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Salaman and Absal, by Jami, tr. Edward Fitzgerald, [1904], at



A Shah there was who ruled the Realm of Yún,
And wore the Ring of Empire of Sikander;
And in his Reign A Sage, who had the Tower
Of Wisdom of so strong Foundation built
That Wise Men from all Quarters of the World
To catch the Word of Wisdom from his Lip
Went in a Girdle round him.—Which The Shah
Observing, took him to his Secresy;

p. 9

Stirr’d not a Step nor set Design afoot
Without that Sage's sanction; till, so counsel’d,
From Káf to Káf reach’d his Dominion:
No Nation of the World or Nation's Chief
Who wore the Ring but under span of his
Bow’d down the Neck; then rising up in Peace
Under his Justice grew, and knew no Wrong,
And in their Strength was his Dominion Strong.

The Shah that has not Wisdom in Himself,
Nor has a Wise Man for his Counsellor,
The Wand of his Authority falls short,
And his Dominion crumbles at the Base.
For he, discerning not the Characters
Of Tyranny and Justice, confounds both,
Making the World a Desert, and the Fount
Of Justice a Seráb. Well was is said,
"Better just Káfir than Believing Tyrant."

God said to the Prophet David,—
"David, speak, and to the Challenge
"Answer of the Faith within Thee.
a Even Unbelieving Princes,
"Ill-reported if Unworthy,
"Yet, if They be Just and Righteous,
"Were their Worship of The Fire
"Even These unto Themselves
"Reap glory and redress the World."

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