Saadi Shirazi

Sa'di] (1814-1291 / Iran

Ch 05 On Love And Youth Story 04

One had lost his heart and bidden farewell to his life because the target which he aimed at was in a dangerous locality, portending destruction and no chance promising a morsel easily coming to the palate nor a bird falling into the trap.

When thy sweetheart’s eye has no regard for gold
Mud and gold are of equal value to thee.

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:

‘Tell my friends not to give me advice
Because my eyes are fixed on her wishes.
By the strength of fist and shoulders warriors
Slay enemies but sweethearts a friend.’

It is against the requirements of love to renounce affection to our sweethearts for fear of losing our lives.

Thou who art a slave to thy selfishness
Art mendacious in the game of love.
If there be no way to reach the friend
Friendship demands to die in pursuit of it.
I rise as no other source is left to me
Though the foe may smite me with arrow and sword.
If chance serves me I shall take hold of her sleeve.
Or else I shall go and die on her threshold.

His friends, who considered his position, pitied his state, gave him advice and at last confined him but all to no purpose.

Alas, that the physician should prescribe patience,
Whereas this greedy lust requires sugar.
Hast thou heard that the mistress secretly
Told him who had lost his heart:
‘As long as thou possessest thy own dignity,
What will mine amount to in thy eyes?’

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 we and said:

‘He who has slain me has come back again.
It seems his heart burns for him whom he has slain.’

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:

If thou recitest the seven portions of the lesson by heart,
When thou art demented by love thou knowest not the A, B, C.

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:

‘It is a marvel that with thy existence mine remains
That when thou speakest words to me remain.’
Saying these words he uttered a shout and surrendered his life.
It would not be strange if he had been slain at his tent door
But it would be strange that if alive he should escape safe.
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