1 The beneficences of God are not contained in the imagina-
What service does the tongue of praise offer?*

Oh God do thou—this king (Abú-Bakr son of Sa'd), the
poor man's friend,
Since the case of the people is in his protection,—

Keep long established over the head of the people;
By the grace of devotion, keep his heart alive (fresh).

Keep his tree of hope fruitful;
His head green, and his face, with mercy, fair.

5 Oh Sa'dí! go not in the way of dissimulation (in regard to
the King's praise);
If thou hast honesty, bring and come.*

Thou (Sa'dí) art a stage-recogniser, and the King a road-
Thou art a speaker of truth; and the King, the bearer of

What necessity that nine thrones of the sky,
Thou dost place below the foot of (the King) Kizil-Arsalán.*

Say not:—place thy foot of honour on the Heavens.
Say:—place the face of sincerity in the dust.

Place, in devotion, the face on the threshold (of God);
Because this is the highway of the righteous.

10 If thou (Abú-Bakr) art a slave of God, place thy head on
this door (of God);
Place, from off thy head, the cap of lordship.

At the Court of the Order-giver possessed of Majesty,
Bewail, like a darwesh, before a rich and powerful man.

When thou dost perform thy devotions, put not on the
kingly raiment;
Like the poor darwesh, bring forth a cry,*

Saying:—“Oh Omnipotent One! Thou art powerful;
“Thou art strong; Thou art the darwesh-cherisher.

“I (Abú-Bakr) am neither a monarch, nor an order-giver;
“I am one of the beggars of this Court.

15 “What springs forth from the power of my conduct,
“Unless the power of Thy grace is my friend?

“Give to me the means of liberality and goodness;
“And, if not,—what goodness can come from me to any-

“Oh God! keep me on the work of goodness;
“Otherwise, no work can come from me.”

At night, like the beggars, pray with ardour,
If, by day, thou dost exercise sovereignty.

The obstinate ones (courtiers) are at thy door, loin girt;
Thou (shouldst be thus)—thy head on the threshold of

20 Oh, excellent!—for us slaves, the Lord-God;
For the lord a slave, duty-performing.

They relate a story of the great men of the faith,
Recognisers of the truth of the essence of truth,*

As follows:—A pious man sate on a panther;
Snake in hand, he urged his long, pleasant paced steed.

One said to him:—“Oh man of the way of God!
Guide me to this road by which thou didst go.

“What didst thou, that the rending animal became obe-
dient to thee?
“That the seal-ring of good fortune went to thy name?”*

25 He said:—“If the panther and snake be submissive to me,
“And if (also) the elephant and vulture,—be not asto-

“Do thou also from the order of the Ruler (God) twist not
thy neck,
“So that no one, from thy order, may twist his neck.”

When the ruler is obedient to God,
God is his Protector and Friend.

It is impossible when He loves thee,
That He will leave thee in the power of an enemy.

This is the road, and turn not thy face from the way;
Place thy foot (on this road), and obtain the object which
thou dost desire.*

30 Advice of a person is profitable to a person,—to him,
To whom the saying of Sa'dí is agreeable.

I have heard that, at the time of the agony of the soul (the
last breath),
(King) Naushíraván (the Just) thus spoke to Hurmuz (his

Saying:—“Be observant of the heart of the poor
“Be not in the desire of thy own ease.

“A person rests not within thy territory,
“When thou dost seek thy own ease, and no more.*

“In the opinion of the wise, it is not approved—
“The shepherd asleep, and the wolf among the sheep.

35 “Go: protect the poor and needy one,
“Because, the king is the crown-holder for the sake of his

“The subject is like the root, and the king the tree;
“Oh son! the tree is strong by reason of the root.

“So long as thou canst, wound not the heart of the
“But, if thou dost,—thou dost pluck up thy own roots.

“If a straight road (of safety) is necessary for thee—
“The way of the pious is hope and fear.*

“The disposition of man is towards wisdom,
“In the hope of goodness, and fear of wickedness.”*

40 If thou didst find these two doors (hope and fear) in the
Thou didst obtain shelter in the territory of his kingdom.

(The King) brings a gift to the hopeful one,
In hope of the gift (of pardon) of the Creator of the World.

“The injury of persons is not pleasing to him (the king),
“Who fears lest injury should come to his kingdom.

“And if there is not this disposition, in his nature,
“There is not the perfume of ease in that territory.*

“If thou art foot-bound (by wife and family), accept con-
“But, if thou art a single horseman (solitary), take thy
own desire.*

45 “Seek not plenteousness in that land and region,
“Where thou dost see the subjects of the king sorrowful.

“Fear not the proud haughty ones;
“Fear that one, who fears God.*

“In a dream, he sees the territory of another populous,
“Who keeps the heart of the people of his country dis-

“From violence come ruin and ill-fame;
“The prudent man reaches to the profundity of this

“It is not proper with injustice to slay the peasants,
“Who are the shelter and support of the kingdom.

50 “For thy own sake preserve the villagers;
“Because, the labourer of happy heart executes more
work (for his master).

“It is not manliness to do ill to that one (the villager),
“From whom, thou mayst have experienced much benefit
(in tribute).”*

I have heard that King Khusrau said to (his son) Shírwiya
At that time when his eyes slept (rested) from seeing (at
the time of death),—*

“In that state be, so that whatever resolution thou mayst
“Thou mayst consider the peace of the peasant.

“Be sure, so long as thou dost not turn thy head from
equity and judgment,
“That men will not turn aside their feet, from thy power.

55 “The peasant flies from the tyrant;
“He makes his bad repute, a stock story in the world.

“Much time passes not, that his own foundation,
“That one plucked up, who laid a bad foundation (of

“The enemy, skilful with the sword, lays waste,
“Not so much as, the smoke (grief) of the heart of an old

“The lamp (of grief) that the widow-woman lighted up,—
“Thou mayst often have seen that it burned a city.

“Who, in the world, is more favoured than that one,
“Who with justice, in sovereignty, lived?

60 “When the time of his travelling from this world arrives,
“(The people of the world) send mercy to his tomb.

“Since bad and good men pass away (die),
“It is best indeed that they connect thy name with good-
ness (and bless thee).

“Appoint the God-fearing one over the peasant;
“Because, the abstinent one is the architect of the country.

“That liver-eater of the people is thy enemy,
“Who seeks thy profit, in the injury of the people.

“Government is a fault in the hand of those persons,
“From whose power, the hands (of the people) are (up-
lifted in prayer) before God.

65 “The cherisher of good sees not evil;
“When thou dost cherish evil, thou art the enemy of thy
own life.

“Exercise not retribution against the despoiler by (con-
fiscation of) his property;
“But, it is proper to bring forth (to destroy) his root from
the foundation.*

“Exercise not patience with the agent of the friend of
“Since, on account of his fatness (from extortion) it is
proper to flay his skin.*

“It is also proper, at first, to cut off the wolf's head,
“Not at the time when he tore in pieces the sheep of men.”*

How well said the captive merchant
When the robbers gathered around him with arrows!

70 “Inasmuch as courage comes from highwaymen,
“Whether the men of the army, or a troop of women, what

The great king, who injured the merchants,
Shut the door of well being on the (people of the) city and
the army.

How may wise men again go there,
When they hear the rumour of bad custom?

Are a good name and favourable reception necessary to
Hold in esteem merchants and envoys.

Merchants heartily cherish travellers;
Because, they carry their good name to the world.

75 That kingdom soon becomes ruined,
From which, the injured heart becomes a traveller.*

Be the acquaintance of the foreigner, and friend of the
Because the traveller is one who hawks about a good

Hold dear the guest, and precious the traveller;
But also be on guard from injury from them.

To beware of the stranger is good;
Because, possibly, he may be an enemy in the guise of a

Advance the rank of thy own old friends;
Because, treachery never comes from the cherished one.

80 When thy servant becomes old,
Forget not the right of his years.

If old age has bound the hand of his service;
Yet, thou hast power, in respect to liberality.

I heard that Sháhpúr heaved a sigh,
When Khusrau drew the pen on (cancelled) his pension.*

When, from want of food his state became distressed,
He wrote this tale to the king,

As follows:—“Oh king, clime-spreader, in justice!
“If I remain not (die still), thou dost remain in excellence.

85 “When I spent for thee my youth,
“Drive me not from before thee, in the time of old age.”

The foreigner, whose head is intent on strife,
Injure not; but, expel him from the country.

If thou dost not become angry with him, it is proper;
Because, his own bad nature is the enemy, in pursuit of

And, if Persia be his native country,
Send him not to Sin'án, Slavonia, or Turkey.*

Even there (in Persia) give him not respite, until the mid-
day meal (slay him);
It is not proper to establish a calamity on any one.*

90 Because they say:—May that country be overturned,
Since such men come out of it!

If thou dost give service (place and rank) recognise the
beneficent man;
Because, the poor man has no fear of the king.

When the poor man lowers his neck to the shoulder (in
Only lamentation proceeds from him.*

When the inspector has not two hands of rectitude,
It is necessary to appoint an examiner over him.

And if he (the examiner) agrees with his heart,
Pluck away service from the inspector and his examiner.

95 The God-fearing man, fidelity-displaying, is necessary;
Hold him not faithful, who fears thee (and not God).*

The faithful one is necessary, fearing the Ruler (God);
Not eminence of the minister, nor reproof, nor ruin.

Scatter (thy money), and reckon, and sit at leisure;
Because, thou dost not see one faithful out of a hundred.

Two persons of the same nature, old, of the same pen
It is not proper to send together to one place.

How dost thou know that they may become mutual helper
and friend?
This one may be a thief, the other a confidant.*

100 When thieves have fear and terror of one another,
A Kárawán goes safe, in the midst of them.

One whom thou didst dismiss from dignity,—
Forgive his crime, when some time elapses.

To accomplish the desire of the hopeful
Is better than to break (the bonds) of a thousand fettered

If the pillar of the office of the scribe
Falls, he cuts not the rope of hope.*

The just monarch, with his subjects,
Becomes angry like a father with a son.

105 Sometimes, he strikes him so that he becomes sorrowful;
Sometimes, he makes water (flow) from his pure eyes.

When thou dost exercise gentleness, the enemy becomes
But, if thou art an anvil, he becomes wearied of thee.

Severity and mildness together are best,
Like the vein-striker (bleeder), who is surgeon and plaster-

Be generous, and pleasant tempered, and forgiving;
Even as God scatters (favour) over thee, do thou scatter
over the people.*

No one came into the world, who remained,
Save that one, whose good name remained.*

110 That one died not, after whom there remained—
Bridge, or masjid, or khán, or guest-house.*

Every one, behind whom, a token remained not,—
The tree of his existence brought not forth fruit.

If he departed (from this world) and the marks of his well-
doing remained not,
It is not fit to chaunt, after his death,—“Al hamd!”*

When thou dost wish that thy name may be eternal,
Conceal not the good name of the great ones.

After thy own time (death) call to mind that same descrip-
tive picture,
That, after the age of former kings, thou didst behold.*

115 One took away a good name from the world;
The bad custom of the other remained behind him for

With the ear of approval, listen not to a person's injury;
But, if the speech comes probe its depth.

Accept the excuse of forgetfulness of the sinner;
When he asks for protection, give protection.

If a sinner comes to thy shelter;
It is not proper to slay him, at the first fault.

