I heard a padshah (King) 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: 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
goodnatured vezier replied: ‘My lord, he says: Those who bridle their
anger and forgive men; for God loveth the beneficent.’ The king, moved
with pity, forbore taking his life but another vezier, the antagonist
of the former, said: ‘Men of our rank ought to speak nothing but the
truth in the presence of padshahs. This fellow has insulted the king
and spoken unbecomingly.’ The king, being displeased with these words,
said: ‘That lie was more acceptable to me than this truth thou hast
uttered because the former proceeded from a conciliatory disposition
and the latter from malignity; and wise men have said: “A falsehood
resulting in conciliation is better than a truth producing trouble.”’
He whom the shah follows in what he says
It is a pity if he speaks anything but what is good.
The following inscription was upon the portico of the hall of Feridun:
O brother, the world remains with no one.
Bind the heart to the Creator, it is enough.
Rely not upon possessions and this world
Because it has cherished many like thee and slain them.
When the pure soul is about to depart,
What boots it if one dies on a throne or on the ground?