On the Excellence of Contentment
'Lords of wealth, if you were just and we contented, the trade of begging would vanish from the world.'
اى قناعت ! توانگرم گردان
كه وراى تو هيچ نعمت نيست
گنج صبر، اختيار لقمان است
هر كه را صبر نيست ، حكمت نيست
contentment, make me rich
He replied: 'O brother, I am bound to be grateful to the most high Creator for having obtained the inheritance of prophets whilst thou hast attained the inheritance of Pharaoh and of Haman, namely the kingdom of Egypt.'
that ant which is trodden under foot
به نان قناعت كنيم و جامه دلق
كه بار محنت خود به ، كه بار منت خلق
contented with dry bread and a patched robe
Someone said to him: 'Why sittest thou? A certain man in this town possesses a benevolent nature, is liberal to all, has girded his loins to serve the pious and is ready to comfort every heart. If he becomes aware of thy case, he will consider it an obligation to comfort the mind of a worthy person.'
خاموش كه در پسي مردن ، به كه حاجت پيش كسي بردن
'Hush! It is better to die of inanition than to plead for one's necessities before any man.'
همه رقعه دوختن به و الزام كنج صبر
كز بهر جامه ، رقعه بر خواجگان نبشت
حقا كه با عقوبت دوزخ برابر است
رفتن به پايمردى همسايه در بهشت
better to patch clothes and sit in the corner of patience
He went to the Prophet, salutation to him, and complained that although he had been sent to treat the companions, none of them had up to this time taken notice of him or required the services incumbent upon him.
The Apostle, salutation to him, replied:
اين طايفه را طريقتست كه تا اشتها غالب نشود نخورد و هنوز اشتها باقي بود كه دست از طعام بدارند
'It is a law with these people not to eat until appetite overpowers them and when some of it yet remains they withdraw their hands from food.'
The doctor said: 'This is the cause of health', and kissing the earth of service departed.
سخن آنگه كند حكيم آغاز
يا سر انگشت سوى لقمه دراز
كه ز ناگفتنش خلل زايد
يا ز ناخوردنش به جان آيد
لاجرم حكمتش بود گفتار
خوردش تندرستى آرد بار
sage begins to speak
'I think thou art in the habit of eating a great deal and that thy power of restraining appetite is more slender than a hair, whilst an appetite such as thou nourishest would rupture a chain and a day may come when it will tear thee up.'
brought up a wolf's whelp.
He replied: 'The weight of one hundred dirhams will be enough.'
The king queried: 'What strength will this quantity give me?'
'This quantity will carry thee, and whatever is more than that, thou wilt be the carrier of it.'
It happened that they were captured at the gate of a town on suspicion of being spies; whereon each of them was confined in a closet and the aperture of it walled up with mud bricks. After two weeks it became known that they were guiltless.
Accordingly the doors were opened and the strong man was found to be dead whilst the weak fellow had remained alive.
The people were astonished but a sage averred that the contrary would have been astonishing because one of them having been voracious possessed no strength to suffer hunger and perished whilst the other who was abstemious merely persevered in his habit and remained safe.
چو كم خوردن طبيعت شد كسى را
چو سختى پيشش آيد سهل گيرد
وگر تن پرور است اندر فراخى
چو تنگى بيند از سختى بميرد
eating little has become the nature of a man
The boy replied: 'O father, it is hunger that kills. Hast thou not heard of the maxim of the ingenious that it is better to die satiated than to bear hunger?'
اندازه نگهدار ،كلوا واشربو و لا تسرفوا
'Be moderate. Eat and drink but not to excess.'
نه چندان بخور كز دهانت برآيد
نه چندان كه از ضعف ، جانت برآيد
so much that it comes up to thy mouth
با آنكه در وجود، طعام است عيش نفس
رنج آورد طعام كه بيش از قدر بود
گر گلشكر خورى به تكلف ، زيان كند
ور نان خشك دير خورى گلشكر بود
Although maintenance of life depends upon food
معده چو كج گشت و شكم درد خاست
سود ندارد همه اسباب راست
the bowels are full and the belly pains
The companions had become weary of his reproaches but had no other remedy than to bear them; and one of them who was a pious man remarked:
'It is more easy to pacify a hungry stomach with promises of food than a grain dealer with promises of money.'