When once they uttered advice, and the sinner heard not;
Punish him, the second time, with imprisonment and

120 And, if advice and bonds are of no advantage to him;
He is an impure tree; pluck up his roots.

When anger comes to thee, on account of a person's crime,
Reflect much on his punishment;

Because, it is easy to break the ruby of Badakhshán.
Broken,—it is not possible to fasten it together again.*

A certain one came from the sea of 'Ummán,
Much sea and plain travelled;

Arabia and Turkistan, and Majanderan, and Turkey seen;
Sciences of every class of men, in his pure spirit;

125 World travelled, and knowledge gathered;
Travelled and society-versed;

In form strong, like a large-bolled tree;
But very weak without leaf.

Two hundred rags, one on the other stitched;
He in the midst burnt from their heat.

By a river-bank, he entered a city;
A great one (was) king in that locality.

Who had a disposition reflecting on good name;
Who held the head of submission, at the foot of the dar-

130 The servants of the king washed,
In a bath, his head and body from the dust of the road.

When he placed his head on the threshold of the king,
Lauding, he placed his hand in his bosom.

He entered the hall of the great king,
Saying:—“May thy fortune be young, and power thy

The great king said:—“Whence didst thou come?
“What happened to thee that thou camest to me?

“In this territory, what sawest thou of good and bad?
“Oh one of good name and good disposition! Say!”

135 He replied:—“Oh lord of the face of the earth!
“May God be thy helper, and Fortune thy friend!

“In this country, I went not one stage,
“During which, I saw a single heart calamity-distressed.

“For the king, this very kingdom and ornament (of
justice) is sufficient,
“That—he is not pleased with injury done to a single

“I saw not one, head heavy with wine;
“Indeed I also saw the wine taverns desolate.”

He spoke, and expanded his skirt of jewels of speech,
With such a grace, that the king extended his sleeve in
rapture (was astonied).*

140 The excellent speech of the man was pleasing to the king;
He called him near to himself and did him honour.

Gave to him gold and jewels and thanks for auspicious
Inquired of him his original birthplace.

Whatever the king asked of past events, he told;
In propinquity to the king, he surpassed other persons.

The king was in talk with his own heart,
Saying:—“I may commit to him the chief dignity of

“But by degrees, so that the assembly of courtiers
“May not laugh at my judgment, on account of negligence.

145 “First it will be necessary to prove him in wisdom;
“To exalt his rank, according to his skill.”

From the power of grief, there may be burdens on the
heart of that one,
Who, untried, performs deeds.

When the Kází, with thought, writes the decree,
He becomes not ashamed of turban-wearers (nobles,
learned and pious men).*

Glance (at the butt), when thou hast the arrow-notch in
the bowstring-seizer,
Not, at that time, when thou didst shoot the arrow from
the hand.*

Like Joseph in rectitude and discretion, (for) a person—
Many years are necessary (in order) that he may become
'azíz (king).*

150 So long as much time passes not,
One cannot reach a person's profundity.

The king discovered his good qualities of every kind;
He was a man wise and of pure religion.

The king saw his good way of life, and illumined
His considerate speech, and capability of man-appraising.

Considered him in judgment better and greater than the
great ones;
Placed him above the power of his own wazír.

He acquired such skill, and knowledge of work,
That he wounded not a heart by his order and prohibition.

155 He brought a kingdom beneath the (sway of his) pen;
Because, from him, sorrow came not to a single person.

He closed the tongue of all word-seizers;
Because an evil thing issued not from his hand.

The envious one, who beheld not (in this conduct) one grain
of deceit,
Trembled, on account of his work, like wheat on the frying-

From his illumined mind, the country acquired light;
Grief, on account of the new wazír, seized the old minister.

He, in respect to that wise one, saw not a single breach (of
On account of which, he could express reproach.

160 The faithful one is a basin, and the evil one an ant;
The ant cannot, by force, make a breach in the basin (when
within it).*

Two sun-shaped slaves of the king
Used to be always loin-girt (in service).

Two pure forms like “húr” and “parí”
Like the sun and moon, free from a third likeness.

Two forms, of which thou wouldst have said—one is not
greater (than the other),
Made themselves equal (in reflection) in the mirror.

The words of the wise one (the new wazír), sweet of
Took the heart of those two (youths) box trees (in stature).

165 When they saw that the qualities of his disposition were
They became, in inclination, his well-wishers and friends.

The inclination of humanity (love) also affected him;—
Not an inclination (lust) like that of short-sighted ones for

He used to possess news of (enjoy) ease at that time,
When he used to glance in their faces.

When thou dost wish that thy power may remain high,
Oh Sir! attach not thy heart to the smooth-faced ones.

And although desire (lust) itself be not present;
Exercise caution because there is fear of loss.

170 The old minister in respect to this obtained a little informa-
In villainy, he carried this story to the king,

Saying:—“I know not this new wazír, what they call
him, nor who he is,
“In this country, he will not live in chastity.*

“Those who have made journeys live without fear,
“Because they are not cherished by the country and

“I heard that he has an affection for the slaves;
“He is a treachery-approver and lust worshipper.

“It is not fit that such a dissipated, black-faced one
“Should bring bad repute to the halls of the king.*

175 “Perhaps, I forget the king's favour,
“Because, I see ruin and am silent.

“On suspicion, one cannot quickly speak;
“So long as I was uncertain, I spoke not.

“One of my followers observed
“That he had one of them in his bosom.

“I this have said; now, oh king of ripe judgment!
“As I tried, do thou also try.”

He explained the matter in the worst manner,
May there not be a happy day to the bad man!—*

180 When the evil one obtained power over a small matter,
He burned the vitals of the great ones in the fire.

One can light a fire with fragments;
After that, one can burn the large tree.

This speech made the king so wrath,
That his sigh came forth from the heart to the mouth.

Anger, in respect to the blood of the darwesh (new wazír),
held sway;
But, tranquillity held the hand in front (forbade)

Because to slay the cherished one is not manliness,
Tyranny after justice is coldness.

185 Injure not one cherished by thyself,
When he has thy arrow, strike him not with the arrow.*

It was not proper to cherish him with wealth.
When, with injustice, thou dost desire to drink his blood.

So long as his skill was not certain to thee,
In the royal halls, he was not thy associate.

Now, so long as his crime is not certain to thee,
Seek not, at the suggestion of an enemy, his injury.

The king held concealed this secret in his heart;
Because, he preserved the saying of the sages.

190 “Oh wise man! the prison of the secret is the heart,
“When thou didst speak, it came not back to chains.”

In respect to the work of the man, he secretly looked;
In the way of the sensible man, he saw defect.

When he (the new wazír) suddenly glanced at one of the
The fairy-cheeked one covertly laughed.*

Of two persons, who are soul and sense together,
The silent lips are telling a tale.

When, by looking (at them), he used to make the eye bold,
Like the dropsical one of (drinking) the Euphrates, he used
not to be satiated (of looking).*

195 The king's suspicion of evil became confirmed.
From frenzy, he wished to be enraged with him;

But, from right deliberation and perfect judgment
He said to him, in a whisper:—“Oh, one of good name!

“I considered thee sensible;
“Held thee faithful to the secrets of the kingdom:

“Reckoned thee wise and intelligent;
“Regarded not thee shameless and unworthy.

“Such lofty station is not thy place.
“The sin is mine; it is not thy fault.

200 “When I cherish one of bad stock, assuredly,
“I permit treachery in my house.”

The man-much-knowing raised his head:
He thus spoke to King Khusrau, work-understanding:—*

“When my skirt is free from crime,
“Fear of the villainy of the evil-intent one comes not.

“This thought never passed in my heart:
“I know not who said what never chanced to me.”

The great king said:—“What I have said to thee,
“Enemies will say to thy face.

205 “Thus spoke the old wazír to me;
“What thou dost know, also say; and, do (what thou

He laughed, and placed his finger on the lip,
Saying:—“What he uttered,—is no wonder.*

“The envious one, who sees me in his own place,
“Brings on (utters with) his tongue—what, but evil of me?

“I considered him my enemy, that hour,
“When Khusrau placed him lower than me.

“When the Sultán places my worth above him,
“Knows he not that an enemy is behind me?

210 “Till the Judgment-day, he will not accept me as a friend,
“When he sees that, in my honour, is his degradation.

“On this point, I will thee a true tale,
“If first to (this) slave thou dost give an ear.

“I know not where in a book I have seen,
“That a person in a dream saw Iblís.*

“With the stature of a fir-tree, with the countenance of a
“Light, sun-like, burned from his face.

“He went before him and said:—‘Oh wonderful! art thou
this Iblís?
“‘There is not an angel with this goodness (of appearance).

215 “‘Since thou hast this face with the beauty of the moon,
“‘Why art thou a stock-story as to ugliness in the world!

“‘They considered thee terrible of face;
“‘In the bath-room, they painted thee hideous.

“‘Why, in the halls of the king, have they painted thee,
“‘Dejected of face, distorted of hand, ugly, ruined?’

“Shaitán of overturned fortune heard this speech.
“In lament, he raised a shout and cry,

“Saying:—‘Oh, one of good fortune! that is not my form,
“‘But the pencil is in the hand of an enemy.

220 “‘I threw out their root (Ádam) from Paradise;
“‘Now, by reason of malice, they depict me ugly.’

“Just so I (the new wazír) have a good name; but,
“For reason, the evil-intent one speaks not good (of me).

“The wazír, whose reputation my rank spilled,—
“It is necessary to fly from his deceit to the distance of a

“But, I think not of the anger of the king;
“One without sin is brave in speech.

“If the inspector of measures seizes,—there is sorrow to
that one,
“Whose weight of the standard balance-weight is deficient.*

225 “When a word comes happily from my pen,
“To me,—of word-seizers, what care?”

The king remained confounded at his speech:
He spread the tip of the hand of Order-Giving,—*

—Because the malefactor, by fraud and eloquence,
Becomes not free from a crime which he has (committed)—

Saying:—“Assuredly from an enemy, I have not heard
—“Have I not seen thee, in short, with my own eyes?—

“That, of this crowd of people in my court,
“Thou hast only a glance for these two slaves.”

230 The man of eloquence laughed, and said:—
“This speech is right; it is not proper to conceal the truth.

“In this matter there is a subtle point, if thou wilt listen.
—“May thy Order be current, and government strong!—

“Dost thou not see that the darwesh, without resources,
“Looks with regret at the rich?

“The resources of my youth have passed;
“Life in play and pastime passed.

“Of the appearance of these (two slaves) I have no
“Because, they are the possessors of the capital of beauty
and grace.

235 “I had even such a rose-coloured face;
“My limbs were crystal by reason of beauty.*

“In this extremity, it is proper to spin my shroud;
“Since my hair is like cotton, and my body like a spindle.

“I had even such night-coloured ringlets;
“My coat was tight on the body from delicacy (fatness).

“Two rows of pearls had a place in my mouth,
“Erect like a wall of silver bricks.

“Now, at the time of speech, glance—
“One by one, like an old city-wall, they have fallen.

240 “Why may I not look with envy at these (two slaves),
“When I bring to memory my ruined (mis-spent) life?

“Those precious days (of youth) departed from me;
“Suddenly, this day (of old age) also arrives at an end.”

