Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, Saadi Shirazi better known by his pen-name as Saʿdī or simply Saadi, was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but has also been quoted in western sources. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts.
A native of Shiraz, his father died when he was an infant. Saadi experienced a youth of poverty and hardship, and left his native town at a young age for Baghdad to pursue a better education. As a young man he was inducted to study at the famous an-Nizamiyya center of knowledge (1195–1226), where he excelled in ... more »
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Saadi Shirazi Poems
Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 01
I heard a padshah giving orders to kill a prisoner. The helpless fellow began to insult the king on that occasion of despair, with the tongue he had, and to use foul expressions according to the saying:
Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 04
A band of Arab brigands having taken up their position on the top of a mountain and closed the passage of caravans, the inhabitants of the country were distressed by their stratagems and the troops of the sultan foiled because the robbers, having obtained an inaccessible
Ch 01 Manner of Kings Story 19
It is related that, whilst some game was being roasted for Nushirvan the just during a hunting party, no salt could be found. Accordingly a boy was sent to an adjoining village to bring some. Nushirvan said: "Pay for the salt lest it should become a custom and the village be ruined." Having been asked what harm could arise from such a trifling demand, Nushirvan replied: "The foundation of oppression was small in the world but whoever came augmented it so that it reached its present magnitude." If the king eats one apple from the garden of a subject His slaves will pull him up the tree from the roots.
Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 02
One of the kings of Khorasan had a vision in a dream of Sultan Mahmud, one hundred years after his death. His whole person appeared to have been dissolved and turned to dust, except his eyes, which were revolving in their orbits and looking about. All the sages were unable
Ch 08 On Rules For Conduct In Life - Max...
Ch 01 Manner of Kings Story 26
It is narrated that a tyrant who purchased wood from dervishes forcibly gave it away to rich -people gratuitously. A pious man passing near said: "Thou art a snake, stingest whom thou beholdest, Or an owl; wherever thou sittest thou destroyest.
Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 05
I saw at the palace-gate of Oglimish the son of a military officer who was endued with marvellous intellect, sagacity, perception and shrewdness; also the signs of future greatness manifested themselves on his forehead whilst yet a small boy.
Ch 01 Manner of Kings Story 27
A man had attained great excellence in the art of wrestling, who knew three hundred and sixty exquisite tricks and daily exhibited something new. He had a particular affection for the beauty of one of his pupils whom he taught three hundred and fifty-nine tricks, refraining to impart to him only one. At last the youth had attained such power and skill that no one was able to contend with him and he went so far as to say to the sultan: "I allow superiority to my teacher on account of his age and from gratitude for his instruction but my strength is not less than his and my skill equal." The king, who was not pleased with this want of good manners, ordered them to wrestle with each other and a spacious locality having been fixed upon, the pillars of state and courtiers of his majesty made their appearance. The youth made an onslaught like a mad elephant with an impulse which might have uprooted a mountain of brass from its place but the master, who knew that he was in strength superior to himself, attacked him with the rare trick he had reserved to himself and which the youth was unable to elude; whereon the master, lifting him up with his hands from the ground, raised him above his head and then threw him down. Shouts were raised by the spectators and the king ordered a robe of honour with other presents to be given to the teacher but reproached and blamed the youth for having attempted to cope with his instructor and succumbed. He replied: "My lord, he has not vanquished me by his strength but there was a slender part in the art of wrestling which he had withheld from me and had today thereby got the upper hand of me." The master said: "I had reserved it for such an occasion because wise men have said: “Do not give so much strength to thy friend that, if he becomes thy foe, he may injure thee.” Hast thou not heard what the man said who suffered molestation from one whom he had educated? Either fidelity itself does not exist in this world Or nobody practices it in our time.
Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 03
I have heard that a royal prince of short stature and mean presence, whose brothers were tall and good-looking, once saw his father glancing on him with aversion and contempt but he had the shrewdness and penetration to guess the meaning and said: 'O father, a puny
Ch 01 Manner of Kings Story 22
A king was subject to a terrible disease, the mention of which is not sanctioned by custom. The tribe of Yunani physicians agreed that this pain cannot be allayed except by means of the bile of a person endued with certain qualities. Orders having been issued to search for an individual of this kind, the son of a landholder was discovered to possess the qualities mentioned by the doctors. The king summoned the father and mother of the boy whose consent he obtained by giving them immense wealth. The qazi issued a judicial decree that it is permissible to shed the blood of one subject for the safety of the king and the executioner was ready to slay the boy who then looked heavenwards and smiled. The king asked: "What occasion for laughter is there in such a position?" The youth replied: "A son looks to the affection of his father and mother to bring his case before the qazi and to ask justice from the padshah. In the present instance, however, the father and mother have for the trash of this world surrendered my blood, the qazi has issued a decree to kill me, the sultan thinks he will recover his health only through my destruction and I see no other refuge besides God the most high." To whom shall I complain against thy hand If I am to seek justice also from thy hand?
Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 08
Hormuzd, being asked what fault the veziers of his father had committed that he imprisoned them, replied: 'I discovered no fault. I saw that boundless awe of me had taken root in their hearts but that they had no full confidence in my promises, wherefore I apprehended
Ch 01 Manner of Kings Story 20
I heard that an oppressor ruined the habitations of the subjects to fill the treasury of the sultan, unmindful of the maxim of philosophers, who have said: "Who offends God the most high to gain the heart of a created being, God will use that very being to bring on his destruction in the world." Fire burning with wild rue will not Cause a smoke like that of afflicted hearts.
Ch 01 Manner of Kings Story 21
It is narrated that an oppressor of the people, a soldier, hit the head of a pious man with a stone and that the dervish, having no means of taking vengeance, preserved the stone till the time arrived when the king became angry with that soldier, and imprisoned him in a well. Then the dervish made his appearance and dropped the stone upon his head. He asked: "Who art thou, and why hast thou hit my head with this stone?" The man replied: "I am the same person whom thou hast struck on the head with this stone on such and such a day." The soldier continued: "Where hast thou been all this time?" The dervish replied: "I was afraid of thy dignity but now when I beheld thee in the well I made use of the opportunity."’ When thou seest an unworthy man in good luck Intelligent men have chosen submission.
Ch 01 Manner of Kings Story 12
An unjust king asked a devotee what kind of worship is best? He replied: "For thee the best is to sleep one half of the day so as not to injure the people for a while." I saw a tyrant sleeping half the day. I said: "This confusion, if sleep removes it, so much the better;
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Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 01
I heard a padshah giving orders to kill a prisoner. The helpless
fellow began to insult the king on that occasion of despair, with
the tongue he had, and to use foul expressions according to the
Who washes his hands of life
Says whatever he has in his heart.
When a man is in despair his tongue becomes long and he is like a
vanquished cat assailing a dog.
In time of need, when flight is no more possible,
The hand grasps the point of the sharp sword.
When the king asked what he was saying, a good-natured ...