Saadi Shirazi

(1814-1291 / Iran)

Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 16 - Poem by Saadi Shirazi

Moses, to whom be salutation, beheld a dervish who had on account of his nudity concealed himself in the sand exclaiming: ‘O Moses, utter a supplication to God the most high to give me an allowance because I am, on account of my distress, on the point of starvation.’ 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, quarrelled, slain a man and was to be executed in retaliation.

If the humble cat possessed wings
He would rob the world of every sparrow-egg.
It may happen that when a weak man obtains power
He arises and twists the hands of the weak.

And if Allah were to bestow abundance upon his servants, they would certainly rebel upon earth.

What has made thee wade into danger, O fool,
Till thou hast perished. Would that the ant had not been able to fly!
When a base fellow obtains dignity, silver and gold,
His head necessarily demands to be knocked.
Was not after all this maxim uttered by a sage?
‘That ant is the best which possesses no wings.’
The heavenly father has plenty of honey but the son has a hot disease.
He who does not make thee rich
Knows better what is good for thee than thyself.


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Read poems about / on: cat, silver, son, father, power, people, god, world



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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