When the wise man pierced this pearl of lustrous truth,
The king said:—“To speak better than this is impossible.”

The king glanced at the nobles,
Saying:—“Desire not words and truth more beautiful
than this.

“The glance towards a lovely one is lawful, to that one,
“Who knows how to utter excuse with such argument.

245 “If I had not in wisdom acted deliberately,
“I should have injured him by the speech of an enemy.”

With severity, to carry a light hand to the sword
Is to carry the back of the hand of regret to the teeth.

Beware that thou hearest not the speech of the designing
Because, if thou dost set to work (on his speech), thou
wilt become regretful.

The dignity and honour, and property of the one of good
The king increased, and to the evil speaker (the old wazír)
he gave rebuke.

By the deliberation of his learned prime-minister,
His name, in the country, became renowned for goodness.

250 With justice and liberality, years he governed the country;
He departed (died), but his good name remained.

Such kings, who cherish religion,
With the arm of religion (of Islám), carry off the ball of

In this age, I see not one of those kings;
But if there be, it is Abú-Bakr, son of Sa'di, and no other!*

Oh King! Thou art the tree of paradise.
Because, thou hast flung thy shadow (of justice) to the dis-
tance of a year's journey.

From fortune of happy star, there was to me greed;
That it might cast the shadow of the Humá's wing over my

255 Wisdom said:—“The Humá gives power.”
(Nay!) if thou dost desire prosperity, come into this shadow
(of Abú-Bakr).

Oh God! in mercy Thou hast looked;
Since Thou hast diffused this shadow (of Abú-Bakr) on the

Slave-like, I am a prayer-utterer for this kingdom:
Oh God! keep perpetually this shadow (of Abú-Bakr).

It is proper to imprison before slaying;
Because, one cannot join the head of the slain one.

The Lord of Command, and Judgment, and Dignity
Becomes not distressed, on account of the clamour of men.

260 Head full of pride, void of patience,—
To him, the kingly crown is forbidden.

I say not:—When thou dost fight, keep the foot (firm);
(But) when thou dost gather anger, keep reason in place.

Whosoever has reason endures;
Not a wise man is he, whom anger makes subject.

Like an army, anger rushed from ambush:
Justice remained not, nor piety, nor religion.

I saw not such a demon (as anger) beneath the sky,
From whom so many angels fly.*

265 Is it not a crime to drink water, without the order of the
Law of Religion?
But, if by decree of the judge, thou dost shed blood, it is

Whomsoever the decree of the Law of Islám gives to
Oh Sir! beware, that thou mayst not have fear of slaying

And if thou hast (about thee) followers in his tribe,
Bestow gifts on them, and cause ease to arrive.

It was a crime on the part of the tyrannous man;
What is the crime of his wife and helpless children?

Thy body is powerful, and army great;
But, into the country of the enemy (of the kings of Islám)
urge it not.

270 When, the enemy flies to his lofty citadel,
Injury arrives to the innocent people of the country.

Look into the affairs of prisoners:
It is possible that a guiltless one may be among them.

When a (foreign) merchant died in thy country,
It is paltriness to carry thy hand to his property

Because, afterwards they will bitterly lament for that mer-
His relations and tribe will openly speak,

Saying:—“The wretched one died in a foreign country;
“The tyrant took away his property that remained.”

275 Think of that poor child, without father;
And be cautious of the sigh of his sorrowful heart.

(There is) many a good fame of fifty years,—
Which one disreputable act treads under foot.

Those of approved acts of everlasting fame
Exercised not tyranny over the property of the people.

If he is king over the whole world,
When he takes property from the rich man, he is a beggar.

The noble liberal man dies of poverty;
He fills not his belly from the side of the distressed one.

280 I heard that a just order-giver
Used to have a coat, both surfaces of lining (cheap) material.

One said to him: “Oh Khusrau of happy days!
“Sew a coat of brocade of China.”

He said:—“(Cloth of) this quality is covering and ease;
“And thou dost exceed this (rule), it is ornament and

“I take not the land tax for the sake,
“That I may put embellishments on my own body, and
throne, and crown.

“If like women, I put ornaments on my body,
“How may with manliness I repulse the enemy?

285 “A hundred times, I have even greed and desire for it;
“But, the treasury is not only for me.

“The treasuries are full for the sake of the army;
“They are not for the sake of ornament and decoration.”

The soldier, who, on account of his king, is not happy at
Watches not the borders of the kingdom.

When the enemy carries off the villager's ass,
Why does the king enjoy tribute (levied from the people)
and the tenth part?

The enemy took away his ass, the king tribute;
In respect to that throne and crown, what fortune

290 Violence to the fallen one is not manliness:
The mean bird carries off the grain from before the (weak)

The peasant is a tree; if thou dost cherish it, (Oh King-
Gardener of the kingdom!)
Thou mayst enjoy the fruit to the desire of the heart of
thy friends.

With mercilessness, pluck it not out with root and fruit;
Because, the fool does injury to his own body.

Those persons enjoy the fruit of youth and fortune,
Who act not severely to their inferiors.

If an inferior becomes distressed
Beware of his complaining to God.*

295 When it is possible to take the country with gentleness,
In contest, bring not forth blood from a single pore of the

In the name of manliness! because, the country of the
whole earth
Is not worth one drop of bood that trickles on the earth.

I heard that King Jamshíd of happy nature
Wrote on a stone, at a fountain head.*

“At this fountain, many like us took rest;
“They departed (in death), just as the eyes twinkled.*

“With manliness and force, they took the world;
“But, they took it not with themselves to the tomb.

300 “They departed, and each one reaped what he sowed:
“There remained only good and bad fame.”

When thou hast power over an enemy,
Injure him not; because this (the power) is indeed sufficient
sorrow to him.

A living enemy, head-revolving (raging), about thee (in
desire of thy blood),
Is better than his (life-) blood revolving (circulating) about
thy neck.

I heard that Darius of august family,
Became separated, on a hunting day, from his retinue;*

A herdsman came running towards him:
Darius of happy sect said to his heart:—

305 “Perhaps, this is an enemy who has come to battle:
“From a distance, I will pierce him with a white poplar

He adjusted the royal bow to the bow-string:
He desired in a moment to make his existence, non-

The herdsman said:—“Oh Lord of Írán and Túrán!
—“May the evil eye be far from thy time!—

“I am he who cherishes the king's horses:
“In this meadow, I am in thy service.”*

The heart of the king, (which had) gone (in fear), returned
to its place.
He laughed and said:—“Oh one of contemptible judg-

310 “The auspicious angel (Jibrá,il) assisted thee;
“Otherwise, I had brought the bow-string to the ear.”

The guardian of the land-pastured laughed and said:—
“It is not proper to conceal advice from a benefactor;

“It is not laudable deliberation, nor good judgment,
“That the king knows not an enemy from a friend.

“The condition of living in greatness is such,
“That thou shouldst know each humble person—who he is.

“Thou hast many times seen me in the presence:
“Thou hast asked me concerning the herd of horses and
the meadow.

315 “Now in love I returned before thee:
“Thou dost not again recognise me from an enemy.

“Oh renowned monarch! I am powerful;
“Because, I can bring a particular horse out of a hundred

“By reason of wisdom and judgment, I have the guardian-
ship of the horses;
“Thou also shouldst keep thy own herd permanent (free
from loss).”

When Darius heard this counsel from the man,
He spoke fairly to him, and did him kindness.*

Darius kept going and saying in his shame,—
It will be proper to write this advice on the heart.

320 On account of anarchy, there may be sorrow in that throne
and country,
When the deliberation of the king may be less than that
of the shepherd.

How mayst thou hear the lament of one crying for
The curtain of thy bed-place at Saturn?*

So sleep, that the lamentation may come to thy ear,
If the crier for justice brings forth a shout.*

Who complains of the tyrant, who is in thy time,
When every violence that he commits is thy violence?

The dog tore not the skirt of one of a Kárawán,
But the ignorant villager, who cherished the dog.

325 Oh Sa'dí! thou camest boldly into speech:
When the sharp sword of (true) speech is at thy hand,
be victorious.

Say what thou dost know; because, truth spoken is well:
Thou art not a bribe-taker, nor a blandishment-giver

Bind avarice (to thyself) but (then) wash the book of philo-
Bid farewell to avarice, and say whatever thou dost desire.*

A certain neck-exalting one (a king), in Media, came to
That a wretched one beneath an arch kept saying:—

“Thou even art hopeful at the door (of God):
“Then accomplish the hope of those, door-sitting.”

330 Thou dost not wish, that thy heart may be sorrowful—
Bring forth from fetters the heart of the sorrowing ones.

The distress of the heart of the one justice-seeking
Casts a king from his kingdom.

Thou hast slept cool half a day in the retired place (haram);
Say to the foreigner, burn in the heat outside.

God is the taker of justice for that person,
Who cannot ask for justice from a king.

One of the great ones, possessed of discretion,
Tells a story of the son of King 'Abdu-l-'Azíz.*

335 Saying:—He had a ring-stone set in a ring,
In respect to the value of which, the (Court) jeweller
was confounded.

At night, thou wouldst say it is the orb, world-
A glittering star it was, in light like the day.

By chance, a drought-year occurred,
When the full-moon of the face of men became the new-

When he saw not ease and strength in man,
He considered it not manliness to be himself at ease.

When a person sees poison in the jaws of men,
How will the sweet water pass to his throat?

340 He ordered: they sold the ring-stone for silver
Because pity came to him, on account of the poor and

He gave its value, in spoil, in one week:
He gave to the poor, and needy, and necessitous.

Those reproach-making fell on him,
Saying:—“Such a ring will not again come to thy hand.”

I heard that he said, and the rain of tears
Ran down, like wax, on his cheeks—

As follows:—“Ugly is the ornament on a monarch,
“The heart of a citizen afflicted with powerlessness.

345 “A ring, without a stone, is fit for me:
“The heart of a sorrowful populace is not fit for me.”

Happy is that one, who, the ease of man and woman,
Prefers to his own ease.

The cherishers of skill displayed not desire
For their own pleasure (acquired) from the grief of others.

If the king on the throne sleep pleasantly,
I think not the poor man sleeps at ease.

But if he keeps at night a long time awake,
Men will sleep in ease and repose.

350 Praise be to God! this way of life and straight road,
Atábuk Abú-Bakr son of Sa'd has

In Persia, a trace of another calamity, a person
Sees not save the figures of the moon-like ones (lovely

These five couplets came pleasantly to my ear,
Which they sang in an assembly last night:—

“Last night, I had ease of life;
“Because, that moon-faced one was in my embrace.

“When I,—head intoxicated with sleep—saw her,
“I said:—‘Oh lovely one! the cypress before thee is low
(in stature).

355 “‘One moment, wash the narcissus (the eye) from sweet
“‘Laugh like the rose-bush; and sing like the nightingale.

“‘Oh calamity of the age! why art thou asleep?
“‘Come; and bring the luscious red wine.’

“Confused with sleep, she glanced and said:—
“‘Thou dost call me a calamity, and sayst,—sleep not.’”