ترك احسان خواجه اوليتر
كاحتمال جفاى بوابان
preferable to be without the bounty of a gentleman
به تمناى گوشت ، مردن به
كه تقاضاى زشت قصابان
better to die wishing for meat
but it is related that the said merchant was also well known for his avarice.
گر بجاى نانش اندر سفره بودى آفتاب
تا قيامت روز روشن ، كس نديدى در جهان
If instead of bread he had
the sun in his table-cloth
The warrior replied:
'If I ask for the medicine he will either give it or refuse it and if he gives it maybe it will profit me, and maybe not. At any rate the inconvenience of asking it from him is a lethal poison.'
هرچه از دو نان به منت خواستى
در تن افزودى و از جان كاستى
Whatever thou obtainest by
entreaties from base men
And philosophers have said:
آب حيات اگر فروشند به آب روي ، دانا نخرد كه مردن به علت ، به از زندگاني بمذلت
'If for instance the water of life were to be exchanged for a good reputation, no wise man would purchase it because it is preferable to die with honor than to live in disgrace.'
اگر حنظل خورى از دست خوشخو
به از شيرينى از دست ترشروى
To eat coloquinth from the
hand of a sweet-tempered man
ز بخت روى ترش كرده پيش يار عزيز
مرو كه عيش بر او نيز تلخ گردانى
به حاجتى كه روى تازه روى و خندان رو
فرو نبندد كار گشاده پيشانى
With a face made sad by
misfortune, to a dear friend
It is related that the great man augmented his stipend a little but considerably diminished his familiarity towards him and when he perceived after some days that it was not as usual, he recited:
'Evil is the food which the
time of degradation acquires.
نانم افزود آبرويم كاست
بينوايى به از مذلت خواست
He increased my bread but
diminished my honour.
The dervish answering that he had no acquaintance with him, the man proposed to show him the house and when the dervish entered he caught sight of a person with hanging lips and sitting morosely.
He returned immediately and being asked what he had done replied: 'I excused him from making me a present when I saw his face.'
مبر حاجت به نزد ترشروى
كه از خوى بدش فرسوده گردى
اگر گويى غم دل با كسى گوى
كه از رويش به نقد آسوده گردى
Carry not thy necessity to a
نماند جانورى از وحش و طير و ماهى و مور
كه بر فلك نشد از بى مرادى افغانش
عجب كه دو دل خلق جمع مى نشود
كه ابر گردد و سيلاب ديده بارانش
was no wild beast, fowl, fish or ant
In such a year there was an hermaphrodite. I owe it to my friends not to describe him because it would be an abandonment of good manners, especially in the presence of great men. On the other hand, it would likewise be improper and in the way of negligence not to mention anything about him because certain people would impute it to the ignorance of the narrator.
Accordingly I shall briefly describe him in the following two distiches because a little indicates much and a handful is a sample of a donkey load.
اگر تتر بكشد اين مهنث را
تترى را دگر نبايد كشت
چند باشد چو جسر بغدادش
آب در زير و آدمى در پشت
Tatar slays that hermaphrodite
long will he be like the bridge of Baghdad
Such a man, a portion of whose eulogy thou hast now heard, possessed in that year boundless wealth, bestowed silver and gold upon the needy and laid out tables for travelers.
A company of dervishes who were by the presence of distress on the point of starvation were inclined to accept of his hospitality and consulted me on the subject but I struck my head back from assenting and replied:
نخورد شير نيم خورده سگ
ور بمير به سختى اندر غار
does not eat the half of which a dog consumed
گر فريدون شود به نعمت و ملك
بى هنر را به هيچ كس مشمار
getting rich in wealth and property like Faridun
'Yes, one day I slaughtered forty camels to entertain Arab Amirs. I had occasion to go out on some business into a corner of the desert, where I noticed a gatherer of briars, who had accumulated a hillock of thistles, and I asked him why he had not become a guest of Hatim since many people had come round to his banquet but he replied:
هر كه نان از عمل خويش خورد
منت حاتم طائى نبرد
"Who eats bread by the work
of his own hand
Then I saw that his sentiments were more exalted than mine.'
