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Parable

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  1. From Bustan, Chapter 7: On Education
  2. --
  3.  
  4. If he has escaped from the world, from the (people of the) world,
  5. It is he, who has closed the door on himself, against the people.
  6.  
  7. No one escaped from the violence of tongues,
  8. Whether he be self-displaying, or truth-worshipping.
  9.  
  10. If, angel-like, thou dost fly from the sky,
  11. Ill-thought will cling to thy skirt.
  12.  
  13. One can, with effort, bind the Tigris;
  14. One cannot bind the enemy's tongue.
  15.  
  16. Those wet of skirt (sin-stained) sit together,
  17. Saying: "This is dry devotion; and that a trap for gaining bread."
  18.  
  19. Turn not thy face from worshipping God,
  20. Abandon; so that people may reckon thee as nothing.
  21.  
  22. When the pure God becomes satisfied with the slave,
  23. If these (people) be not contented, what matter?
  24.  
  25. The enemy of the people is not acquainted with God;
  26. Through the tumult of the people, there is no way for him to God.
  27.  
  28. They have not found the path to the place (of their desire) for that reason,
  29. That, they have missed their foot, at the first step.
  30.  
  31. Two persons apply their ears (listen) to a tradition:
  32. From this one, to that--as far as from Ahriman (Satan) to Surosh (Gabriel).
  33.  
  34. One accepts advice; the other, odious,
  35. Through word-seizing (slandering), is not occupied with the advice.
  36.  
  37. Dejected, in the dark corner of a place,
  38. What may he find from the cup, world-displaying?
  39.  
  40. If thou art a lion, or a fox, think not
  41. That thou mayst escape from these (slanderers) by manliness, or stratagem.
  42.  
  43. If a person chooses the corner of retirement;
  44. Because he has not much solicitude for society,
  45.  
  46. They make him contemptible, saying: "(This one's work) is fraud and deceit;
  47. He flies from man, as from the demon."
  48.  
  49. If he be of laughing face and sociable,
  50. They consider him not chaste and abstinent.
  51.  
  52. With slander, they rent the rich man's skin,
  53. Saying: "If, in the world, there be a Far'un, it is he."
  54.  
  55. If one, foodless, weeps, with heart-burning,
  56. They call him: "Unfortunate and unhappy."
  57.  
  58. If a poor man be in distress,
  59. They will say it is--from calamity and misfortune.
  60.  
  61. And, if a prosperous one comes down from his footing,
  62. They regard it (his fall) as gain, and God's grace.
  63.  
  64. Saying: "How long this dignity and arrogance?
  65. In the rear of happiness, is unhappiness."
  66.  
  67. If as to a straitened one of narrow means,
  68. Fortune makes his rank high,
  69.  
  70. In malice towards him, they gnash their teeth with poison,
  71. Saying: "This base time is the cherisher of the mean."
  72.  
  73. When they behond a work perfect in thy hand,
  74. They reckon thee covetous, and world-worshipping.
  75.  
  76. And if thou holdst the hand of resolution from the work (of the world),
  77. They consider thee of the beggar-trade, and cooked food-devourer.
  78.  
  79. And, if thou art an orator, thou art a drum full of nonsense;
  80. If thou art silent, thou art a picture (lifeless) of the bath-room.
  81.  
  82. They call not those, patience-exercising, men,
  83. Saying: "The helpless one, through fear, raised not his head."
  84.  
  85. And, if in his head (nature) there be awe and manliness,
  86. They fly from him, saying: "What madness is this?"
  87.  
  88. If he be a little eater, they slander him,
  89. Saying: "His property is perhaps the fortune of another."
  90.  
  91. And, if his food be excellent and pure,
  92. They call him: "Belly-slave, and body-cherisher."
  93.  
  94. And, if the wealth-possessor lives without pomp,
  95. Saying: "Decoration is a reproach to people of discernment."
  96.  
  97. They apply the tongue (of reproach) to his torture, sword-like,
  98. Saying: "The unfortunate one withholds gold from his own body!"
  99.  
  100. If he constructs a palace and painted hall;
  101. Makes a splendid dress for his own body.
  102.  
  103. He is ready to die, from the power of cavillers,
  104. Saying: "He adorned himself woman-like."
  105.  
  106. If a devotee travelled not,
  107. Those, who have made journies call him not a man,
  108.  
  109. Saying: "For him, not advanced beyond his wife's embrace,
  110. What is his skill, or judgment, or knowledge?"
  111.  
  112. They even rend the skin of one, world-experienced,
  113. Saying: "He is one, head-revolving, of overturned fortune.
  114.  
  115. If of fortune, there were for him, a portion and share,
  116. Time would not drive him from city to city."
  117.  
  118. The one viewing critically condemns the bachelor,
  119. Saying: "The earth is vexed with his sleeping and rising."
  120.  
  121. And, if he marries, he says: "From the power of the heart,
  122. He has fallen headlong, in the mire, ass-like."
  123.  
  124. The one of ugly face escapes not from man's oppression;
  125. Nor the lovely one, from the unmanly one of ugly speech.
  126.  
  127. If, one day, anger plucks (a man) from his place,
  128. They call him: "Insane, and of obscure judgment."
  129.  
  130. And, if he exercises patience with any,
  131. They will say: "He has not sufficient spirit."
  132.  
  133. They say, by way of counsel, to the generous one, "Enough!
  134. For tomorrow, both thy hands may be (in beggary) before a person."
  135.  
  136. And if he becomes contented and self-possessing,
  137. He becomes captive to the reproaching of a crowd,
  138.  
  139. Saying: "This mean man wishes to die like his father.
  140. Who gave up wealth, and took away regret."
  141.  
  142. Who is able to sit in the corner of safety,
  143. When the Prophet escaped not from the villainy of the enemy?
  144.  
  145. Of God, who resemblance, and partner, and co-equal,
  146. Has not, heardst thou what the Christian said!
  147.  
  148. No one escapes from a person's hand,
  149. The remedy for the captive is patience only.
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