Persian Poise

The Gulistan (Rose Garden) of Sa’di

translated (2008) by Wheeler M. Thackston

from Chapter Eight: The Art of Conversation

One cannot rely on the friendship of kings or on the beautiful voices of boys, for the former can change on a whim and the latter change with a wet dream.

Nothing is better for an ignorant person than silence, and if he knew that was the best thing for him, he wouldn’t be ignorant.

That “wet whim” play is not to be found in every translation. Other earlier translators pass over in silence the passage to puberty and offer passing visions and vanishing dreams.

No reliance can be placed on the friendship of kings, nor vain hope put in the melodious voice of boys; for that passes away like a vision, and this vanishes like a dream.

Translation by James Ross (1900 edition — to be checked against the 1890 publication).

And so for day 2814

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