Moses accordingly prayed and departed but returning a few days afterwards he saw that the dervish was a prisoner and surrounded by a crowd of people. On asking for the reason he was informed that the dervish had drunk wine, quarreled, slain a man and was to be executed in retaliation.
گربه مسكين اگر پر داشتى
تخم گنجشك از جهان برداشتى
عاجز باشد كه دست قوت يابد
برخيزد و دست عاجزان برتابد
If the humble cat possessed
And if Allah were to bestow abundance upon his servants, they would certainly rebel upon earth.
ماذا اخاضك يا مغرور في الخطر
حتي هلكت فليت النمل لم يطر
What has made thee wade into
danger, O fool,
بنده چو جاه آمد و سيم و زرش
سيلى خواهد به ضرورت سرش
آن نشنيدى كه فلاطون چه گفت
مور همان به كه نباشد پرش ؟
When a base fellow obtains
dignity, silver and gold,
The heavenly father has plenty of honey but the son has a hot disease.
آن كس كه توانگرت نمى گرداند
او مصلحت تو از تو بهتر داند
He who does not make thee
'I had once lost my road in the desert and consumed all my provisions. I considered that I must perish when I suddenly caught sight of a bag full of pearls and I shall never forget the joy and ecstasy I felt on thinking they might be parched grain nor the bitterness and despair when I discovered them to be pearls.'
در بيابان خشك و ريگ روان
تشنه را در دهان ، چه در چه صدف
مرد بى توشه كاو فتاد از پاى
بر كمربند او چه زر، چه خزف
In a dry desert and among
'Would that before my death
In the same manner another traveler lost himself in an extensive region having neither any strength nor food left but he possessed some money and roamed about and the road leading him nowhere he perished from exhaustion.
Some people afterwards discovered his corpse with the money in front of it and the following written on the ground:
گر همه زر جعفرى دارد
مرد بى توشه برنگيرد كام
در بيابان فقير سوخته را
شلغم پخته به كه نقره خام
If possessed of all the
مرغ بريان به چشم مردم سير
كمتر از برگ تره بر خوان است
و آنكه را دستگاه و قوت نيست
شلغم پخته مرغ بريان است
'A roast fowl is to the sight
of a satiated man
One of the viziers, however, objected alleging that it was unworthy of the high dignity of a Padshah (King) to take refuge in the house of a Dehqan and that it would be best to pitch tents and to light fires on the spot.
The Dehqan who had become aware of what was taking place prepared some food he had ready in his house, offered it, kissed the ground of service and said:
'The high dignity of the sultan would not have been so much lowered, but the courtiers did not wish the dignity of the Dehqan to become high.'
The king who was pleased with these words moved for the night into the man's house and bestowed a dress of honor upon him the next morning.
When he accompanied the king a few paces at the departure he was heard to say:
ز قدر و شوكت سلطان نگشت چيزى كم
از التفات به مهمانسراى دهقانى
كلاه گوشه دهقان به آفتاب رسد
كه سايه بر سرش انداخت چون تو سلطانى
'Nothing was lost of the
sultan's power and pomp
The miser replied: 'It is not befitting the power and dignity of a Padshah (King) to soil the hands of his noble aspirations with the property of an individual like myself who has collected it grain by grain.'
The king replied: 'It does not matter because the money will be spent upon infidels: The wicked women should be joined to the wicked men."
If the water of a Christian's
well is impure
They said: 'The lime-mortar
is not clean.'
I heard that he refused to comply with the behest of the king, began to argue and to look insolently; whereon the king ordered the sum in question to be released from his grasp by force and with a reprimand.
