Gulistan Saadi (گلستان سعدی) (The Rose Garden of Saadi)
Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa’di Shirazi (1258)
Translated by Richard Francis Burton
Edited & Formatted by Lt Col (R) Muhammad Ashraf Javed
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On Love and Youth
He replied: 'Whatever descends into the heart appears good to the eye.'
هر كه سلطان مريد او باشد
گر همه بد كند، نكو باشد
وآنكه را پادشه بيندازد
كسش از خيل خانه ننوازد
He whose Murid' the sultan is
كسى به ديده انكار گر نگاه كند
نشان صورت يوسف دهد به ناخوبى
و گر به چشم ارادت نگه كنى در ديو
فرشته ايت نمايد به چشم كروبى
If anyone looks with an
خواجه با بنده پرى رخسار
چون درآمد به بازى و خنده
نه عجب كو چو خواجه حكم كند
وين كشد بار ناز چون بنده
When a master with a fairy-faced slave
A slave is to draw water and make bricks.
كوته نكنم ز دامنت دست
ور خود بزنى به تيغ تيزم
بعد از تو ملاذ و ملجاءيى نيست
هم در تو گريزم ، ار گريزم
I shall not let go my hold of thy skirt
I once reproached him, asking him what had become of his exquisite intellect so that it had been overcome by his base proclivity. He meditated a while and then said:
هر كجا سلطان عشق آمد، نماند
قوت بازوى تقوا را محل
پاكدامن چون زيد بيچاره اى
اوفتاده تا گريبان در وحل
'Wherever love has become sultan
چو در چشم شاهد نيايد زرت
زر و خاك يكسان نمايد برت
When thy sweetheart's eye has no regard for gold
I once advised him to abandon his aspiration to a fancy impossible of realization because many persons are enslaved by the same passion like himself, the feet of their hearts being in chains. He lamented and said:
دوستان گو نصيحتم مكنيد
كه مرا ديده بر ارادت او است
جنگجويان به زور و پنجه و كتف
دشمنان را كشند و خوبان دوست
'Tell my friends not to give me advice
It is against the requirements of love to renounce affection to our sweethearts for fear of losing our lives.
تو كه در بند خويشتن باشى
عشق باز دروغ زن باشى
گر نشايد به دوست ره بردن
شرط يارى است در طلب مردن
Thou who art a slave to thy selfishness
I rise as no other source is left to me
گر دست رسد كه آستينش گيرم
ورنه بروم بر آستانش ميرم
If chance serves me I shall take hold of her sleeve.
His friends, who considered his position, pitied his state, gave him advice and at last confined him but all to no purpose.
دردا كه طبيب ، صبر مى فرمايد
وى نفس حريص را شكر مى بايد
Alas, that the physician should prescribe patience,
آن شنيدى كه شاهدى بنهفت
با دل از دست رفته اى مى گفت
تا تو را قدر خويشتن باشد
پيش چشمت چه قدر من باشد؟
Hast thou heard that the mistress secretly
It is related that the royal prince who was the object of his affection had been informed to the effect that a good-natured and sweet-spoken youth was constantly attending on the plain, uttering graceful words; and strange tales having been heard of him, it appeared that his heart is inflamed and that he has a touch of insanity in his head.
The boy knew that his heart had become attached to him and that he had raised this dust of calamity. Accordingly he galloped towards him. When the youth perceived the prince approaching him, he said:
آن كس كه مرا بكشت باز آمد پيش
مانا كه دلش بسوخت بر كشته خويش
'He who has slain me has come back again.
Although he accosted the youth graciously, asking him whence he came and what his occupation was, he was so plunged in the depths of the ocean of love that he could not breathe:
اگر خود هفت سبع از بر بخوانى
چو آشفتى الف ب ت ندانى
If thou recitest the seven portions of the lesson by heart,
The prince said: 'Why speakest thou not to me? I also belong to the circle of dervishes; nay I am even in their service.'
In consequence of the force of the friendly advances of his beloved, he raised his head from the dashing waves of love and said:
عجب است با وجودت كه وجود من بماند
تو به گفتن اندر آيى و مرا سخن بماند
'It is a marvel that with thy existence mine remains
Saying these words he uttered a shout and surrendered his life.
