Ch 06 On Weakness And Old Age Story 05

Saadi Shirazi was a major Persian poet and prose write of the medieval period.

The active, graceful, smiling, sweet-tongued youth happened once to be in the circle of our assembly. His heart had been entered by no kind of grief and his lips were scarcely ever closed from laughter. After some time had elapsed, I accidentally met him again and I learned that he had married a wife and begotten children but I saw that the root of merriment had been cut and the roses of his countenance were withered. I asked him how he felt and what his circumstances were. He replied: ‘When I had obtained children I left off childishness.’

  Where is youth when age has changed my ringlets?
  And the change of time is a sufficient monitor.
  When thou art old abstain from puerility.
  Leave play and jokes to youths.
  Seek not a youth’s hilarity in an old man
  For the water gone from the brook returns no more.
  When the harvest-time of a field arrives
  It will no longer wave in the breeze like a young crop.
  The period of youth has departed.
  Alas, for those heart-enchanting times.
  The force of the lion’s claws is gone.
  Now we are satisfied with cheese Eke a leopard.
  An old hag had dyed her hair black.
  I said to her: ‘O little mother of ancient days,
  Thou hast cunningly dyed thy hair but consider
  That thy bent back will never be straight.’