Khoshal Khan Khattak

(1613-1690 / Afghanistan)

As I Look On - Poem by Khoshal Khan Khattak

As I look on I am amazed
At this worlds denizens,
Just seeing what these dogs will do
To satisfy the flesh.

Such dealing as are brought about,
Men being what they are,
Satan himself could not devise,
Still less consider fair.

They place before them the Koran,
They read aloud from it,
But of their actions not a one
Conforms with the Koran.

In which direction should I go?
Where should I seek for them?
Wise men have now become as rare
As the alchemists stone.

Good men are like garnets and rubies,
Not often to be found,
While other common, worthless men,
Like common stones, abound.

It may be that in other lands
Good men are to be found
But they are few and far between,
I know, among Afghans.

However much he counsels hem
And gives him sound advice,
Not even his own fathers word
Does he consider good.

And yet Afghans, in all their deeds,
Are better than the Moguls;
but unanimity they lack,
and there's is the pity of it.

I hear talk of Sultan Baholol,
Also of Sher Shar Sur:
They were Afghans who won renown
As emperors in Hind.

For six or seven generations
They ruled in such a way
That all the people were amazed
At their accomplishments.

Either they were another kind
Than these Afghans today,
Or else it is by Gods command
That things have reached this pass.

I once Afghans acquire the grace
Of unanimity
Aged Khushal will thereupon
Become a youth again

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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