If an affair cannot be
accomplished with gentleness
One evening in the oasis of Kish he took me into his apartment and taking all night no rest kept up an incoherent gabble, saying: 'I have such and such a warehouse in Turkestan, such and such goods in Hindostan; this is the title-deed of such and such an estate and in this affair such and such a man is security.'
He said: 'I intend to go to Alexandria because it has a good climate', and correcting himself continued: 'No, because the African sea is boisterous. O Sa'di, I have one journey more to undertake and after performing it I shall during the rest of my life sit in a corner and enjoy contentment.'
I asked: 'What journey is that?'
He replied: 'I shall carry Persian brimstone to China because I heard that it fetched a high price. I shall also carry Chinese porcelain to Rum and Rumi brocade to India and Indian steel to Aleppo, convey glass-ware of Aleppo to Yemen, striped cloth of Yemen to Pares. After that I shall abandon trading and shall sit down in a shop.'
He had talked so much of this nonsense that no more strength remained in him so he said: 'O Sa'di, do thou also tell me something of what thou hast seen and heard.'
آن شنيدستى كه در اقصاى غور
بار سالارى بيفتاد از ستور
گفت : چشم تنگ دنيادوست را
يا قناعت پر كند يا خاك گور
'Thou mayest have heard that
in the plain of Ghur
In short, no one had seen the door of his house open or his table-doth spread.
درويش بجز بوى طعامش نشنيدى
مرغ از پس نان خوردن او ريزه نچيدى
The dervish got nothing of
his food except the smell.
I heard that he was sailing in the Mediterranean with the pride of Pharaoh in his head-according to the words of the most high, Until drowning overtook him-when all of a sudden a contrary wind befell the ship, as it is said:
با طبع ملولت چه كند هر كه نسازد؟
شرطه همه وقتى نبود لايق كشتى
What can thy heart do to thy
distressed nature for the wind is not fair?
He uplifted the hands of supplication and began to lament in vain but Allah the most high has commanded: When they sail in a ship they call upon Allah, sincerely exhibiting unto him their religion.
دست تضرع چه سود بنده محتاج را؟
وقت دعا بر خداى ، وقت كرم در بغل
what use is the hand of supplication to a needy worshipper
از زر و سيم ، راحتى برسان
خويشتن هم تمتعى برگير
وآنگه اين خانه كز تو خواهد ماند
خشتى از سيم و خشتى از زرگير
Bestow comfort with gold and
It is narrated that he had poor relations in Egypt who became rich by the remainder of his wealth, tearing up their old cloths and cutting new ones of silk and of Damiari.
During the same week I also beheld one of them riding a fleet horse with a fairy-faced slave boy at his heels. I said:
وه كه گر مرده باز گرديدى
به ميان قبيله و پيوند
رد ميراث ، سخت تر بودى
وارثان را ز مرگ خويشاوند
'Wah! If the dead man were
On account of the acquaintance which had formerly subsisted between us, I pulled his sleeve, and said:
بخور، اين نيك سيرت سره مرد
كان نگونبخت گرد كرد و نخورد
'Eat thou, O virtuous and
شد غلامى كه آب جوى آرد
جوى آب آمد و غلام ببرد
دام هر بار ماهى آوردى
ماهى اين بار رفت و دام ببرد
A boy went to bring water
from the torrent.
The other fishermen were sorry and blamed him for not being able to retain such a fish which had fallen into his net.
He replied: 'O brothers, what can be done? My day was not lucky but the fish had yet one remaining.
صياد بي روزي در دجله نگيرد و ماهي بي اجل بر خشك نميرد
A fisherman cannot catch a fish in the Tigris without a day of luck and a fish cannot die on dry ground without the decree of fate.
'Praised be Allah! In spite of the thousand feet he possessed he could not escape from a man without hands and feet when his fate had overtaken him.'
چون آيد ز پى دشمن جان ستان
ببندد اجل پاى اسب دوان
در آن دم كه دشمن پياپى رسيد
كمان كيانى نشايد كشيد
When the life-taking foe comes in the rear
I replied: 'It is like ugly characters scrawled with gold-water.'