In the time of the Sultán (Abú Bakr) of enlightened spirit,
A person sees not another calamity awake.*

In the annals of former kings, it is written,
That when Tukla sate on the throne of Zangí,*

360 In his age, a person offended not another;
If this were indeed so, he surpassed (former kings) and
(for a king) enough.*

He (Tukla) once thus spoke to a pious man,
Saying:—“My life in uselessness became accomplished.*

“When country and rank, and throne pass away,
“Only the fakír carries away empire from the world.*

“I wish to sit in the corner of devotion,
“That I may obtain this period of five days that is (left
of my life).”

When that wise one of enlightened soul heard,
With anger, he arose, saying:—“Oh Tukla! this is

365 “Religion is only in the service of the people;
“It is not—in the rosary, and the prayer carpet, and

“Be a king on thy own throne;
“Be a darwesh in pure morals.

“Keep loin-girt in truth and desire (of God);
“Keep tongue-bound from idle speech and pretension.”

In religion, the foot (of action) is necessary, not the breath
(of words);
Because, breath without action has no real essence.

The great ones, who possessed the ready money of purity,
Wore, beneath the outside coat, such a habit (of truth and
desire of God).*

370 I heard that the Sultán of Turkey wept,
Before a good man, possessed of sciences,*

Saying:—“From the hand of the enemy, power remained
not to me,
“Save this fort and city nothing remained to me.

“Much I tried that my son,
“After me, might be chief of the assembly (i.e. army).

“Now the enemy of bad descent prevailed;
“He twisted the tip of my hand of manliness and exertion.

“What plan may I prepare, what remedy may I make?
“Because, the soul in my body is consumed from grief.”

375 The good man said:—“Oh brother! suffer sorrow for
“Since, the best and largest portion of thy life has gone.*

“This extent (of country) is sufficient for thee, so long as
thou dost remain (in the world);
“When thou dost go, the world is the place of another.”

If he be wise; if he be foolish;—
Suffer not grief for him, because he will endure his own

The world is not worth the trouble of having;
Of seizing by the sword, and of abandoning.

Whom of the Kings of Persia knowest thou,
Of the age of Firídún, and Zahhák, and Jamshíd,

380 In respect to whose throne and country, did not declina-
tion come?
There only remained the country of God most High.

To whom remains the hope of remaining for ever in this
When thou seest no one who remained for ever?*

If silver and gold and treasure and property remains,
It becomes trodden under foot, after a few days.

But of whomsoever a good act remains current,
—May mercy perpetually arrive on his soul!—

A great one, whose good name remained,—
One can say with the pious, as follows:—he remained.

385 Ho! take care that thou dost cherish the tree of liberality,
In order that thou mayst have hope that thou mayst enjoy
its fruit.

Practise liberality that to-morrow (the Judgment Day)
when they (the angels) place the account-book,
They may give thee dignities, according to the extent of
thy beneficences.

One, whose foot-struggle is greater,
(Has) greater dignity, at the Court of God.*

One, a backslider, deceiver, shameless,
Greedily desires the wages for work not done.*

Quit him, so that he may carry the back of his hand (in
regret) to the teeth:
An oven (of ability) so hot,—yet he baked not the bread
(of good deeds)!*

390 At the time of corn-gathering, thou wilt know,
That idleness is—not seed-sowing.

A wise man, in the boundaries of Syria,
Took a cave, for his dwelling away from the world.*

By reason of his patience, in that dark corner of a place,
His foot descended to the treasure of contentment.

I heard that his name was—“Khudá-dost” (friend of
He was of an angelic nature, man-in-form.

The great ones placed their heads at his door;
Because his head entered not at their doors (for petition-

395 The holy man of pure practice desires
The abandonment of lust, by the beggary of the body.

When every hour, his lust says:—“give,”
It makes him wander, in contempt, from village to village.

In that land, where this wise man was,
There was a lord of the marches,—a tyrant.

Such that every feeble one, whom he used to find,
He used to twist his hand (torment), with his strength of

World-burner (a tyrant), and merciless, and malevolent-
The face of a world became distressed by his bitterness.

400 A crowd of people went (from the country) on account of
that tyranny and shame,
They took his bad name into the districts.

A crowd of people (women), wretched and miserable, re-
Behind the spinning wheel, they uttered curses.*

In the place, where the hand of tyranny becomes long,
Thou dost not see the lip of man, open from laughing.

The tyrant used now and then to come, to see the shaikh;
“Khudá-dost” used not to look at him.

One time, the king (the tyrant) said to him:—“Oh one
of good fortune!
“Gather not together thy face severely, in abhorrence
of me.

405 “Thou dost know that I have the desire of friendship for
“For what, dost thou bear enmity to me?

“I grant that I am not the chief of the territory;
“(But) in honour I am not less than the darwesh.

“I say not—place my excellence above any one,
“So be with me, as (thou art) with every one.”

The wise 'ábid heard this speech:
He arose in perturbation, and said:—“Oh King! hold thy
ear (listen).*

“The distress of the people is on account of thy existence:
“I love not the affliction of the people.

410 “Thou art an enemy to him, with whom I am a friend;
“I consider thee not a friend of mine.

“Why, in vain, should I hold thee my friend,
“When I know that God considers thee enemy?*

“Give not a kiss on my hand, like a friend:
“Go,—love my friends (the creatures of God).

“If they tear off the skin of ‘Khudá-dost,’
“He will not become the friend of the enemy of the friend.”

I wonder at the sleep of that stony-hearted one,
On account of whom, a whole nation sleeps straitened in

415 Oh great one! exercise not violence on the humble;
Because, the world remains not in one way.*

Twist not the grip of the hand of the powerless,
For, if he prevail, thou wilt rise to nothing.*

I said to thee:—take not the feet of men from their
place (distress them not);
Because, if thou dost fall into distress, thou wilt become

It is not proper to reckon the enemy at a low estimation;
Since I have seen a great mountain from a small stone.*

Dost thou not see that, when the (weak) ants assemble
They bring trouble and torment to fighting lions?

420 The (slender) hair is not less than a thread of silk:
When it becomes manifold, it is stronger than a chain (of

The heart of friends collected (tranquil) is better than
the treasure collected:
The empty treasury, better than men in grief.

Throw not the work of any one at his feet;
Because it may often happen, that thou mayst fall at his

Oh feeble one! endure (the tyranny) of the strong;
Because, one day, thou mayst be stronger than he.

With resolution, bring forth a cry against the oppressor;
Since, the arm of resolution is better than the hand of

425 Say to the withered lip of the oppressed one,—laugh!
Because they will dig out the teeth of the tyrant.

By the noise of the drum, the rich man became awake;
What knows he as to how the night of the watchman

The man of the Kárawán suffers grief on account of his
own load (of merchandise);
His heart burns not at the wounded back of the ass.

I have granted that thou art not of (the number of) the
When thou dost see a fallen one, why dost thou stand (and
not give help)?*

On this point, I will tell thee a tale of past event;
Inasmuch as it would be slothfulness to pass by this speech.

430 Such a famine occurred in the city of Damascus,
That lovers forgot love.*

The sky over the earth became such a miser,
That the crops and the date-trees wetted not their lips.

The spring of the ancient fountains dried up;
Water remained not, save the water of the eyes of

Only the sigh of a widow-woman, it used to be,
If smoke went forth from a window.

I saw trees, leafless (poor), like a darwesh;
Those strong of arm, languid and greatly distressed (by
the severity of the famine).*

435 Not in the mountain, verdure; not, in the garden, a
The locusts ate the garden; and men, the locusts.

In that state of things, a friend came to me:
To that extent broken down,—merely a skin on his bones.

Although, in dignity, he was of strong state;
Was lord of rank and gold and property.

I said to him:—“Oh friend of pure disposition!
“Say, what wretchedness has happened to thee?”

He angrily shouted at me, saying:—“Where is thy
“When thou dost know, and dost ask,—the question is a

440 “Dost thou not see that distress has reached to an exceed-
ing great degree,—
“Trouble arrived to an extreme limit?

“The rain from the sky descends not;
“The sigh of the complaining ones ascends not.”

At length, I said to him:—“For thee, there is not fear;
“The poison (only) slays where the antidote is not.

“Though another person should perish from destitution,
“Thou hast wealth. To the duck, what fear of the

The lawyer, vexed, glanced at me:
The glancing of a learned man at a foolish one.

445 Saying:—“Oh friend! although a man is on the shore,
“He rests not,—his friends, drowning.

“I am not yellow of face, by reason of want of victuals;
“Grief for those food-less has made yellow my face.”

The wise man wishes not to see a wound
Neither on the limbs of a man, nor on his own limbs.

I am one of the first of those of sound body;
When I behold a wound, my body trembles.*

The pleasure of that sound-bodied one becomes disturbed,
When he is at the side of the languid sick.

450 When I see that the wretched darwesh eats not,
The morsel of food within my palate is poison and grief.

Thou dost take one of (his) friends to prison:—
Where is his pleasure in the garden?

One night, the sigh of the people lighted up a fire.
I heard that a half of the city of Baghdád was burned.*

One, in that state, quickly uttered thanks,
Saying:—“Injury has not reached my shop.”

A world-experienced one said to him:—“Oh father of
“For thee the grief of thy self was sufficient.*

455 “Thou dost approve that a whole city should burn by fire,
“If thy house is on one side, away from danger.”

Except the stony-hearted one, how may he make his
stomach tight (with food),
When he sees persons stone-bound on the belly?*

How does the rich man himself eat that morsel,
When he sees that the darwesh devours the blood (of his
heart from grief)?

Say not to the care-taker of the sick one:—“He is of
sound body,”
Because he writhes from grief, like a sick one.*

The one of tender-heart, when friends arrive at a stage,
Sleeps not, when the wearied loiterers are in rear.

460 The heart of kings is a load carrier,
When they see the ass of the fire-wood drawer in the clay.

If a (worthy) person is in the house of happiness,
One word of the saying of Sa'dí is enough.*

This also is sufficient for thee, if thou wilt hear,
To wit:—if thou sowest thorns, thou reapest not jasmine.*

Thou hast knowledge of the Kings of Persia,
Who exercised tyranny over their subjects.

That dignity and sovereignty remained not;
That tyranny over the peasant remained not.

465 Behold the crime which issued from the hand of the
The world remained; he, with his acts of oppression,
departed (died).

The body of the justice-giver is happy on the day of the
place of assembling (resurrection);
Because, he has an abiding place in the shadow of the
throne of God.*

To a tribe, whose goodness He approves, God
Gives a king, just, of good judgment.

When He wishes to waste a world,
He places the country, in the grasp of a tyrant.

The pious ones think cautiously of the tyrant;
Because, the oppressor is (the personification of) the anger
of God.

470 Recognise greatness from Him, and understand the ob-
Because, the prosperity of the ungrateful one becomes

If thou dost express thanks (to God) in respect to this
country and property,
Thou mayst reach to a property and country without
decline (Paradise).*

But, if in sovereignty thou doest violence,
After sovereignty, thou mayst practise beggary.*

Sweet sleep is forbidden to a king,
When the weak one is the load-carrier of the strong.

To the extent of a mustard seed-grain, injure not a people;
Because, the Sultán is the shepherd, and the people the

475 When they experience strife and injustice from the king,
He is not a shepherd; he is a wolf. Cry out against him.

He went to a bad end, and thought ill-advisedly,
Who exercised tyranny over his inferiors.

By negligence and severity towards these inferiors, he
passes away;
A bad name will for years remain attached to him.

Thou dost not wish that, from behind, they should curse
Be good: so that a person may not utter evil of thee.

