Sadi's Tomb

Sadi's Verses in Persian Calligraphy by: Jamal Abiri

Poet, Writer



Sadi Shirazi
1184-1291 AD
Sadi was born in about 1184 AD in Shiraz.
He is one of the most versatile figurers in Iranian literature: Poet, writer, philosopher, teacher and a great traveler.
His tomb is situated in Shiraz; in Pahlavi period, a mausoleum was built on his tomb.

1- Boustan (Garden), in verse
2- Golestan (Rose Garden), in prose and verse

He that owns wealth, in mountain, wood, or waste,
Plays master, pitches tent at his own taste;
Whilst he who lacks that which the world commends
Must pace a stranger, e'en in his own lands
Golestan: Purgatory May be Paradise
A king was embarked along with a Persian slave in board a ship. The boy had never been at sea, nor experienced inconvenience of a ship. He set up a weeping and wailing, and all his limbs were in a state of trepidation; and however much they soothed him, he was not to be pacified. King's pleasure-party was disconcerted by him; but they had no help. On board that ship there was a physician. He said to the king: "If you will order it, I can manage to silence him." King replied: "It will be an act of great favor." 

The physician so directed that they threw the boy into the sea, and after he had plunged repeatedly, they seized him by the hair of the head and drew him close to the ship, when he clung with both hands by the rudder, and, scrambling upon the deck, slunk into a corner and sat down quiet.

The king, pleased with what he saw, said: "What art is there in this?" The physician replied: "Originally he had not experienced the danger of being drowned, and undervalued the safety of being in a ship; in like manner as a person is aware of the preciousness of health, when he is overtaken with the calamity of sickness.

A barely loaf of bread has, O epicure, no relish for thee. That is my mistress who appears so ugly to thy eye.
To the houris, or nymphs of paradise, purgatory would be a hell: and ask the inmates of hell whether purgatory is not paradise.
There is a distinction between the man that folds his mistress in his arms and him whose two eyes are fixed on the door excepting her.
Golestan: Wrestler
A person had become a master in the art of wrestling; he knew three hundred and sixty sleights in this art, and could exhibit a fresh trick for everyday throughout the year. Perhaps owing to a liking that a corner of his heart took for the handsome person of one of his scholars, he taught him three hundred and fifty nine  of those feats, but he was putting off the last one, and under some pretence deferring it.

In short, the youth became such a proficient in the art and talent of wrestling that none of his contemporaries had ability to cope with him, till he at length had one day boasted before the reigning sovereign, saying: "To any superiority my master possesses over me, he beholden to my reverence of his seniority, and in virtue of his tutorage; otherwise I am not inferior in power, and am his equal in skill." This want to respect displeased the king. He ordered a wrestling match to be held, and a spacious field to be fenced in for the occasion.

The ministers of state, nobles of court, and gallant men of realm were assembled, and the ceremonials of the combat marshaled. Like a huge and lusty elephant, the youth rushed into the ring with such a crash that had brazen mountain opposed him he would have moved it from its base. The master being aware that youth was his superior in strength, engaged him in that strange feat of which he had kept him ignorant. The youth was unacquainted with its guard.

Advancing, nevertheless, the master seized him with both hands, and, lifting him bodily from the ground, raised him above his head and flung him on the earth. The crowd set up a shout. King ordered them to give the master an honorary dress and handsome largess, and the youth he addressed with reproach and asperity, saying: "You played the traitor with your own patron, and failed in your presumption of opposing him." 

He replied: "O sire, my master did not overcome my by strength and ability, but some cunning trick in the art of wrestling was left, which he was reserved in teaching me, and by that little feat had today the upper hand of me."

Master said: "I reserved myself for such a day as this. As the wise have told us, put not so much into a friend's power that, it hostilely disposed, he can do you an injury. Have you not heard, what that man said, who was treacherously dealt with by his own pupil:
"Either in fact there was no good faith in this world, or nobody has perhaps it in our days.
No person learned the art of archery from me who did not in the end make me his butt.'"
Golestan: From Slavery to Slavery
Having taken offence with the society of my friends at Damascus, I retired into the wilderness of Holy Land, Jerusalem, and sought the company of brutes till such time as I was made a prisoner by Franks, and employed by them, along with some Jews, in digging earth in the ditches of Tripoli.

At length one of the chiefs of Aleppo, between whom and me an intimacy had of old subsisted, happening to pass that way, recognized me, and said: "How is this? and how came you to be thus occupied?" I replied: "What can I say? I was flying from mankind into the forests and mountains, for my resource was in God and in none else. Fancy to thyself what my condition must now be, when forced to associate with a tribe scarcely human? To be linked in a chain with a company of acquaintance were pleasanter than to walk in a garden with strangers."

He took pity on my situation; and, having for ten Dinars redeemed me from captivity with Franks, carried me along with him to Aleppo. Here he had a daughter, and her he gave me in marriage, with a dower of hundred Dinars. Soon after this damsel turned out a termagant and vixen, and discovered such a perverse spirit and virulent tongue as quite unhinged all my domestic comfort. A scolding wife in the dwelling of a peaceable man in his hell even in this world. Protect and guard us against a wicked inmate. Save us, O Lord, and preserve us from the fiery, or hell, torture.

Having on one occasion given a liberty to the tongue of reproach, she was saying: "Are you not the fellow whom my father redeemed from the capacity of Franks for ten Dinars?" I replied: "Yes, I am the same he delivered from captivity for ten Dinars, and enslaved me with you for a hundred!" I have heard that a reverend and mighty man released a sheep from the paws and jaws of a wolf. That some night he was sticking a knife into its throat, when the spirit of the sheep reproached him saying: "Thou didst deliver me from the clutches of a wolf, When I at length saw that thou didst prove a wolf to me thyself."

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