The world, my brother! will abide with none,
By the world's Maker let thy heart be won.
Rely not, nor repose on this world's gain,
For many a son like thee she has reared and slain.
What matters, when the spirit seeks to fly,
If on a throne or on bare earth we die?
- Composed in 1258 by Sa'di (1207 ? - 1291)
ABOUT Sadi: Sheikh Muslihu'd-Din, known as Sadi, was descended from Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed. Although Sadi was born and died in Shiraz, Persia (Iran), during his life he travelled extensively. He is said to have travelled for thirty years throughout the Islamic world. Iran has filled the centuries with some of the world's finest poets, but Iranians consider Sadi to be one of the greatest.
Historians often divide his life into three parts. His first twenty-five years he spent studying in various countries, going to university at Baghdad. During the next thirty years he travelled widely, to India in the east and as far west as Syria. He made his pilgrimage to Mecca fourteen times. Finally, Sadi returned to Shiraz where he devoted himself to writing and to teaching. Sadi was a disciple of the Sufi master Sheikh Shahabud-Din Sahrawardi. Sadi's two best known works are the Bustan (the Garden), composed entirely in verse, and the Gulistan (the Rose Garden), in both prose and verse. He was particularly known for the wry wit he injected into his poems. Sadi is probably the first Persian poet to have been translated into European languages. A German version of the Gulistan appeared in 1654. Sadi's tomb can be seen in the town of Shiraz. Lines from Sadi's poems are still commonly used in conversations by Iranians today.
:: Other Poems by Sadi