I have heard that, in a territory of the west,
There were two brothers (prince-sons), of one father (a

480 Army-commanding, and neck-exalting (headstrong), and
Good of visage, and wise, and expert with the sword.

The father considered them both to be terrible men;
He found them seekers of warlike action and strife.*

He went (and) divided the country into two parts;
He gave a portion of it to each of the sons.

God forbid! that on account of one another, they should
Should draw forth, in contest, the sword of rancour.

After that, the father lived a short time;
(Then) he surrendered his precious soul to the Soul-

485 Death caused his rope of hope to break;
Death tied down his hands from work.*

On two kings was established that kingdom,
In which were treasure and army, beyond limit and

According to their own view, in respect to their own
Each one took a different way.*

One (pursued the path of) justice, so that he might bear a
good name;
The other, tyranny, so that he might amass wealth.

One made benevolence, the way of his life;
He gave money, and provided for the darwesh.

490 Laid foundations (of buildings), and gave bread, and
cherished the army;
Made night-houses for the sake of the night of the darwesh.

Made empty the treasuries, but made full (numerous, or
satisfied) the army;
Even as people, the time of festivity.*

The noise of gladness, like thunder, kept rising,
Like Shíráz, in the time of (King) Abú-Bakr, son of Sa'd.

A wise monarch of happy disposition,—
May the branch of his hope be fruitful!*

Hear the tale of the youth, fame-seeking;
He was of approved conduct, and happy temperament;

495 Assiduous in the consolation of high and low;
A praise-utterer of God, morning and evening.

In that country, Kárún used to go boldly (fearless of the
Because, the king was a giver-of-justice, and the darwesh,

In his time, there came not to a single heart (the injury of)
—I say not—a thorn, nay, a rose-leaf!

By the assistance of fortune, he became chief of chiefs:
The chiefs placed their heads (in submission) on the line of
his order.*

The other (prince) desired to increase the power of his throne
and crown,
He augmented the tribute from the men of the villages.*

500 Greedily thirsted for the property of the merchants;
Poured calamity on the lives of helpless ones.

Bestowed not and enjoyed not, in the hope of augmenting;
The wise man knows that he did not well.*

Because, while he collected that gold, by cheating,
The army became distressed and dispersed by reason of

The merchants heard the news,
To the effect that,—in the land of that unskilled one, there
is tyranny.

They cut off (abandoned) buying and selling from (in) that
Cultivation was not; the peasant burned in heart (on
account of scarcity).

505 When Fortune turned away her head from his friendship,
The enemy necessarily prevailed over him.*

The anger of the sky plucked out his root and fruit;
The hoof of the horse of the enemy dug his country.

In whom may he seek faith, when he broke his promise?
From whom does he wish the land-tax, when the villagers

What goodness does that unfaithful one hope for,
When imprecation is in pursuit of him?

When, in the beginning of creation, his fortune was
Whatever the good men said to him—do; he did not.*

510 What said the good men to that good (unjust) prince?—
Enjoy the fruit (of power; do justice); because the unjust
one enjoys not.

His imagination was a fault, and his policy languid;
Because, whatever he sought in oppression was (to be
found) in justice.

Of this one, a bad repute remained; of that one, a good
The pinnacle of a good end is not for the bad.*

A certain one (was sitting) at the end of a branch, and the
butt end kept cutting:
The Lord of the garden glanced, and saw.

He said:—If this man does evil,
He does it not to me, but to his own body.

515 Advice is in place (proper), if thou wilt hear;
With the strong shoulder cast not down the weak ones.

Because, to-morrow (the Judgment Day) to God, the king
The beggar, who before thee is not worth a barley-grain.*

Since thou dost wish that, to-morrow, thou mayst be a
great one,
Make not an humble one thy enemy.

Because, when this kingdom passes from thee (in death),
That beggar will, in anger, seize thy skirt.

From the feeble, restrain thy hand; do not (such a deed);
Because, if they cast thee down, thou wilt become ashamed.

520 In the opinion of those free from worldly cares, there is
In falling by the hand of the fallen.

The great ones of enlightened mind and good fortune
Won, by learning, a crown and throne.

In rear of the upright, swerve not:
And, if thou dost desire truth, listen to Sa'dí.

Say not—there is no dignity, higher than sovereignty;
Because there is no empire safer than the empire of the

Men, the more lightly loaded, the more quickly go:
This is true; and the pious ones listen (and obey).

525 The empty-handed one suffers distress, on account of a loaf
of bread:
The king suffers grief, to the extent of a world.

In the case of the beggar, when the bread of the evening
is obtained,
He sleeps as pleasantly, as the Sultán of Syria.

Grief and joy proceed to an end;
By death, these two quit the head.

Whether this one, on whose head they placed the crown:
Or that one, on whose neck the (paying of) tribute came,

If the exalted one be in Saturn;
And, if the straitened one be in prison.

530 When the cavalcade of death hastes to the head of these two,
It is not possible to recognise one from the other.

The guardianship of country and empire is a calamity:
The beggar is king, but his name is beggar!

I once heard that, in a certain place,
A skull spoke to an 'ábid,

Saying:—“I possessed the pomp of order-giving;
“I had on my head the cap of greatness (a crown);

“Heaven and concordant fortune gave me aid;
“With the arm of empire, I seized Babylonia;

535 “I had greatly desired that I might enjoy Kirmania,
“When, suddenly, the worms ate my head.”*

Pluck out the cotton of carelessness from the ear of sense,
That the advice of dead men may come to thy ear.

The man of good work—evil is not to him:
No one practises evil, that good may come to himself.

The man mischief-stirring is also in the desire of wickedness,
Like the scorpion, that seldom goes as far as his own

If in thy disposition, there is not (the wish for) a person's
A jewel and the hard stone are even so identical.

540 Oh friend of happy disposition! I uttered a mistake;
Since there is profit in iron, and stone, and brass.

Even so, for the sake of reputation, the dead is best, the
Over whom the stone has pre-excellence.

Not every man-born-one is better than a rapacious animal;
Since the rapacious animal is better than the bad man-

Man, endowed with wisdom, is better than the beast of
Not the man, who, like a beast of prey, falls upon men.

When a man understands only eating and sleeping,
What excellence has he over the reptiles?

545 The unfortunate horseman, going without a road,
The footman surpasses in travelling.

No one sowed the grain of generosity,
Who gathered not up the harvest of the desire of his

In our lives, we have never heard,
That goodness befell the bad man.

A man of war had fallen into a well
Such an one that the male-tiger became female, from fear
of him.*

The evil-intent one ever experiences only evil:—
He fell; and saw no one weaker than himself.*

550 All night, from complaint and lamentation, he slept not;
One struck his head with a stone, and said:—*

Didst thou ever come to a person's call (for help),
That to-day thou dost desire a grievance-redresser?

Thou didst sow every seed of unmanliness;
See assuredly what thou hast taken up.

Who places a plaster on thy soul-wound,
When hearts keep complaining of the wounds inflicted by

Thou usedst to dig a pit in our path,
In the end, without doubt, thou hast fallen into the pit.

555 Two persons, for the sake of high and low, dig a pit:
One of good walk of life; the other, of bad repute.

This one, that he may make the throat of the thirsty one
The other, that people may fall into it, up to the neck.

If thou doest bad, expect not goodness:
Because the tamarisk never brings forth the grape-fruit.

Oh thou barley sown in autumn! I think not
That thou wilt obtain wheat, at reaping-time.*

If with soul, thou dost cherish the tree of hell,
Think not, that thou mayst ever eat its fruit.*

560 The wood of the colocynth brings not the green date:
Whatever seed thou didst cast,—expect that very fruit.*

They relate a story of a certain good man,
That he paid not respect to Hujjáj, the son of Joseph.*

In frenzy, he cast on him such power (of argument)
That the power of altercation remained not to Hujjáj.*

Hujjáj looked sharply at the officer of the court,
Saying:—“Cast down the decapitation-carpet, and spill his

When argument remained not to the violence-seeking one,
He draws, in contest, his face together.

565 The man of God laughed and wept:
The stony-hearted one of obscure judgment wondered.

When he saw that he laughed, and again wept,
He inquired, saying:—“Why is this laughing and

The Man of God said:—“I keep weeping, on account (of
the violence) of time;
“Because, I have four helpless children.

“I keep laughing on account of the grace of the pure God;
“Because I, the oppressed one, go to the dust,—not the

One said to Hujjáj:—“Oh good-hearted monarch!
“What dost thou desire of this old man? touch him not.

570 “Because a people look towards, and lean upon him:
“It is not lawful, to slay a crowd at one time.

“Practise greatness and forgiveness, and liberality:
“Think of his little children.

“Perhaps thou art the enemy of thy own household,
“Because thou dost approve of evil to households?

“Think not—hearts (being) torn by thy tyranny—
“That, on the last day, good may befall thee.”*

I heard that Hujjáj listened not; but shed his blood.
Who knows how to fly from the decree of God?

575 That night, a great one slept in that thought:
In sleep, he saw him, and asked (his state); the
slaughtered one said:

“Hujjáj urged not his punishment, in regard to me, more
than one moment;
“Punishment remained to him, till the Judgment Day.”*

The oppressed one slept not; fear his sigh:
In the morning time, fear the sigh of his heart.*

Dost thou not fear, that, at night, the one of pure heart
May bring forth, from the burning of his heart,—Oh

Iblís did evil, and experienced good?—No;
The pure fruit comes not from the filthy seed.*

580 Shout not against rough lion-like men,
When with boys, in boxing, thou dost not prevail.

One gave advice to a son
—Preserve the counsel of the wise—*

“Oh son! exercise not violence on small folk,
“Because one day, a great one may attack thy head.”

Oh wolf of deficient understanding, dost thou not fear,
That, one day, a panther may rend thee in pieces?

In youth, I had strength of grasp;
The heart of inferiors was distressed on account of me.

585 I suffered one blow of the fist of the strong;
I exercised not force, again, against the weak.

Take care thou sleepst not in carelessness; because sleep
Is improper for the eyes of the leader of a tribe.

Beware; sympathise with the grief of inferiors;
Fear the violence of time.

The advice, that is free from design,
Is like bitter medicine,—the repelling of disease.

They relate a story of one of the kings,
Whom the disease of guinea-worm made like a spindle.

590 Weakness of body to such a degree overthrew him,
That he envied his subjects.

Although, the king on the chess-board is famous,
When weakness comes, he is less than a pawn.

A courtier kissed the ground before the king,
Saying:—“May the country of the Lord be eternal!

“In this city, is a man of happy spirit,
“Like whom, in abstinence, a man is rare.

“They brought not before him the important affairs of any
“Whose object was not obtained, in a breath.

595 “An improper act has never issued in regard to him,
“(He is) one of illumined heart, and one whose prayers are

“Call (him), so that he may utter a prayer, on account of
this disease
“That mercy from heaven may arrive on earth.”

The king ordered, so that the chiefs of the servants
Summoned the old man of happy footstep.

They went and uttered the message. The fakír came—
Body powerful in contemptible dress.

The king said:—“Oh wise man! utter a prayer;
“Because, in respect to the guinea-worm, I am foot-bound,
like a needle.”*

600 The old man, bent as to his back, heard this speech:
With severity, he brought forth a harsh shout,

Saying:—“God is compassionate to the just ruler:
“Forgive; and behold the gift of God.

