The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 2.

But what is more strange, the crow was also out of all patience, and vexed to the soul at the society of the parrot.  Bewailing his misfortune, he was railing at the revolutions of the skies; and, wringing the hands of chagrin, was lamenting his condition, and saying:  “What an unpropitious fate is this; what ill-luck, and untoward fortune!  Could they any way suit the dignity of me, who would in my day strut with my fellow-crows along the wall of a garden:—­It were durance sufficient for a good and holy man that he should be made the companion of the wicked:—­What sin have I committed that my stars in retribution of it have linked me in the chain of companionship, and immured me in the dungeon of calamity, with a conceited blockhead, and good-for-nothing babbler:—­Nobody will approach the foot of a wall on which they have painted thy portrait; wert thou to get a residence in paradise, others would go in preference to hell.”

I have introduced this parable to show that however much learned men despise the ignorant, these are a hundredfold more scornful of the learned:—­A zahid, or holy man, fell in company with some wandering minstrels.  One of them, a charmer of Balkh, said to him:  “If thou art displeased with us, do not look sour, for thou art already sufficiently offensive.—­An assemblage is formed of roses and tulips, and thou art stuck up amidst them like a withered stalk; like an opposing storm, and a chilling winter blast; like a ball of snow, or lump of ice.”

XIII

I had an associate, who was for years the companion of my travels, partook of the same bread and salt, and enjoyed the many rights of a confirmed friendship.  At last, on some trifling advantage, he gave me cause of umbrage, and our intimacy ceased.  And notwithstanding all this, there was a hankering of good-will on both sides; in consequence of which I heard that he was one day reciting in a certain assembly these two couplets of my writings:—­“When my idol, or mistress, is approaching me with her tantalizing smiles, she is sprinkling more salt upon my smarting sores.  How fortunate were the tips of her ringlets to come into my hand, like the sleeve of the generous in the hands of dervishes.”  This society of his friends bore testimony, and gave applause, not to the beauty of this sentiment, but to the liberality of his own disposition in quoting it; while he had himself been extravagant in his encomiums, regretted the demise of our former attachment, and confessed how much he was to blame.  I was made aware that he too was desirous of a reconciliation; and, having sent him these couplets, made my peace:—­“Was there not a treaty of good faith between us, and didst not thou commence hostilities, and violate the compact?  I relinquished all manner of society, and plighted my heart to thee; for I did not suspect that thou wouldst have so readily changed.  If it still be thy wish to renew our peace, return, and be more dear to me than ever.”

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The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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