of judgment and sense, cherish not thy
For, when thou cherishst it,—thou slayst it.

5 Wise men are skill-cherishers;
But body-cherishers are feeble in skill.

Eating and sleeping is the way of beasts alone;
To be in this way is the habit of the unwise.

That one attended to a manly life,
Who silenced first the dog of lust.

Happy that fortunate one, who, in a corner,
Gathers to his hand road-provisions of the knowledge of

Those, to whom God's mystery became revealed,
Preferred not the false to it.

10 But, when he knows not darkness from light,
Whether the sight of a demon, or the cheek of a húrí—to
him what difference?*

Thou didst cast thyself into a well, on that account,
That thou didst not recognise the well from the road.

How may the young hawk fly to the zenith of the sky,
When, in its long feathers, the stone of desire is bound?

If from lust's claw, thy skirt free,
Thou shouldst make, thou wouldst go to the lotus-tree
(in Paradise).

By eating less food than one's custom,
One can make the body of angelic temperament.

15 How may the brutal lion reach the angel state?
It cannot fly from earth to sky.

Practise first the human temperament;
Think after that of the angelic temperament.

Thou art on the flanks of a refractory colt;
Take care that it twist not its head from thy order.

For, if it should tear the halter from thy hand,—
It would slay thy body, and spill thy blood.

If thou art a man, eat food within limit;
Such a fully belly!—art thou a man, or a jar?

20 Within the body, is a place for food, and reflection on God,
and breath;
Thou thinkst it is for bread only.

In the wallet of lust, where is remembrance of God con-
With difficulty, he breathes,—leg extended.

The body-cherishers have no knowledge,
That—the full stomach is void of wisdom.

The two eyes and stomach became not filled with any-
These bowels, coil on coil, are best empty.

Like hell which they fill with fuel,
Again, there is a shout, saying:—“Is there any more?”*

25 Thy 'Ísa (the soul) continually dies of weakness;
Thou art in that desire, that thou mayst cherish thy ass
(the body).

Oh one of little worth! buy not the world, in exchange
for religion;
Purchase not thou the ass with the gospel of 'Ísa.

Perhaps, thou seest not that as to rapacious and non-
rapacious animals,
Only the greed of eating casts into the snare.

The panther, which stretches its neck (in pride) among
the beasts.
Falls, mouse-like, into the snare, through the greed of

Mouse-like, whose bread and cheese thou eatst,
Into his snare, thou fallst and sufferst his arrow.

30 * * * * * **

If food be delicious, or if it be simple,
When delay occurs to thy hand, thou eatst pleasantly.

35 The sage places his head on the pillow at that time when,
Sleep takes him, with violence, into its net.

So long as thou obtainst not the power of speech,—speak
When thou seest not the plain (of power), beware of the
ball (of speech).

Speak not; and, so long as thou canst, plant not thy foot
Outside of limit, or inside of limit.

Go; acquire a pure heart;
The belly will not become full, save with the dust of the

A Hájí gave me an ivory comb,
Saying:—“May the mercy of God be on the good quali-
ties of pilgrims!”

40 I heard that once upon a time he had called me a dog,
For his heart was, in some way, dejected about me.

I threw away the comb, saying:—“This bone,
“Is unnecessary for me; another time, call me not a dog.

“Think not, if I swallow my own vinegar,
“That I will endure the violence of the lord of sweet-

Oh soul! be content with a little
That thou mayst consider the sultán and darvesh as one.

Why goest thou before the king, with entreaty?
When thou placest avarice aside, thou art a king.

45 And, if thou art a self-worshipper, make the belly a
Make the door of this and that (man)—a Kibla.

And, if every moment, thy lust says:—give,
It causes thee to wander, village to village, in beggary.

Oh man of sense; contentment exalts the head;
The head full of avarice comes not forth from the shoulder.*

A certain one, possessed of avarice, before King Khwárazm,
—I heard—went early in the morning.

When he saw Khwárazm, he became doubled and straight;
He rubbed his face, moreover, on the earth; and arose.