“How may my prayer be profitable to thee—
“The oppressed captives, in pit and fetters?

“Thou hast not made presents to the people,
“Whence mayst thou experience the empire of easiness?

“It is necessary to ask pardon (from God) for thy fault,
“Then, beseech a blessing from the holy shaikh.

605 “How may his (the shaikh's) prayer aid thee,
“The prayers of oppressed ones behind thee?”

The monarch of Persia heard this speech;
From anger and shame, he frowned.

He grieved and then said to his heart:—
“Why do I grieve? this, that the darwesh said, is right.”

He ordered: so that whoever was in fetters,
Him, by order, they quickly freed.

The world-experienced one (the shaikh), after two in-
clinations of the head in prayer,
Lifted up the hand of supplication to God,

610 Saying:—“Oh uplifter of the sky!
“In battle (against thee) thou didst seize him; in peace
invite him.”*

The saint thus held up his hands in prayer,
When the king raised his head (from the pillow) and
leaped on his feet.

Thou wouldst say:—“From joy, he will fly,
“Like a peacock, when he saw no longer the thread (of
captivity) on his foot.”

The king ordered:—the treasury of his jewels,
They scattered on his (the shaikh's) feet, and gold on his

The shaikh shook his skirt from all that (treasure) and
“For the sake of the false, it is not proper to conceal the

615 “Go not again to the end of the tether (of injustice),
“Lest that again the guinea-worm should raise its head.”*

When once thou hast fallen, take care of thy foot,
That once more it slips not from its place.

Listen to Sa'dí, for this speech is true,—
“Not every time, has the fallen one risen.”*

Oh Son! the world is not an everlasting country;
There is no hope of the sincerity from the world.*

Morning and evening, on the wind, used not to go,
The throne of Sulaimán?—on him be peace!

620 In the end, didst thou not see that it went to the wind
(became non-existent),
Happy is that king, who went (from the world) possessed
of learning and justice!

That person seized from the midst (of the world) the ball
of empire,
Who was in consideration of the ease of the people.

Those things which they took up (to the future world)
came of use;
Not those things which they amassed and abandoned
(in this world).*

I have heard that, in respect to the glorious chief of Egypt,
Death hastened an army on his life.*

The beauty went from his cheek, heart-exalting:
When the sun becomes yellow, much of the day remains

625 The wise men (in sorrow) bit the hand of annihilation;
Because, in the medical books, they saw no remedy for

Every throne and country declines—
Save the country of the Eternal Order-Giver.

When the day of his life came near to the night (of non-
They heard him say beneath his lip,*

As follows:—“A king like me, in Egypt, there was not:
“When this is the fruit, sovereignty is worthless.

“I gathered the world; I enjoyed not its fruit:
“Like the helpless ones, I passed from its desire.”*

630 The one of approved judgment who gave and enjoyed;
Gathered the world, for the sake of his own body.

Strive in this work, so that wealth may be a dweller with
Because, whatever remains behind thee is regret and fear.

The rich man, on the couch, soul-fleeting, makes
One hand short;—and the other, long.

At that moment, he shows thee by the hand,
—Because, fear has bound his tongue from speaking,—

To this effect:—extend one hand in generosity and
Contract the other hand from tyranny and avarice.*

635 Now, that thou hast the power, take action;
How again (in the grave) mayst thou bring forth the hand
from the shroud?*

Often the moon and pleiades and sun will shine;
But thou wilt not raise thy head from the pillow of the

King Kizil Arslán had a strong fort
That exalted its neck above the mountain Alwand.*

There was not fear of any one; nor need of anything:
Like the ringlets of brides, its road fold within fold.*

It had fallen strangely in a garden, in such a way,
As a white egg on a green tray.

640 I heard that a man of favourable mien
Came, from a long journey, to King Kizil-Arslán.

A truths-recogniser; world-experienced;
A skilled one; world-travelled;

A great one; an eloquent one, work-knowing;
A wise one; speech-weighing; much-knowing.

Kizil said:—“So much as thou hast travelled,
“Hast thou seen another place, strong like this?”

He laughed, saying:—“This fort is joyous;
“But, I do not think it is strong.*

645 “Did not the obstinate ones (kings) possess it before thee!
“A few moments, they were; and they abandoned it.

“May not other kings take it, after thee,
“(And) enjoy the fruit of thy tree of hope?*

“Remember the revolution of the country of thy father;
“Set free the heart from the knot of reflection.*

“Fortune placed him, in a corner (of the grave) in such
a way,
“That power remained not to him, over a particle.

“When hope remained not as to any thing, or person,
“Hope remained to him of the excellence of God only.”

650 To the wise man, the world is straw;
For, every moment, it is the place of another.*

A frantic one, in Persia, thus spoke,
To Naushíraván, saying:—“Oh heir of the country of

“If country and fortune had remained to Jamshíd,
“When would crown and throne have become attainable
by thee?”

If thou bring the treasure of Kárún within thy grasp,
There only remains—what thou dost give (to the indigent)
thou mayst take away.

When Alap-Arslán gave his soul to the Soul-giver,
The son placed the royal crown on his head.

655 From the crown-place, they consigned him to the tomb,
The target-place was not a spot for sitting.*

Thus spoke a distraught wise one,
—When he saw his son, the next day, on horse-back,—*

“Oh excellent government and country! When head
“The father departs (in death), the son's foot is in the

Thus is the revolution of time
A gad-about, and bad-of-faith, and inconstant.*

When the One of ancient days brings his life to an end,
One, whose fortune is young, raises his head from the

660 Place not the heart on the world, for it is a stranger,
Like the musician, who is, every day, in a different house.

Pleasure is not proper with such a heart-ravishing one,
Who has, every morning, a fresh mate.

This year, when the village (of the world) is thine, do
Because, next year, another will be village-chief.

A sage prayed for King Kaykubád,
Saying:—“In thy sovereignty, may there be no decline!”*

A great one, upon this, reproached him,
Saying:—“The wise man utters not the impossible,—oh

665 “Of the kings of Persia, whom dost thou know,
“Of the time of Fírídún and Zahhák and Jamshíd,

“In respect to whose throne and country, decline hap-
pened not?
“(To utter) the impossible is not decorous, on the part of
a wise man.

“To whom remains the hope of existing always,
“When thou seest no one, who remains for ever?”

The learned sensible man thus replied,
Saying:—“The wise man utters not unsuitable speech.

“I sought not perpetual life for him;
“I sought for aid, by the grace of his liberality.

670 “For, if he be devout, and pure in conduct,
“Religion-understanding, advice-hearing,—

“The day, on which he plucks up his heart from this
country (of the world),
“He pitches his royal tent in the other country (of

“Then, there is no decline to this empire;
“There is translation from the (transient) world to the
(everlasting) world.

“If he be devout, what harm in his death?
“For he is a king even in the future world.”

Whosoever has treasure, and command, and army;
Government, and dignity, and desire, and pleasure,—

675 If his disposition be good,—
Ease, at all times, is prepared for him.

But, if he exercises violence against the poor,
This same command and dominion are his for five days.

When Far'ún abandoned not wickedness,
He exercised sway only up to the brink of the grave.

I have heard that of the monarchs of Ghúr,
A certain king used to seize asses by force.*

The asses, beneath heavy loads, fodderless,
Wretched, perished in the space of two days.

680 When Time makes the mean one rich,
He places a load on the straitened heart of the darvesh.

When his roof is lofty, the self-worshipper
Pollutes, and casts rubbish on the humble roof (of his

I heard that, one day, with the intention of hunting,
The tyrannous monarch went out.

He urged his steed in rear of the game,
Night overtook him; he remained far from his retinue.

Knew, in solitude, neither the turning nor the path;
Cast at length his head (himself) into a village.*

685 A certain old man was residing in that village,
Old-of old men, men-recognising.

He kept saying to his son:—“Oh happy portion!
“Take not thy ass, in the morning, to the city.

“For this one, ungenerous and of reversed fortune
“—Would that I might, instead of his throne, behold his

“Has his loins girt in a demon's service,
“A cry, on account of the hand of his violence, goes to
the sphere.

“In this territory, ease and cheerfulness
“The eye of man saw not and sees not.

690 “Perhaps this one whose book of sins is full, void of
“Will go to hell,—curses in his rear.”

The son said:—“Long is the way and difficult;
“Oh one of good fortune! I cannot go on foot.

“Consider a way, and express an opinion;
“For thy judgment is more luminous than mine.”

The father said:—“If thou wilt listen to my judgment,
“It is proper to take up a large stone;

“To strike the ass, the load-carrier, several times with it;
“To wound his head, and his leg, and his flank.

695 “Perhaps, that base one of ugly religion
“An ass,—lame, wounded—may be, for his work, useless.

“Like Khizr, the prophet, who shattered the ship,
“And, thus, stayed the hand of the powerful tyrant.*

“In the year, in which the tyrant seized the ship at sea,
“He won many years of bad-repute.”

When the boy heard this tale from his father,
He took not his head beyond the writing of the order.

He struck down the helpless ass with a stone;
The ass became feeble of leg, lame of foot.

700 The father said to him:—“Now, take thy own way;
“Take that road even which is desirable to thee.”

The son fell in with a káraván;
As much abuse as he knew, he gave (to the tyrant).

And, on this side, the father—face towards the sky,
Saying:—“Oh Lord! by the prayer-carpet of the true,

“Give me, from Time, as much tranquillity,
“As ruin springs from this oppressing tyrant.

“If I witness not his destruction,
“My eyes, in the night of the grave, will not sleep in the

705 “A woman,—much better than an injurious man;
“A dog,—better than the man, man-injuring.

“The hemaphrodite, who shows injustice towards himself.
“Better than that one, who shows evil towards man.”

The tyrant-king heard this speech, but said nothing;
He tethered his horse; and, head on saddle-cloth, laid
himself down to sleep.

All night, in wakefulness, he counted the stars;
Through frenzy and reflection, sleep took him not.

When he heard the voice of the morning-bird,
He forgot the night's distress.

710 The (king's) horsemen, all night, galloped (in search);
Recognised, in the morning, the track of his horse:

Beheld, on horseback,—in that plain, the king,
On foot; the whole of the troop went (towards him):

Placed the head, in service, on the earth,
—From the wave of the multitude, the earth became like
the sea.—

The great ones sate down, and asked for food;
They ate, and set the assembly in array.

One of his old friends said:—
—Who was his chamberlain, at night; and courtier, by

715 “Last night, what victuals did the peasants place before
“As for us, neither eye nor ear reposed.”

The monarch could not relate the adventure,
Which, from bad repute, occurred to him.

He brought his head, very slowly, before the courtier's
(And) whispered, secretly, to his ear:—

“No one brought before me the leg of a bird,
“But the leg of an ass,—dislocated beyond measure.”*

When the tumult of joy came into the king's nature,
Memory of the villager of the previous night came to him.

720 He ordered:—they searched, and firmly bound him;
Cast him, with ignominy, at the foot of the throne.

The black-hearted one drew forth the sharp sword;
The helpless one knew not the way of flight:

Reckoned that moment the last of his life;
Said whatever revolved in his heart.

Seest thou not that when the knife is at the head
Of the pen—its tongue (nib) is swifter?

