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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Grass and the Rose
By Sa’dī (c. 1213–1291)
 
From the ‘Rose-Garden’: Translation of Edward Backhouse Eastwick

I SAW some handfuls of the rose in bloom,
With bands of grass suspended from a dome.
I said, “What means this worthless grass, that it
Should in the roses’ fairy circle sit?”
Then wept the grass, and said, “Be still! and know,        5
The kind their old associates ne’er forego.
Mine is no beauty, hue, or fragrance,—true;
But in the garden of the Lord I grew.”
          His ancient servant I,
      Reared by his bounty from the dust:        10
          Whate’er my quality,
      I’ll in his favoring mercy trust.
          No stock of worth is mine,
      Nor fund of worship, yet he will
          A means of help divine;        15
      When aid is past, he’ll save me still.
          Those who have power to free,
      Let their old slaves in freedom live,
          Thou Glorious Majesty!
      Me, too, thy ancient slave, forgive.        20
Sa’dī! move thou to resignation’s shrine,
O man of God! the path of God be thine.
Hapless is he who from this haven turns;
All doors shall spurn him who this portal spurns.
 
 
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