50 His son said:—“Oh little father, name-seeking!
“I ask of thee a difficulty; explain it.

“Didst thou not say, that the dust of Hijáz was thy
“Why didst thou, to-day, pray in this direction (towards
the king)?”

Display not devotion to the lust of the lust-worshipper;
Since, it has, every hour, another Kibla.

Avarice spilled the reputation of honour;
It poured out a skirt (full) of pearls for two barley-grains.

When thou wishst to become satiated with the rivulet-
Why spillst thou face-water (honour) for the sake of ice?

55 Perhaps, thou art a patient one as to happiness;
But if not, thou art, of necessity, (begging) at doors.*

Sir! go; make short the hand of avarice;
What need to thee of the long sleeve (of beggary)?

Of him, who folded up the casket of avarice,
It is unnecessary to write—“Slave or servant to any one.”

Expectation will drive thee from every assembly,
Drive it from thyself, so that no one may drive thee.

To one of the holy men, a fever came,
A person said:—“Ask for sugar from such a one.”

60 He said:—“Oh son! the bitterness of my dying
“Is better than my bearing the oppression of one of
bitter face.”

The wise man ate not sugar from the hand of that one,
Who, through arrogance, made his face vinegar (bitter)
towards him.

Go not, in pursuit of whatever thy heart desires
For the strengthening of the body diminishes the soul's

Imperious lust makes a man contemptible;
If thou art wise, hold it not dear.

If thou enjoyst whatever may be thy wish,
Thou wilt endure much disappointment from the revolu-
tion of time.

65 To heat constantly the oven of the belly
May, in the day of want, be a misfortune.

In straitened circumstances, thy face causes not its com-
plexion to be shed
If, in the time of plenteousness, thou makst the belly

The man, full-devourer, endures the belly-load;
And, if he obtain not food, he endures the grief-load.

Thou mayst often see the belly-slave greatly ashamed,
In my opinion, the belly straitened is better than the heart

Alas! thou art one man-born, full of dignity,
Who is like the beasts—“Nay; they are lost!”*

70 Show not pity to the ox of great weight;
For, it is a great sleeper, and great devourer.

If fatness, ox-like, be necessary to thee,
Submit thy body, ass-like, to the tyranny of persons.

Knowst thou what wonderful thing I brought from Basra?
—A tale, which is sweeter than the green date.*

We—a few individuals in the religious garb of the true
Passed by the side of a date-garden.

One amongst us was a stomach-barn (a glutton);
He was, through this narrow-eyedness, a belly-enjoyer.

75 The wretched one bound his loins, and ascended the (date)
And, thence fell heavily headlong.

The Ra,is of the village came, saying:—“Who slew this
I said:—“Express not against us a harsh word.

“The belly drew his skirt down from the branch.”
—The one of narrow heart is of capacious bowels.—*

Not every time, can one eat the date and carry it away;
The stomach-barn (the glutton) suffered a bad end, and

The belly is the hand-fetter, and foot-chain;
A belly-slave rarely worships God.

80 The locust is assuredly altogether belly;
The ant of small belly drags the locust by the foot.*

A certain one had sugar-cane, on a small plate,—
A wanderer, left and right, for a purchaser.

In a corner of the village, to a pious man, he spoke,
Saying:—“Take; and pay, when thou hast the means.”

That wise man of adorned disposition uttered
An answer, that should be written on the eye.

“Perhaps, to thee, patience (as to payment) may not be
(exercised) towards me;
“But, to me, (patience) is, as to the sugar-cane.”

85 Sugar, in its reed, has no sweetness,
When, behind it, is the bitter demand (for its price).

To one of the men of illumined mind,
The Amír of Khután gave a piece of silk cloth.*

He expanded, through gladness, like the laughing rose-
Kissed his hands; clothed himself; and said:—

“How good is the garment of honour of the King of
“But, my own religious garment is more beautiful than it.”