When the villager knew that flight from the enemy was
Fearless of him, he poured forth the arrows of his quiver
(of speech).

725 He raised the head of despair, and spoke:—
“On the night of the grave, it is not possible to sleep in
the house.

“Oh monarch! not alone, said I to thee,
“That thou art of reversed fortune and unfortunate.

“I (alone) cursed not the power of thy oppression,
“But a people; suppose—one slain, out of a people:
(what then?)

“From the mercilessness that exists in thy time,
“The whole world is the proclaimer of thy violence.

“Why getst thou angry with me only?
“I spoke before thee; but, all the World behind (thy

730 “It is strange that cursing on my part comes harshly to
“Slay; if thou canst slay the whole world.

“But if rebuke, on my part, appears severe
“Pluck up, in justice, the root of reproach (of injustice).

“When thou doest injustice, expect not,
“That thy name for goodness will go into the country.

“And, if—oh mean one!—it be that my speech is hard
to thee,
“Do not to another,—what is hard to thee.

“For thee, the remedy is to turn away from tyranny;
“It is not an innocent matter, to slay the helpless.

735 “Suppose—for thee, five days more are remaining;—
“Suppose—two days more of enjoying pleasant ease.
(What then?)

“The tyrant of bad walk of life remains not (in the world),
“(But) everlasting curses will remain on him.

“I know not how thine eyes sleep,
“The oppressed, through thy hand of oppression, sleepless.

“For thee, there is good advice, if thou wilt listen;
“But if thou wilt not hearken, thou thyself wilt become

“Know,—how praised becomes a king
“Whom the people praise in the Court.

740 “What profit—the applause, at the head of the assembly,
“The old woman,—cursing behind the spinning wheel.”

The villager thus spoke,—the sword above his head;
The soul surrendered to the arrow of Fate.*

The king, from the intoxication of carelessness, came to
The auspicious angel Surosh (Gabriel) whispered to his ear,

Saying:—“Restrain the hand of torture from this old
“Suppose,—one slain, out of thousands of thousands
(what then?)”

His head remained sometime in the collar (of reflection);
After that, he filled his sleeve with pardon.*

745 Took off his fetters, with his own hands;
Kissed his head, and took him into his bosom.

Gave him greatness and lordship;
His welfare sprang forth from the branch of hope.

This story became related in the world;
Good fortune goes behind the upright.

Thou wilt learn an adorned walk of life,—from wise men;
(But) not to the same degree as from the ignorant (the
enemy), fault-finding.

Hear thy own character from the enemy; because,
In the friend's eye, whatever comes from thee is good.

750 Those singing praises are not thy friends;
Those reproaching are thy friends.

It is a crime to give sugar to the sick one;
When the bitter medicine is fit for him.

The one of sour face rebukes better,
Than friends of pleasant disposition, of sweet temperament.

No one utters to thee better advice than this:
If thou art wise, a hint is enough.

When the turn of the Khiláfat came to Mámún
He purchased a damsel with a face as the moon.*

755 In face, a sun; in body, a rose;
In wisdom, wise,—a wanton one.

In the blood of lovers, her hand deeply imbrued;
Her finger-tips, jujube-stained.

Saffron—on the eye-brow, devotee-enchanting,—
Was like the rainbow on the sun.*

On the night of the rites of Venus, that enchanting toy,
Perhaps gave not her body to Mámún's embrace.

The fire of anger fiercely seized him;
He wished to make her head two portions, like the Gemíni.

760 She said:—“Lo! my head, with the sharp sword,
“Cast down; but, exercise not sleeping and rising with

Mámún said:—“From whom, has injury reached thy heart;
“What feature of mine was disagreeable to thee?”

She replied:—“If thou slayst me, or if thou cleavest my
“(I must say)—from the smell of thy mouth, I am in

“The sword of contest, and the arrow of oppression slay,
“At once; the smell of thy mouth, gradually.”

Sarwar (Mámún) of happy fortune heard this speech;
He was greatly astonied, and sorely grieved.

765 Was, all night, in this thought, and slept not;
Spoke, the next day, to the wise ones.

Those of every clime, constitution—understanding,—
With every one of them, he spoke on every matter.

Although, at that time, his heart was vexed with her,
He took medicine; and, became fragrant of smell, rose-like.

He made the parí-faced one, companion and friend;
Saying:—“This one uttered my defect; she is my friend.”

In my opinion, that one is thy well-wisher,
Who says:—“A thorn is in thy path.”

770 To say to the road-lost—“Thou goest well,”
Is a great cruelty and atrocious crime.

At that time, when they utter not before thee thy defect,
Thou, from ignorance, considerst thy defect, skill.

Say not:—“The sweet honey is the superior sugar”
To that one, for whom scammony is necessary.*

How well did the druggist, one day, say:—
“Is convalescence necessary to thee? drink bitter

If sharbat is good for thee,
Take, from Sa'dí, the bitter medicine of advice.

775 With the sieve of knowledge, sifted;
With the honey of devotion, mixed.

I have heard that, on account of a good man, a fakír,
The heart of a proud king became troubled.

Perhaps, on his tongue, a truth had passed;
He became, through pride, enraged with him.

He sent him from the Court to the prison;
For, the arm of a king is strong proved.

One of his friends said secretly to him (the fakír);—
“It was not well to utter this speech.” He replied:—

780 “To cause God's order to be accomplished is obedience to
“I fear not the prison, which is for a moment.”

That very moment, when this secret, in private, went forth
(from his tongue),
The tale also went to the ear of the king.

He laughed, saying:—“He entertains a foolish idea,
“He knows not that he will die in this confinement.”

A slave brought that speech to the poor man;
He said:—“Oh slave! say to Khusrau,

“I have not the load of grief on a wounded heart;
“For the world, this very moment, is no more.*

785 “If thou helpst me not, I am joyful;
“If thou cutst off my head, grief comes not into my

“If thou art prosperous in command and treasure,
“Another is dejected, in fear or grief.

“When we enter at the gate of death,
“We become, in one week, together equal.

“Place not the heart on this empire of five days,
“Consume not thyself, with the sighs of the people's heart.

“Did not the kings before thee collect together more than
“In exercising injustice, they consumed the world.

790 “Live even so, that they may commemorate thee with
“May not recite curses, over thy grave, when thou

“In regard to a bad custom, it is unnecessary to lay laws;
“For they say:—May a curse be on him, who laid this evil

“But, if the Lord of Force raises his head,
“Does not the dust of the grave in the end make his head

The narrow-hearted one, by way of oppression, ordered—
That they should dig out his tongue, from the back (of the

The man, truths-knowing thus spoke
Saying:—“I have no fear of this even that thou hast said.

795 “I have no grief of tonguelessness;
“For, I know that God understands the unspoken word.

“And if, through tyranny, I suffer foodlessness,
—“If, in the end it be well with me, what grief?

“The sound of mourning (for thy death) may be nuptial,
“If thy end be good.”

A certain boxer had neither fortune nor victuals;
The means ready—neither for his evening nor for his
morning repast.

On account of the cravings of his belly, he used to carry clay
on his back;
For it is impossible to enjoy (gain) victuals, by means of
the fist.

800 Through distress of fortune, always—
His heart, grief-stricken; his body, spindle-like.

For him, sometimes, battle with a malevolent world;
Sometimes, his face bitter, from distressed fortune.

Sometimes, from beholding the sweet pleasure of the (rich)
The bitter water (tears) used to descend to his neck.

Sometimes, he used to weep on account of perplexed work,
Saying:—“No one experienced a more bitter life than

The people eat honey, and bird, and lamb;
The surface of my bread sees not herbs.

805 If thou desirest justice,—this is not good,
I naked; but, to the cat, a coat (of fur).

How well would it have been, if my foot, in this clay-work,
Had descended to the treasure of my heart's desire.

Perhaps, for a time I would have urged the desire (of
Would have scattered from myself the dust of affliction.

I heard that he was, one day, breaking up the earth;
He found a rotten chin-bone.

Within the dust, its joints dissevered;
The jewels of teeth scattered.

810 The tongueless mouth mysteriously uttered advice,
Saying:—“Oh sir! be content with want of sustenance.

“Is not this the state of the mouth, beneath the clay?
“Suppose—sugar eaten; or blood of the heart (grief)
suffered (what then?)

“Have not grief of time's revolution;
“For much time will revolve without us.”

That very moment, when this idea appeared to him,
Grief placed aside its burden from his heart.*

Saying:—“Oh spirit! void of judgment, deliberation and
“Endure the load of grief, and slay not thyself.”

815 If a slave carries a load on his head;
Or if he rears his head to the summit of the sky,

At that moment, when his state becomes changed,
In death, both ideas leave his head.

Grief and joy remain not; but,
Requital for work and good name (work) remains.

Liberality, not diadem and throne, has permanence;
Oh one of good fortune!—give that this may remain after
thee (in the world).

Rely not on country, and rank and pomp:
For, they were before thee, and will be after thee.

820 Thou wishst not that thy country should come to con-
It is necessary to suffer sorrow for both country and religion.

Scatter gold, since thou wishst not to leave the world,
As Sa'dí scattered pearls (of counsel), when he had not

They relate a story of a certain violence—scatterer,
Who held sway over a country.*

The day of man was, in his time, like the evening;
At night, the hands of the pure were, through fear of him,
in prayer.

All day, the good, through him, in calamity;
At night, the hands of the pure, against him, in prayer.

825 Before the Shaikh of that time, a crowd of men
Wept bitterly, on account of the tyrant's power,

Saying:—“Oh wise man of happy disposition!
“Say to this young man,—Fear God!”

The Shaikh replied:—“I am loath (to utter) the name of
“For, every one is not worthy of His message.”

Whomsoever thou seest apart from God,
Oh Sir! reveal not to him the name of God.

It is sorrowful to speak of the knowledge (of God) with
the mean;
For, seed in salt soil is wasted.

830 When it affects him not, he considers thee an enemy;
Grieves heartily, and vexes thee.

Oh King! thou hast the custom of a right walk of life;
The heart of the man, truth-speaking, is, on this account,

Oh one of happy fortune! the seal-ring has a quality,—
Such that, it takes an impression in wax, not in the hard

It is not wonderful, if this tyrant, of me, heartily
Grieves; for, he is a thief; and I, a watchman.

Thou art also guardian as to justice and equity;
May the protection of God be thy guardian!*

835 In the way of reason, thanks (of the people) are not for
Grace, and obligation, and praise—for God.

When God holds thee, in service, in the work of goodness,
He left thee, not abandoned, like others.

All are in the plain of struggle;
But, not every one wins the ball of empire.

Thou didst not, by endeavour, gain Paradise;
God created within thee, a disposition Paradise-like.

May thy heart be illumined, and time tranquil!
May thy foot be firm, and dignity exalted!

840 Thy life, pleasant; and, thy conduct, (bent) on rectitude!
Thy devotion, agreeable (to God); and, prayer, accepted!

So long as thy work prospers by deliberation,
Courtesy to an enemy (is) better than contest.

When one cannot, by force, defeat the enemy;
With cajolery it is proper to close the door of strife.

If there be fear of the injury of the enemy,
Fasten his tongue with the charm of beneficence.

Scatter gold for the enemy, in place of crow's feet;
For, kindness makes blunt the sharp teeth.