قد شابه بالوري حمار
عجلا جسدا له خوار
Verily he is like an ass among men,
به آدمى نتوان گفت ماند اين حيوان
مگر دراعه و دستار و نقش بيرونش
بگرد در همه اسباب و ملك و هستى او
كه هيچ چيز نبينى حلال جز خونش
This animal cannot be said to resemble a man
If a noble man becomes impoverished imagine not
دست دراز از پى يك حبه سيم
به كه ببرند به دانگى و نيم
'To hold out the hand for a grain of silver
فضل و هنر ضايع است تا ننمايد
عود بر آتش نهند و مشك بشايند
Excellence and skill are lost unless exhibited.
happiness does not consist in exertion and that the remedy against want is in the moderation of desires.
كسى نتواند گرفت دامن دولت به زور
كوشش بى فايده است ، وسمه بر ابروى كور
No one can grasp the skirt of
luck by force.
اگر به هر مويت دو صد هنر باشد
هنر به كار نيايد چو بخت بد باشد
If thou hast two hundred accomplishments for each
hair of thy head
What can an athlete do with adverse luck?
The son rejoined: 'Father, the advantages of travel are many, such as recreation of the mind entailing profit, seeing of wonderful and hearing of strange things, recreation in cities, associating with friends, acquisition of dignity, rank, property, the power of discriminating among acquaintances and gaining experience of the world, as the travelers in the Tariqat (Mystic way of life) have said:
تا به دكان و خانه در گروى
هرگز اى خام ! آدم نشوى
برو اندر جهان تفرج كن
پيش از آن روز كه ، كز جهان بروى
As long as thou walkest about the shop or the house
The father replied: 'My son, the advantages of travel such as thou hast enumerated them are countless but they regard especially five classes of men:
firstly, a merchant who possesses in consequence of his wealth and power graceful male and female slaves and quick-handed assistants, alights every day in another town and every night in another place, has recreation every moment and sometimes enjoys the delights of the world.'
منعم به كوه و دشت و بيابان غريب نيست
هر جا كه رفت خيمه زد و خوابگاه ساخت
آن را كه بر مراد جهان نيست دسترس
در زاد و بوم خويش غريب است و ناشناخت
A rich man is not a stranger in mountain, desert or
Secondly, a scholar, who is for the pleasantness of his speech, the power of his eloquence and the fund of his instruction, waited upon and honored wherever he goes.
وجود مردم دانا مثال زر طلى است
كه هر كجا برود قدر و قيمتش دانند
بزرگ زاده نادان به شهر واماند
كه در ديار غريبش به هيچ نستانند
The presence of a learned man is like pure gold
Thirdly, handsome fellows with whom the souls of pious men are inclined to commingle because it has been said that:
a little beauty is better than much wealth.
An attractive face is also said to be a slave to despondent hearts and the key to locked doors, wherefore the society of such a person is everywhere known to be very acceptable:
شاهد آنجا كه رود، حرمت و عزت بيند
ور برانند به قهرش ، پدر و مادر خويش
A beautiful person meets with honor and respect
پر طاووس در اوراق مصاحفديدم
هر كجا پاى نهد دست ندارندش پيش
I have seen a peacock feather in the leaves of the
It said: 'Hush, whoever is endowed with beauty,
چو در پسر موافقى و دلبرى بود
انديشه نيست گر پدر از وى برى بود
او گوهر است ، گو صدفش در جهان مباش
در يتيم را همه كس مشترى بود
When a boy is symmetrical and
Fourthly, one with a sweet voice, who retains, with a David-like throat, water from flowing and birds from soaring. By means of this talent he holds the hearts of people captive and religious men are delighted to associate with him.
My audition is intent on the beautiful melody.