عجب از كشته نباشد به در خيمه دوست
عجب از زنده كه چون جان به در آورد سليم ؟
It would not be strange if he had been slain at his tent door
نه آنچنان به تو مشغولم اى بهشتى روى
كه ياد خويشتنم در ضمير مى آيد
ز ديدنت نتوانم كه ديده در بندم
و گر مقابله بينم كه تير مى آيد
I am not so little occupied with thee, O heavenly face,
Once the boy said to him: 'As thou strivest to direct my studies, direct also my behavior. If thou perceivest anything reprovable in my conduct, although it may seem approvable to me, inform me thereof that I may endeavor to change it.'
He replied: 'O boy, make that request to someone else because the eyes with which I look upon thee behold nothing but virtues.'
چشم بدانديش كه بر كنده باد
عيب نمايد هنرش در نظر
ور هنرى دارى و هفتاد عيب
دوست نبيند بجز آن يك هنر
The ill-wishing eye, be it torn out
A vision appeared in the night and by its appearance the darkness was illuminated.
شگفت آمد از بختم كه اين دولت از كجا؟
I was amazed at my luck exclaiming whence this felicity?
He took a seat and began reproving me saying that when I beheld him I extinguished the lamp.
I said: 'I thought the sun had risen and wits have said:
چون گرانى به پيش شمع آيد
خيزش اندر ميان جمع بكش
ور شكر خنده اى است شيرين لب
آستينش بگير و شمع بكش
When an ugly person comes before the lamp
He replied: 'To be longing is better than to be satisfied.'
دير آمدى اى نگار سرمست
زودت ندهيم دامن از دست
معشوقه كه دير دير بينند
آخر كم از آنكه سير بينند؟
Thou hast come late, O intoxicated idol,
به يك نفس كه برآميخت يار با اغيار
بسى نماند كه غيرت ، وجود من بكشد
When thou comest with friends to visit me
If my sweetheart associates one moment with strangers
به خنده گفت كه من شمع جمعم اى سعدى
مرا از آن چه كه پروانه خويشتن بكشد؟
She said smiling: 'I am the lamp of the assembly, O Sa'di,
I replied: 'I thought it would be a pity that the eyes of a messenger should be brightened by thy beauty and I deprived thereof.'
Tell my old friend not to give me advice with the tongue
I said once to him by way of consolation:
'I know thou entertainest no worldly motive nor inclination for baseness. It is nevertheless unbecoming the dignity of a scholar to expose himself to suspicions and to bear the persecutions of manner less persons.'
'O friend, take off the hand of reproach from my skirt because I have often meditated on the opinion which thou entertainest but have found it easier to bear persecution for his sake than not to see him; and philosophers have said that:
it is easier to accustom the heart to strife, than to turn away the eye from seeing the beloved.
Who has his heart with a heart-ravisher
آنكه نبات عارضش آب حيات مى خورد
در شكرش نگه كند هر كه نبات مى خورد
He, the down of whose cheek drinks the water of immortality,
I happened to notice something in his behavior which was contrary to nature and not approved of by me. Accordingly I gathered up my skirt from him and, picking up the pieces of the chess-game of friendship, recited:
برو هر چه مى بايدت پيش گير
سر ما ندارى سر خويش گير
'Go and do as thou listest.
I heard him saying when he went away:
شب پره گر وصل آفتاب نخواهد
رونق بازار آفتاب نكاهد
'If the bat desires not union with the sun
Saying this, he departed and his distress took effect on me:
بازى آى و مرا بكش كه پيشت مردن
خوشتر كه پس از تو زندگانى كردن
I lost the time of union and man is ignorant
Return. Slay me. For to die in thy presence
Thanks be to the bounty of God, he returned some time afterwards but his melodious voice had changed, his Joseph like beauty had faded, on the apple of his skin dust had settled as upon a quince so that the splendour of his beauty had departed. He wanted me to embrace him. I complied and said:
آن روز كه خط شاهدت بود
صاحب نظر از نظر براندى
امروز بيامدى به صلحش
كش ضمه و فتحه بر نشاندى
'On the day when thou hadst a beauteous incipient beard
تازه بهارا! ورقت زرد شد
ديگ منه كاتش ما سرد شد
چند خرامى و تكبر كنى
دولت پارينه تصور كنى ؟
پيش كسى رو كه طلبكار تو است
ناز بر آن كن كه خريدار تو است
His fresh spring is gone and he has become yellow.