845 When it is impossible to bite the hand, kiss it;
For, with superiors, the remedy is deceit and flattery,

Even as the friend, pay observance to the enemy,
Whose skin, at the time of opportunity, one can flay;

By right judgment, there came to bonds Rustam,
From whose noose, Isfandiyár escaped not.

Exercise caution as to contest with the meanest person;
For, I have seen many a torrent, from a drop.

Express not—so long as thou canst,—a knot (frown) on
thy eyebrow;
For, the enemy though weak (is) better a friend.

850 His enemy may be fresh; and, friend, wounded,—
That one, whose enemies are (in number) more than

Strive not with an army more powerful than thy own;
For, one cannot strike the fist on a lancet.

And, if thou art stronger, in contest, than he,
It is not manly to exercise force against the feeble.

If thou art of elephant-strength, or of lion-claw,
Peace is, in my opinion, better than strife.

When the hand is broken as to every artifice,
It is lawful to carry the hand to the sharp sword.

855 If the enemy seeks peace, turn not aside the head;
And, if he seeks battle, turn not aside the rein.

For, if he shuts the door of conflict
Thou hast the power and awe of ten thousand.

And, if he bring the foot of battle into the stirrup,
The Ruler (God) will not desire from thee an account at
the rising (Judgment Day).

Be thou his battle-opponent, when he seeks strife;
For with the malicious kindness is a mistake,

When thou speakst, with kindness and pleasantness, to
the mean,
His pride and obstinacy become greater.

860 With Arab-steeds and manly men,
Bring forth the dust (of destruction) from the nature of
the enemy.

But, if he returns, with gentleness and understanding,
Speak not to him, with severity and anger and harshness.

When the enemy enters at thy door, with submission,
Put out malice from thy heart; and, anger from thy head.

When safety demands, practice the trade of liberality;
Pardon; but, reflect on his (possible) deceit.

Turn not away from the deliberations of old men;
For, one years-endured is work-experienced.

865 They pluck up the brazen foundations from its root,—
Young men with the sword; and, old men with judgment.

Consider a place of retreat, in the heart of battle;
Of that, what knowst thou,—that he may be conqueror?

When thou beholdst the enemy in discord,
Give not, alone, thy sweet life to the wind.

And, if thou art on one side of the army, strive to go
(from the slaughter);
But, if in the midst (of the enemy), put on the guise of
the enemy.

And, if thou art a thousand, and the enemy (only) two
Stand not in the enemy's territory, when it becomes night.

870 In the dark night, fifty horsemen, from ambuscade,
Will, with terror, rend the earth like five hundred.

When thou wishst to travel the road at night,
Be cautious first of ambuscade.

When one day's march between two armies
Remains,—pitch thy tent in some place.

If he displays aggression, have no fear;
And if he be Afrásiyáb, pluck forth his brains.

Knowst thou not, that when the enemy pursues one's day
His grasp of force remains not.

875 Thou tranquil,—strike at the wearied army;
For, the ignorant one practised oppression against his own

When thou hast defeated the enemy, cast down the
That his wound may not come together again (heal).

Urge not far, in rear of the routed army;
It is not fit that thou shouldst go far from thy companions.

Thou mayst behold, the air cloud-like, from the dust of
With javelin and sword they will gather around thee.

Let not the army urge in pursuit of plunder,
Lest that (the place) behind the king's back be void.

880 For the army, the guardianship of the monarch
Is better than battle, in the circle of contest.

The warrior, who has once showed ardour (in battle),
It is proper to increase (his dignity), according to his

That, the next time, he may place his heart on destruction;
May have no fear of contest with the (tribe of) Ya,júj.

Keep the soldier happy, in peace;
That he may be of use in the time of distress.

Kiss the hand of fighting men, now,
Not, at the time when the enemy beats the war-drum.

885 The soldier, whose duty is (lies) not in (getting) victuals,—
Why should he, on the day of battle, place his heart on

From the enemy's hand, the quarters of the country,
Keep by the army; and, the army, by wealth.

Of the king, the hand is bold against an enemy,
When the army is tranquil of heart, and satisfied.

They enjoy the price of their own heads;
It is not right, that they should endure severity.

When they keep pay from the soldier;
He is loth to carry his hand to the sharp sword.

890 What manliness may he exhibit, in the battle-ranks,
When his hand is empty, and work despised?

Send warriors to the contest with the enemy;
Send lions to the conflict with lions.*

Execute work, according to the judgment of those world-
For, the old wolf is experienced in hunting.

Fear not the young men, sword-striking;
Be cautious of the old men of much science.

The young men, elephant-overthrowing, lion-seizing,
Know not the artifices of the old fox.

895 The man, world-experienced, is wise;
For, he has experienced much the hot and cold (vicissi-
tudes) of life.

Young men, worthy of good fortune,
Turn not aside their heads from the saying of old men.

If further, a well ordered kingdom be necessary,
Give not a great work to an aspirant.

Make none leader of the army, save that one,
Who may have been, in many battles.

Entrust not a difficult matter to the young;
For, one cannot break the anvil with the fist.

900 Peasant-cherishing and being chief of an army,
Are not work of sport and folly.

Thou wishst not that time should be lost?
Entrust not work to one, work-unseen.

The hunting-dog turns not his face from the panther;
The tiger, inexperienced in battle, fears the fox.

When the son is brought up to hunting,
He fears not, when contest meets him.

In wrestling, and hunting, and shooting at a mark, and
A man becomes a warrior, and contest-seeker.

905 One reared in the hot bath, and pleasure, and luxury,
Will fear, when he sees the door of conflict open.

Two men place him in the saddle;
It may be a boy strikes him to the earth.*

The one, whose back thou seest in the day of battle,
Slay,—if the enemy slay him not in the ranks.

An impotent one is better than the swordsman,
Who, in the battle-day, turns away his head, woman-like.

How well said the hero Gurgín to his own son,
When he (the son) shut up the bow-case, and quiver of

910 “If, women-like, thou wilt seek flight,
“Go not (to the battle-field); spill not the honour of
fighting men.”

The single horseman, who, in battle, showed his back,
Slew not himself, but those of renown.

Bravery comes not,—save from those two friends,
Who fell, in the circle of conquest.

Two of the same quality, of the same table, of the same
Will strive mightily in the heart of conflict.

For shame comes to him of fleeing from before the
The brother, a captive in the enemy's grasp.

915 When thou seest that friends are not friends (in contest),
Consider flight from the battle-field,—gain.

Oh king, territory-conquering! cherish two persons—
One a man of arm (strong); the other, a man of judgment.

Those carry of the ball of empire from those renowned,
Who cherish the wise man and sword-man.

Whoever exercised not the pen and the sword,
If he dies,—say not over him:—“Alas!”

Take care of the pen-striker (pen-man) and sword-striker
Not the musician; for manliness comes not from the striker.*

920 This is not manliness,—the enemy in the affairs of war;
Thou,—confused with the wine-cup, and sound of the

Possessed of sovereignty, sate down to play, many a one
Whose wealth went in play from the hand.

I say not—fear battle with the enemy;
Fear rather him, who is in the state of peace.

Many a one recited, in the day, the verse of peace;
(And) urged, when it became night, his army at the
sleeper's head.

Warriors sleep mail-clad;
Since, the couch is the sleeping-place of women.

Within the tent, one, sword-striking,
925 Sleeps not naked (unarmed), like women in the house.

It is necessary to prepare secretly for war;
So that one can secretly assault the enemy.

Caution is the business of men acquainted with work;
The advanced guard is the brazen fence of the army-place.

Between two ill-wishers of short hand (weak),
It is not wisdom, to sit secure.

Because, if both, together secretly, deliberate,—
Their short hand becomes long (powerful).

930 Keep one engaged with deceit;
Bring forth the destruction of the other's existence.

If an enemy chooses war,
Spill his blood, with the sword of deliberation.

Go; accept friendship with his enemy;
That the shirt on his body may be a prison.

When discord occurs in the enemy's army,
Place thou thy own sword, in the scabbard.

When wolves approve of each other's injury,
The sheep repose in the midst.

935 When the enemy becomes engaged with enemy,
Sit down, in ease of heart, with thy friend.

When thou liftst up the sword of contest,
Look out, secretly, for the path of peace.

Because army-leaders, helmet-cleaving,
Seek secretly peace; and, openly, the battle-ranks.

Seek secretly (in friendship) the heart of the man of the
For, it may be, that he may fall (in friendship) at thy

When an officer of rank of the enemy falls to thy grasp,
It is proper to exercise delay in slaying him.

940 For, it may happen that a chief of this half (thy own army)
May remain a captive, in bonds.

If thou slayst this wounded captive,
Thou wilt not again behold thy own captive.

Fears he not that Heaven's revolution may make captive
Who exercises violence towards captives?

That one is hand-seizer (helper) of captives,
Who himself may have been a captive in bondage.

If a chief places his head on thy writing (of command),—
When thou keepst him well, another chief places his head.

945 If thou, secretly, bringst to thy hand ten hearts,
It is better than that thou shouldst execute a hundred

If a relation of the enemy be friendly to thee,
Beware; be not secure of craftiness.

Because, his heart becomes torn for vengeance against thee.
When, memory of the love of his own relation comes to

Consider not the sweet words of an enemy;
For, it is possible, there is poison in the honey.

That one took his life safe from the trouble of the enemy,
Who reckoned friends as enemies.

950 That knave preserves the pearl in his purse,
Who considers all people purse-cuts.

The soldier, who is an offender against the Amír,
So long as thou canst,—take not into service.

He knew not gratitude towards his own chief;
He knows not thee also: be afraid of his deceit.

Hold (consider) him not strong as to oath and covenant;
Appoint a secret watchman over him.

Make long the tether of the aspirant;
Break it not, lest thou shouldst not see him again.*

955 When, in battle and siege, the enemy's country,
Thou seizst,—consign it to the prisoners.

Because, when a captive plunges his teeth in blood,
He drinks blood from the tyrant's throat.

When thou pluckst away a territory from the enemy's
Keep the peasantry in more order than he.

For, if he beats open the door of conflict,
The people will pluck out the essence of his brain.

But, if thou causest injury to the citizens,
Shut not (vainly) the city-gate in the enemy's face.

960 Say not:—“The enemy, sword-striking, is at the gate!”
When the enemy's partner is within the city.

Essay with deliberation battle with the enemy;
Reflect on counsel; and, conceal thy resolution.

Reveal not the secret to every one;
For, I have seen many a cup-sharer, a spy.

Sikandar, who waged war with the Easterns,
Kept, they say, his tent-door towards the west.

When Bahman wished to go to Záwulistán,
He cast a rumour of (his going to the) left, and went to
the right.

965 If one, besides thee, knows what thy resolve is,—
It is fit to weep over that judgment, and knowledge, and

Exercise liberality;—neither conflict, nor rancour,—
That thou mayst bring a world beneath thy signet-ring.

When a work prospers through courtesy and pleasantness,
What need of severity and arrogance?

Thou wishest not, that thy heart should be sorrowful?
Bring forth from bondage the hearts of those sorrowful.

The army is not powerful by the arm;
Go; ask a blessing from the feeble.

970 The prayer of the hopeful weak ones
Is of more avail than the manly arm.

Whosoever takes to the darwesh, his request for aid,
If he strikes at Firídún, he would overcome him.*