چه خوش باشد آهنگ نرم حزين
به گوش حريفان مست صبوح
به از روى زيباست آواز خوش
كه آن حظ نفس است و اين قوت روح
How pleasant is the gentle and melancholy lay
Fifthly, the artisan, who gains a sufficient livelihood by the strength of his arm, so that his reputation is not lost in struggling for bread; as wise men have said:
گر به غريبى رود از شهر خويش
سختى و محنت نبرد پنبه دوز
ور به خرابى فتد ار مملكت
گرسنه خفتد ملك نيم روز
If he goes abroad from his own town
The qualities which I have explained, 0 my son, are in a journey the occasion of satisfaction to the mind, stimulants to a happy life but he, who possesses none of them, goes with idle fancies into the world and no one will ever hear anything about his name and fame.
هر آنكه گردش گيتى به كين او برخاست
به غير مصلحتش رهبرى كند ايام
كبوترى كه دگر آشيان نخواهد ديد
قضا همى بردش تا به سوى دانه دام
He whom the turning world is to afflict
The son asked:
'O father, how can I act contrary to the injunctions of the wise, who have said, that although food is distributed by predestination the acquisition of it depends upon exertion and that, although a calamity may be decreed by fate, it is incumbent on men to show the gates by which it may enter?
رزق اگر چند بى گمان برسد
شرط عقل است جستن از درها
ورچه كس بى اجل نخواهد مرد
تو مرو در دهان اژدرها
'Although daily food may come unawares
'As I am at present able to cope with a mad elephant and to wrestle with a furious lion, it is proper, O father, that I should travel abroad because I have no longer the endurance to suffer misery.
چون مرد در فتاد ز جاى و مقام خويش
ديگر چه غم خورد، همه آفاق جاى او است
'When a man has fallen from his place and station
شب هر توانگرى به سرايى همى روند
درويش هر كجا كه شب آمد سراى او است
At night every rich man goes to an inn.
After saying this, he asked for the good wishes of his father, took leave of him, departed and said to himself:
هنرور چو بختش نباشد به كام
به جايى رود كش ندانند نام
'A skilful man, when his luck does not favor him,
He reached the banks of a water, the force of which was such that it knocked stones against each other and its roaring was heard to a farsang's (mile's) distance.
سهمگين آبى كه مرغابى در او ايمن نبود
كمترين اوج ، آسيا سنگ از كنارش در ربود
A dreadful water, in which even aquatic birds were
He beheld a crowd of people, every person sitting with a coin of money at the crossing-place, intent on a passage. The youth's hands of payment being tied, he opened the tongue of laudation and although he supplicated the people greatly, they paid no attention and said:
زر ندارى نتوان رفت به زور از دريا
زور ده مرده چه باشد، زر يك مرده بيار
'No violence can be done to anyone without money
An unkind boatman laughed at him and said:
'If thou hast no money thou canst not cross the
river by force.
The young man's heart was irritated by the insult of the boatman and longed to take vengeance upon him. The boat had, however, started; accordingly he shouted: 'If thou wilt be satisfied with the robe I am wearing, I shall not grudge giving it to thee.'
The boatman was greedy and turned the vessel back.
بدوزد شره ديده هوشمند
در آرد طمع ، مرغ و ماهى ببند
Desire sews up the vision of a shrewd man.
As soon as the young man's hand could reach the beard and collar of the boatman, he immediately knocked him down and a comrade of the boatman, who came from the vessel to rescue him, experienced the same rough treatment and turned back.
The rest of the people then thought proper to pacify the young man and to condone his passage money.
چو پرخاش بينى تحمل بيار
كه سهلى ببندد در كار زار
When thou seest a quarrel be forbearing
Use kindness when thou seest contention.
به شيرين زبانى و لطف و خوشى
توانى كه پيلى به مويى كشى
By a sweet tongue, grace, and kindliness,
Then the people fell at his feet, craving pardon for what had passed. They impressed some hypocritical kisses upon his head and his eyes, received him into the boat and started, progressing till they reached a pillar of Yunani (Greek) workmanship, standing in the water.
The boatman said: 'The vessel is in danger. Let one of you, who is the strongest, go to the pillar and take the cable of the boat that we may save the vessel.'