سبزه در باغ گفته اند خوش است
داند آن كه اين سخن گويد
يعنى از روى نيكوان خط سبز
دل عشاق بيشتر جويد
بوستان تو گند نازايست
بس كه بر مى كنى و مى رويد
They said: "Verdure in the garden is pleasing."
گر صبر كنى ور نكنى موى بناگوش
اين دولت ايام نكويى به سر آيد
گر دست به جان داشتمى همچو تو بر ريش
نگذاشتمى تا به قيامت كه برآيد
Whether thou pluckest out thy beard or not
سؤ ال كردم و گفتم : جمال روى تو را
چه شد كه مورچه بر گرد ماه جوشيده است ؟
I asked and said: What has befallen the beauty of thy face
جواب داد ندانم چه بود رويم را
مگر به ماتم حسنم سياه پوشيده است
He replied, smiling: "I know not what is the matter
with my face.
He replied: 'There is no good in them for when one of them is yet delicate and wanted he is insolent; but when he becomes rough and is not wanted he is affable.'
امرد آنگه كه خوب و شيرين است
تلخ گفتار و تند خوى بود
چون به ريش آمد و به لعنت شد
مردم آمير و مهرجوى بود
When a beardless youth is beautiful and sweet
اگر از مه رويان بسلامت بماند از بدگويان نماند
If he remains in safety from the moon-faced one, he will not remain safe from evil speakers.'
If a man escapes from his own bad lust
شايد پس كار خويشتن بنشستن
ليكن نتوان زبان مردم بستن
It is proper to sit down to one's own work
'What a loathsome aspect is this! What an odious figure! What cursed object with rude habits! 0 crow of separation, would that the distance of the east from the west were between us.'
على الصباح به روى تو هر كه برخيزد
صباح روز سلامت بر او مسا باشد
به اخترى چو تو در صحبت بايستى
ولى چنين كه تويى در جهان كجا باشد؟
Whoever beholds thee when he rises in the morning
More strange still, the crow was similarly distressed by the proximity of the parrot and, having become disgusted, was shouting 'La haul', and lamenting the vicissitudes of time. He rubbed the claws of sorrow against each other and said:
'What ill-luck is this? What base destiny and chameleon like times? It was befitting my dignity to strut about on a garden-wall in the society of another crow.
پارسا را بس اين قدر زندان
كه بود هم طويله رندان
'It is sufficient imprisonment for a devote
'What sin have I committed that I have already in this life, as a punishment for it, fallen into the bonds of this calamity in company with such a conceited, uncongenial and heedless fool?'
كس نيايد به پاى ديوارى
كه بر آن صورتت نگار كنند
گر تو را در بهشت باشد جاى
ديگران دوزخ اختيار كنند
No one will approach the foot of the wall
I have added this parable to let thee know that no matter how much a learned man may hate an ignorant man the latter hates him equally.
زاهدى در سماع رندان بود
زان ميان گفت شاهدى بلخى
گر ملولى ز ما ترش منشين
كه تو هم در ميان ما تلخى
A hermit was among profligates
جمعى چو گل و لاله به هم پيوسته
تو هيزم خشك در ميانى رسته
چون باد مخالف و چو سرما ناخوش
چون برف نشسته اى و چون يخ بسته
An assembly joined together like roses and tulips!
Despite of all this, however, mutual attachment of heart still subsisted between us because I heard him one day reciting in an assembly the following two distiches of my composition:
نگار من چو در آيد به خنده نمكين
نمك زياده كند بر جراحت ريشان
چه بودى ار سر زلفش به دستم افتادى
چو آستين كريمان به دست درويشان
When my sweetheart enters sweetly smiling
Some friends bore witness not so much to the gracefulness of these verses as to the beauty of my conduct which they approved; and among the rest, the said friend likewise added his share of praise, regretting the loss of our former companionship and confessing his fault so that his affection became known. Accordingly I sent the following distiches and made peace:
نه ما را در ميان عهد و وفا بود
جفا كردى و بد عهدى نمودى ؟
به يك بار از جهان دل در تو بستم
ندانستم كه برگردى به زودى
هنوز گر سر صلح است بازآى
كز آن مقبولتر باشى كه بودى
Was not there a covenant of friendship between us?
