The Unworthy Friendship [from 'naaladiyaar' In Tamil] - Poem by Rajendran Muthiah
231. O, Lord of the tracts with hillocks and falls!
Selfish men build a dyke, draw out water,
collect water from the loose thatched roof- hut
and be with us till their purpose is served.
232. O, Lord of the hill tracts with crystal clear falls!
Friendship with the great is glorious
and useful like rain but with the mean men
though strong, is useless like times of drought.
233. To live in friendship with the intelligent
is like consuming the heavenly pleasure.
Friendship with those who delved not into the books
is like wallowing in hellish pain.
234. O, Lord of the hills with Sandal groves in slopes!
Friendship with whom with no bonds of love
seems to rise briefly like flames of burning straw
but extinguishes soon.
235. Troublesome e'en to those who renounce pleasures,
are the two things with common features.
To declare they can do things which they can't,
and postpone and delay the doing of things they can.
236. Though spreading water-lilies and the lotus
rise and grow in the same pond don't match with each,
deeds of friendship with the great deem good
but friendship with the mean makes you bewail.
237. O, Lord of the hills! A cheeky monkey
Pounds her father with fingers like dried thin nuts
and wrenches the fruit in his hand.
Friendship with unlike minds begets troubles.
238. If I don't lend my rare life to my friend in distress,
let me go to hell, where the wretch who ravished
the chaste wife of his friend cries in pain,
and may this glorious world scoff at me.
239. O, Lord of the hilly tracts with beehives
in abundance! To ignore the friendship
with the just men and move with the fools, likens
pouring neem oil to bowls with ghee from cow's milk.
240. If an icon of beauty lacks charity
It's like mixing water to milk. Friendship
of the Wise with the Mean likens the cobra
to twine around the female viper and leave.
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