The young man, in the pride of bravery which he had in his head, did not think of the offended foe and did not mind the maxim of wise men who have said:
'If thou hast given offence to one man and afterwards done him a hundred kindnesses, do not be confident that he will not avenge himself for that one offence, because although the head of a spear may come out, the memory of an offence will remain in the heart.'
چو خوش گفت بكتاش با خيل تاش
چو دشمن خراشيدى ايمن مباش
'How well,' said Yaktash to Khiltash,
مشو ايمن كه تنگ دل گردى
چون ز دستت دلى به تنگ آيد
سنگ بر باره حصار مزن
كه بود از حصار سنگ آيد
Be not unconcerned for thou wilt be afflicted
As soon as he had taken the rope of the boat on his arm, he climbed to the top of the pillar, whereon the boatman snatched it from his grasp and pushed the boat off.
The helpless man was amazed and spent two days in misery and distress. On the third, sleep took hold of his collar and threw him into the water. After one night and day he was cast on the bank, with some life still remaining in him.
He began to eat leaves of trees and to pull out roots of grass so that when he had gained a little strength, he turned towards the desert and walked till thirst began to torment him. He at last reached a well and saw people drinking water for a pashizi but possessing none he asked for a coin and showed his destitute condition.
The people had, however, no mercy with him, whereon he began to insult them but likewise ineffectually. Then he knocked down several men but was at last overpowered, struck and wounded:
پشه چو پر شد بزند پيل را
با همه تندى و صلابت كه او است
مورچگان را چو بود اتفاق
شير ژيان را بدرانند پوست
A swarm of gnats will overpower an elephant
As a matter of necessity he lagged in the rear of the caravan, which reached in the evening a locality very dangerous on account of thieves. The people of the caravan trembled in all their limbs but he said: 'Fear nothing because I alone am able to cope with fifty men and the other youths of the caravan will aid me.'
These boastful words comforted the heart of the caravan-people, who became glad of his company and considered it incumbent upon themselves to supply him with food and water.
The fire of the young man's stomach having blazed into flames and deprived his hands of the bridle of endurance, hunger made him partake of some morsels of food and take a few draughts of water, till the dev of his interior was set at rest and he fell asleep. An experienced old fellow, who was in the caravan, said:
'O ye people, I am more afraid of this guard of yours than of the thieves because there is a story that:
a stranger had accumulated some dirhams but could not sleep in the house for fear of the Luris. Accordingly he invited one of his friends to dispel the terrors of solitude by his company. He spent several nights with him, till he became aware that he had money and took it, going on a journey after spending it. When the people saw the stranger naked and weeping the next morning, a man asked:
"What is the matter? Perhaps a thief has stolen those dirhams of mine?"
He replied: "No, by Allah. The guard has stolen them."'
رگز ايمن ز مار ننشستم
كه بدانستم آنچه خصلت او است
زخم دندان دشمنى بتر است
كه نمايد به چشم مردم دوست
I never sat secure from a serpent
'How do you know whether this man is not one of the band of thieves and has followed us as a spy to inform his comrades on the proper occasion? According to my opinion we ought to depart and let him sleep.'
The youths approved of the old man's advice and became suspicious of the athlete, took up their baggage and departed, leaving him asleep. He knew this when the sun shone upon his shoulders and perceived that the caravan had started. He roamed about a great deal without finding the way and thirsty as well as dismayed as he was, he sat down on the ground, with his heart ready to perish, saying:
Who will speak to me after the yellow camels have
درشتى كند با غريبان كسى
كه نابود باشد به غربت بسى
He uses harshness towards strangers
The poor man was speaking thus whilst the son of a king who happened to be in a hunting party, strayed far from the troops, was standing over his head, listening.
He looked at the figure of the athlete, saw that his outward appearance was respectable but his condition miserable. He then asked him whence he had come and how he had fallen into this place.
The athlete briefly informed him of what had taken place, whereon the royal prince, moved by pity, presented him with a robe of honor and a large sum of money and sent a confidential man to accompany him till he again reached his native town.