If thou art noble, sleep on the earth; for, it is enough:
Perform no one's ground-kiss (in obeisance) for a costly

90 A certain one had no bread-food, save an onion;
He had no resources and means, like others.*

One said to him:—“Oh one of foolish time!
“Go; bring something cooked from the tray of plunder
(the king's table).

“Oh sir! ask, and have fear of none;
“For the one ashamed is cut as to his victuals.”

He bound about him his over-coat, and quickly folded his
hand (sleeve);
They rent his coat, and broke his hand.

I have heard that he said, while he wept blood:—
“What is the remedy for the deed done by one's self!

95 “The captive of avarice is one calamity-seeking,
“After this—I and my house; bread and onion (are

The barley-loaf, which I eat by the power of my arm,
Is better than flour (twice sifted) on the tray of people of

Last night, how heart-straitened slept that worthless one,
Who kept the ear (of expectation) upon the Kibla of

In an old woman's house, there was a certain cat,
Which was of reversed fortune, and of bad state.

It went running to the amír's guest-house,
The slaves of the sultán struck it with arrows.

100 It ran, blood dropping from its bones (wounds),
While from fear of life it ran, it kept saying:—

“If I escape from the hand of this arrow-caster,
“I and the mouse, and the old woman's desolate abode
(are enough).”

Oh my soul! honey is not worth the sting's wound;
Contentment with one's own syrup of dates is best.

The Lord God is not satisfied with that slave,
Who is not content with his Lord's portion.

A certain child had cut its teeth,
The father was head-lowered in reflection,

105 Saying:—“Whence may I bring bread food for him?
“It is not manliness to abandon him.”

When helpless, he uttered this speech to his partner (his
Behold how like a man she spoke to him!

“Suffer not fear of Iblís, until he surrenders life (to God).
“That same Person, who gives teeth, gives bread.”*

The Lord of Days (God) is, in short, able
To cause daily food to arrive; vex not thyself so much.

He is the Pourtrayer of the boy within the womb;
He is also the Writer (Computer) of its age, and daily

110 That lord, who bought a slave,
Maintains him. How much more God, who created the

To thee, there is not that reliance on the Omnipotent,—
As to the slave, on his lord.

I heard that, in ancient times,
A stone used, in the hands of the pious, to become silver.*

Thou thinkst not this speech is unreasonable?—
When thou becomest content, silver and stone are alike to

When the child has a heart free from avarice,
In its mind, whether a handful of gold, or dust, what

115 Give news to the darvesh, sultán-worshipping,
Saying:—“The sultán is more wretched than the darvesh.”

A diram of silver makes the beggar satiated;
Firídún, with the kingdom of Persia,—half satiated.

The guardianship of the country and of the empire is a
The beggar is king, but his name is beggar.

The beggar, on whose heart is no desire,
Is better than a king, who is unhappy (through dis-

The villager and his partner (wife) sleep pleasantly,
With a pleasure, with which the sultán, in the palace,
sleeps not.

120 If he be king; or, if garment-stitcher,—
When they sleep, the night of both becomes day.*

And, if the torrent of death comes and takes both,
Whether the sultán on the throne; or the wanderer in the
desert—what difference?

When thou seest the rich man, head intoxicated with pride,
Oh one of straitened hand! go; give thanks to God.

Praise be to God! thou hast not those resources,
That, by thy power, any one's injury may arise.

I have heard that a pious one, a good man,
Made a house conformable to his stature.

125 One said:—“I know thy means (are such),
“That thou mayst construct a better house than this.”
He replied:—“Enough.

“Why should I desire to raise a house above my head?
“This indeed is enough, for the sake of leaving, (after

Oh slave! make not a house in the path of the torrent (of
this world);
Because, for none did this edifice become complete.

Through knowledge of God, and wisdom, and judgment,—
it is not
That one of a káraván constructs a house on the road (of
this world).

