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


While a Full Year was counted by the Moon,
Salámán and Absál rejoiced together,
And for so long he stood not in the face
Of Sage or Shah, and their bereavéd Hearts
Were torn in twain with the Desire of Him.
They question’d those about him, and from them
Heard something; then Himself in Presence summon’d,

p. 26

And, subtly sifting on all sides, so plied
Interrogation till it hit the Mark,
And all the Truth was told. Then Sage and Shah
Struck out with Hand and Foot in his Redress.
And First with Reason, which is also Best;
Reason that rights the Retrograde—completes
The Imperfect—Reason that unties the Knot:
For Reason is the Fountain from of old
From which the Prophets drew, and none beside.
Who boasts of other Inspiration lies—
There are no other Prophets than The Wise.

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