His father was glad to see him and expressed gratitude at his safety.
In the evening he narrated to his father what had befallen him with the boat, mentioned the violence of the boatman, the harshness of the rustics near the well and the treachery of the caravan people on the road.
The father replied: 'My son, have not I told thee at thy departure that the brave hands of empty-handed persons are like the broken paw of a lion?'
چو خوش گفت آن تهى دست سلحشور
جوى زر بهتر از پنجاه من زور
How well has that empty-handed fighter said:
The son replied:
'O father, thou wilt certainly not obtain a treasure except by trouble, wilt not overcome thy foe unless thou hazardest thy life and wilt not gather a harvest unless thou scatterest seed. Perceivest thou not how much comfort I gained at the cost of the small amount of trouble I underwent and what a quantity of honey I have brought in return for the sting I have suffered.
گرچه بيرون ز رزق نتوان خورد
در طلب كاهلى نشايد كرد
Although not more can be acquired than fate has
غواص اگر انديشه كند كام نهنگ
هرگز نكند در گرانمايه به چنگ
If a diver fears the crocodile's throat
The nether millstone is immovable, and therefore must bear a heavy load.
چو خورد شير شرزه در بن غار؟
باز افتاده را چه قوت بود
تا تو در خانه صيد خواهى كرد
دست و پايت چو عنكبوت بود
What will a fierce lion devour at the bottom of his
The father said to his son:
'On this occasion heaven has been propitious to thee and good luck helpful so that a royal person has met thee, has been bountiful to thee and has thereby healed thy broken condition. Such coincidences occur seldom and rare events cannot be reckoned upon.'
صياد نه هر بار شگالى ببرد
افتد كه يكى روز پلنگى بخورد
The hunter does not catch every time a jackal.
Thus it happened that one of the kings of Pares, who possessed a ring with a costly beazle, once went out by way of diversion with some intimate courtiers to the Masalla of Shiraz and ordered his ring to be placed on the dome of Asad, promising to bestow the seal-ring upon any person who could make an arrow pass through it.
It happened that every one of the four hundred archers in his service missed the ring, except a little boy who was shooting arrows in sport at random and in every direction from the flat roof of a monastery. The morning breeze caused his arrow to pass through the ring, whereon he obtained not only the ring but also a robe of honor and a present of money.
It is related that the boy burnt his bow and arrows and on being asked for the cause replied: 'That the first splendor may be permanent.'
گه بود از حكيم روشن رايى
بر نيايد درست تدبيرى
گاه باشد كه كودكى نادان
به غلط بر هدف زند تيرى
It sometimes happens that an enlightened sage
هر كه بر خود در سوال گشود
تا بميرد نيازمند بود
Who opens to himself a door for begging
آز بگذار و پادشاهى كن
گردن بى طمع بلند بود
Abandon greediness and be a king
One of the kings of that region sent him the information that, trusting in the good manners of the respected dervish, he hoped he would partake of bread and salt with him.
The sheikh agreed because it is according to the Sunnah to accept an invitation. The next day the king paid him a visit, the a'bid. (pious) leapt up, embraced him, caressed him and praised him.
After the monarch's departure the Sheikh was asked by one of his companions why he had, against his custom, paid so many attentions to the Padshah (King), the like of which he had never seen before.
He replied: 'Hast thou not heard that one of the pious said:
هر كه را بر سماط بنشستى
واجب آمد به خدمتش برخاست
"In whose company thou hast been sitting
گوش تواند كه همه عمر وى
نشنود آواز دف و چنگ و نى
ديده شكيبد ز تماشاى باغ
بى گل و نسرين به سر آرد دماغ
Possibly an ear may during a
ور نبود بالش آگنده پر
خواب توان كرد خزف زير سر
ور نبود دلبر همخوابه پيش
دست توان كرد در آغوش خويش
If no feather pillow be at hand
وين شكم بى هنر پيچ پيچ
صبر ندارد كه بسازد به هيچ
But this disreputable twisting belly