The man saw no means of escaping from contact with her until a company of friends paid him a visit of condolence and one of them asked him how he bore the loss of his beloved.
He replied: 'It is not as painful not to see my wife as to see the mother of my wife.'
گل به تاراج رفت و خار بماند
گنج برداشتند و مار بماند
The rose has been destroyed and the thorn remained.
ديده بر تارك سنان ديدن
خوشتر از روى دشمنان ديدن
واجب است از هزار دوست بريد
تا يكى دشمنت نبايد ديد
It is better that one's eye be fixed on a spear-head
My weak human nature being unable to endure the scorching sun, I took refuge in the shadow of a wall, wishing someone might relieve me from the summer heat and quench my fire with some water; and lo, all of a sudden, from the darkness of the porch of a house a light shone forth, namely a beauty, the grace of which the tongue of eloquence is unable to describe.
She came out like the rising dawn after an obscure night or the water of immortality gushing from a dark cavern, carrying in her hand a bowl of snow-water, into which sugar had been poured and essence of roses mixed. I knew not whether she had perfumed it with rose-water or whether a few drops from her rosy face had fallen into it.
In short, I took the beverage from her beautiful hands, drank it and began to live again.
The thirst of my heart cannot be quenched
خرم آن فرخنده طالع را كه چشم
بر چنين روى اوفتد هر بامداد
مست بيدار گردد نيم شب
مست ساقى روز محشر بامداد
Blessed is the man of happy destiny whose eye
معلمت همه شوخى و دلبرى آموخت
جفا و عتاب و ستمگرى آموخت
من آدمى به چنين شكل و خوى و قد و روش
نديده ام مگر اين شيوه از پرى آموخت
Thy master has taught thee to coquet and to ravish hearts,
He was holding in his hand the introduction to Zamaksharni's Arabic syntax and reciting:
Zaid struck Amru and was the injurer of Amru.
I said: 'Boy! Khowarzam and Khata have concluded peace, and the quarrel between Zaid and Amru still subsists!'
He smiled and asked for my birthplace.
I replied: 'The soil of Shiraz.'
He continued: 'What rememberest thou of the compositions of Sa'di?'
بليت بنحوي يصول مغاضبا
علي كزيد في مقابله العمرو
علي جر ذيل يرفع راسه
و هل يستقيم الرفع من عامل الجر
'I am tired by a nahvi who makes a furious attack
He considered awhile and then said: 'Most of his poetry current in this country is in the Persian language. If thou wilt recite some, it will be more easily understood.'
Then I said:
طبع تو را تا هوس نحو كرد
صورت صبر از دل ما محو كرد
اى دل عشاق به دام تو صيد
ما به تو مشغول تو با عمرو و زيد
'When thy nature has enticed thee with syntax
The next morning, when I was about to depart, some people told him that I was Sa'di, whereon he came running to me and politely expressed his regret that I had not revealed my identity before so that he might have girded his loins to serve me in token of the gratitude due to the presence of a great man.
In spite of thy presence no voice came to say: I am he.
He also said: 'What would it be if thou wert to spend in this country some days in repose that we might derive advantage by serving thee?'
I replied: 'I cannot on account of the following adventure which occurred to me:
بزرگى ديدم اندر كوهسارى
قناعت كرده از دنيا به غارى
چرا گفتم : به شهر اندر نيايى
كه بارى ، بندى از دل برگشايى
I beheld an illustrious man in a mountain region
بگفت : آنجا پريرويان نغزند
چو گل بسيار شد پيلان بلغزند
He replied: 'Fairy-faced maidens are there.
This I said. Then we kissed each other's heads and faces and took leave of each other.
بوسه دادن به روى دوست چه سود؟
هم در اين لحظه كردنش به درود
سيب گويى وداع بستان كرد
روى از اين نيمه سرخ ، و زان سو زرد
What profits it to kiss a friend's face
If I die not of grief on the day of separation
گر تضرع كنى و گر فرياد
دزد، زر باز پس نخواهد داد
Whether thou implorest or complainest
The dervish alone had not lost his equanimity and showed no change. I asked: 'Perhaps they have not taken thy money?'