As to a certain one, empire-ruling, possessed of pomp,—
His sun (life) desired to descend to the mountain (in

130 He left his territory to the shaikh of that place;
For he had, in his house, no successor.

When the recluse heard the drum of empire,
He experienced not again pleasure in the corner of retire-

He began to lead his army, left and right;
Began to strengthen the heart of those hearty:

Became so strong of arm, and sharp of grip,
That he sought contest with those battle-seeking.

He killed a number of a scattered tribe;
The rest assembled together, confederates and allies.

135 They drew him within a fence so tightly,
That he became distressed with the arrow and stone-

He sent a person to a good man,
Saying:—“I am much distressed; come to my call for

“Assist by blessing; for, the sword and arrow
“Are not a help in every battle.”

When the 'ábid heard, he laughed and said:—
“Why ate he not half a loaf, and slept?”

Kárún, wealth-worshipping, knew not,
That the treasure of safety was in retirement.

140 The perfection (of existence) is the breath (spirit) of a
gentle man,
If he have not gold,—what loss or fear?

Think not,—if a mean one becomes rich,
That his base disposition becomes changed.

But if the one liberality practising gets not bread,
His nature may still be rich (generous).

Generosity is the soil; capital, the sown-field;
Give,—that the root may not be destitute of a branch.

That God, who makes man from dust,—
I have wonder if He makes lost humanity,*

145 Seek not greatness, by gathering wealth;
For, stagnant water makes an unpleasant smell.

Strive for liberality; for, the running water,
Aid from heaven reaches with the flood.

If a mean one fall from rank and fortune (or, be dis-
He rarely again becomes erect (reinstated).

But, if thou art a precious jewel, have no care;
For, time causes thee not to be destroyed.

A clod—although it be fallen on the road,—
Thou seest not that any one looks at it.

150 But, if a fragment of gold from the teeth (blade) of the
Falls,—they will search again (and again) for it, with a

They extract glass-ware from stone;
Where remains the mirror, beneath the blight?*

Skill, and religion, and excellence, and perfection,—are
For rank and wealth sometimes come; sometimes depart.

From men of sweet discourse, I have heard,
That, there was within the city (of Shíráz) a certain ancient
old man;*

Much experienced as to kings, and the period of command;
A lifetime brought to an end from the era of 'Umar.

155 The ancient tree had fresh fruit (a son),
Who kept, by his goodness (of beauty), the city full of

Wonder,—as to the (apple-like) chin of that one, heart-
For, there was never an apple on the cypress (of stature).*

On account of his sauciness and lacerating of men,
The old man found pleasure in shaving his head.

With an old razor, the age of small hope (the old man)
Made his (the son's) head white, like the hand of Moses.*

That one of iron heart (the old man), from the impetuosity
which he had,
Opened (his own) tongue, as to the defect of the one of

160 As to the razor, which made diminution of his beauty,
Men placed, at once, its head in its belly.*

The head of the one of beautiful countenance, from shame,
Lowered; and, his hair fallen, in front, (on the ground).

As to a certain one,—in whom the heart had gone,—
He was infatuated like his (the boy's) eyes, heart-binding.

A person said:—“Thou didst experience violence and
“Wander not again in regard to a vain fancy.

“Turn away, moth-like, from love for the boy;
“For the scissors have extinguished the candle of his

165 A cry arose from that true lover:—
“The covenant of those of wet skirt (sin-stained) is

“A son of pleasant temperament and handsome face—is
“To his father, say:—In ignorance, cast away his hair.

“My soul has mingled with his love;
“My heart is not attached to his hair.”

When thou hast a handsome countenance, suffer not grief;
For, if the hair falls, it will again grow.

The vine gives not always a green cluster;
It sometimes sheds its leaves; sometimes gives fruit.

170 Sun-like, the great fall under a veil (of eclipse);
Spark-like, the envious fall into the water.

The sun comes forth from beneath the cloud,
Gradually; but, the spark perishes in the water.

Oh approved friend! fear not the darkness,
In which it is possible there is the water of life.*

Did not the world find rest, after motion?
Did not Sa'dí travel, until he found his desire?

Consume not thy heart, from failure of desire;
Oh brother! the night is pregnant with the day.