He replied: 'Yes, they have but I was not so much accustomed to that money that separation therefrom could grieve my heart':
نبايد بستن اندر چيز و كس دل
كه دل برداشتن كارى است مشكل
The heart must not be tied to any thing or person
I replied: 'What thou hast said resembles my case because, when I was young, my intimacy with a young man and my friendship for him were such that his beauty was the Qiblah of my eye and the chief joy of my life union with him':
مگر ملائكه بر آسمان ، و گرنه بشر
به حسن صورت او در زمين نخواهد بود
Perhaps an angel in heaven but no mortal
I swear by the amity, after which companionship is illicit,
All of a sudden the foot of his life sank into the mire of non-existence. The smoke of separation arose from his family. I kept him company on his grave for many days and one of my compositions on his loss is as follows:
كاش كان روز كه در پاى تو شد خار اجل
دست گيتى بزدى تيغ هلاكم بر سر
تا در اين روز، جهان بى تو نديدى چشمم
اين منم بر سر خاك تو كه خاكم بر سر
Would that on the day when the thorn of fate entered thy foot
آنكه قرارش نگرفتى و خواب
تا گل و نسرين نفشاندى نخست
گردش گيتى گل رويش بريخت
خار بنان بر سر خاكش برست
He who could take neither rest nor sleep
After separation from him I resolved and firmly determined to fold up the carpet of pleasure during the rest of my life and to retire from mixing in society:
Last night I strutted about like a peacock in the garden of union
'Many friends have blamed me for loving her.
كاش آنانكه عيب من جستند
رويت اى دلستان ، بديدنى
تا به جاى ترنج در نظرت
بى خبر دستها بريدندى
Would that those who are reproving me
That the truth may bear witness to the assertion:
This is he for whose sake ye blamed me.
The king expressed a wish to see the beauty of Laila in order to ascertain the cause of so much distress.
Accordingly he ordered her to be searched for. The encampments of various Arab families having been visited, she was found, conveyed to the king and led into the courtyard of the palace.
The king looked at her outward form for some time and she appeared despicable in his sight because the meanest handmaids of his harem excelled her in beauty and attractions.
Majnun, who shrewdly understood the thoughts of the king, said:
از دريچه چشم مجنون بايد در جمال ليلي نظر كردن تا سر مشاهده او بر تو تجلي كند
'It would have been necessary to look from the window of Majnun's eye at the beauty of Laila when the mystery of her aspect would have been revealed to thee.'
If the record of the glade which entered my ears
Had been heard by the leaves of the glade they would have lamented with me.
تندر ستانرا نباشد درد ريش
جز به هم دردى نگويم درد خويش
سوز من با ديگرى نسبت نكن
او نمك بر دست و من بر عضو ريش
O company of friends, say to him who is unconcerned
Who are healthy have no pain from wounds.
گفتن از زنبور بى حاصل بود
با يكى در عمر خود ناخورده نيش
تا تو را حالى نباشد همچو ما
حال ما باشد تو را افسانه پيش
It is useless to speak of bees to one
That straight tall cypress my eyes beheld
I was informed that the boy, who had heard something of the Qazi's passion, happening to meet him in a thoroughfare, manifested immense wrath, assailed the Qazi with disrespectful and insulting words, snatched up a stone and left no injury untried. The Qazi said to an Ulema of repute who happened to be of the same opinion with him:
'Look at that sweetheart and his getting angry,
The Arab says: 'A slap from a lover is a raisin.
A blow from the hand on the mouth
In the same way the boy's impudence might be indicating kindness as Padshahs utter hard words whilst they secretly wish for peace:
Grapes yet unripe are sour.
After saying these words he returned to his court of justice, where some respectable men connected with him kissed the ground of service and said:
'With thy permission we shall, doing obeisance, speak some words to thee although they may be contrary to politeness because illustrious men have said:
It is not permissible to argue on every topic.
'But as in consequence of favors conferred by thy lordship in former times upon thy servants it would be a kind of treachery to withhold the opinion they entertain, they inform thee that the proper way is not to yield to thy inclinations concerning this boy but to fold up the carpet of lascivious desires because thy dignity as Qazi is high and must not be polluted by a base crime. The companion thou hast seen is this, and our words thou hast heard are these:
One who has done many disreputable things
The Qazi approved of the unanimous advice of his friends and appreciated their good opinion as well as their steadfast fidelity, saying that the view taken by his beloved friends on the arrangement of his case was perfectly right and their arguments admitting of no contradiction.
Although love ceases in consequence of reproval
Whoever has seen gold droops his head,
In short, one night he obtained privacy but during that night the police obtained information that the Qazi is spending the whole of it with wine in his hand and a sweetheart on his bosom, enjoying himself, not sleeping, and singing:
Has this cock perhaps not crowed at the proper time this night
Whilst the Qazi was in this state one of his dependants entered and said:
'Arise and run as far as thy feet will carry thee because the envious have not only obtained a handle for vexation but have spoken the truth. We may, whilst the fire of confusion is yet burning low, perchance extinguish it with the water of stratagem but when it blazes up high it may destroy a world.'
The Qazi, however, replied:
'When the lion has his claws on the game
The same night information was also brought to the king that in his realm such a wickedness had been perpetrated and he was asked what he thought of it. He replied:
'I know that he is one of the most learned men, and I account him to be the paragon of our age. As it is possible that enemies have devised a plot against him, I give no credit to this accusation unless I obtain ocular evidence because philosophers have said:
He who grasps the sword in haste
I heard that at dawn the king with some of his courtiers arrived at the pillow of the Qazi, saw a lamp standing, the sweetheart sitting, the wine spilled, the goblet broken and the Qazi plunged in the sleep of drunkenness, unaware of the realm of existence.
The king awakened him gently and said: 'Get up for the sun has risen.'
The Qazi, who perceived the state of affairs, asked: 'From what direction?'
The sultan was astonished and replied: 'From the east as usual.'
The Qazi exclaimed:
'Praise be to Allah! The door of repentance is yet open because according to tradition the gate Of repentance will not be locked against worshippers till the sun rises in its setting place.'
These two things impelled me to sin:
The king replied: 'As thou knowest that thou must suffer capital punishment, it is of no use to repent. But their faith availed them not after they had beholden our vengeance.
'What is the use to promise to forego thieving
'For thee, who hast committed such wickedness, there is no way of escape.'
After the king had uttered these words, the men appointed for the execution took hold of him, whereon he said: 'I have one word more to speak in the service of the sultan.'
The king, who heard him, asked: 'What is it?'
And he recited:
'Thou who shakest the sleeve of displeasure upon me
The king replied:
Thou hast adduced this wonderful sally and hast enounced a strange maxim but it is impossible according to reason and contrary to usage that thy accomplishments and eloquence should this day save thee from the punishment which I have decreed; and I consider it proper to throw thee headlong from the castle that others may take an example.'
He continued: 'O lord of the world, I have been nourished by the bounty of this dynasty, and this crime was not committed only by me in the world. Throw another man headlong that I may take the example.'
The king burst out laughing, pardoned his crime and said to his dependents who desired the Qazi to be slain:
'Everyone of you who are bearers of your own faults
جوانى پاكباز پاكرو بود
كه با پاكيزه رويي در گرو بود
چنين خواندم كه در درياي اعظم
به گردابي درافتادند با هم
A virtuous and beauteous youth
چو ملاح آمدش تا دست گيرد
مبادا كاندر آن حالت بميرد
همى گفت از ميان موج و تشوير
مرا بگذار و دست يار من گير
When a sailor came to take his hand,
در اين گفتن جهان بر وى بر آشفت
شنيدندش كه جان مى داد و مى گفت :
حديث عشق از آن بطال منيوش
كه در سختى كند يارى فراموش
Whilst saying this, he despaired of life.
چنين كردند ياران ، زندگانى
ز كار افتاده بشنو تا بدانى
كه سعدى راه و رسم عشقبازى
چنان داند كه در بغداد تازى
Thus the lives of the lovers terminated.
Tie thy heart to the heart-charmer thou possessest
اگر مجنون ليلى زنده گشتى
حديث عشق از اين دفتر نبشتى
If Majnun and Laila were to come to life again
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Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana, Lahore, Pakistan
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