Title: The Rose Garden of Sa’di: Selected and Rendered with an Introduction
Author: Sa’di, L. Cranmer-Byng
Publisher: John Murray, 1905. 1st edition. Wisdom of the East Series.
Condition: Hardcover, pocket-sized and thin. Some foxing to edges and end papers. Text clean. Binding tight.
About Sa’di (from Wikipedia):
Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, better known by his pen-name as Saʿdī, was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but has been quoted in western sources as well. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts. Saadi is widely recognized as one of the greatest poets of the classical literary tradition.
Gulistan (The Rose Garden) is mainly in prose and contains stories and personal anecdotes. The text is interspersed with a variety of short poems which contain aphorisms, advice, and humorous reflections, demonstrating Saadi’s profound awareness of the absurdity of human existence. The fate of those who depend on the changeable moods of kings is contrasted with the freedom of the dervishes.
Excerpts from our edition:
What use thy rosary and patchwork dress?
Restrain thy body from licentiousness.
Thou hast no need to wear the cowl of felt;
Be thou true Dervish in a Tartar pelt.
If any injure thee, thy spleen control,
Since by forgiveness thou shalt cleanse thy soul.
O brother, since the end of all is dust,
Be dust, ere unto dust return thou must.
The Dervish Way:
The way of dervishes is gratefulness, praise, worship, obedience, contentment, and charity, believing in the unity of God, faith, submission, and patience. Whoever hath these qualities is indeed a Dervish, though he may wear fine raiment; whereas the idler, who neglecteth prayer, who goeth after ease and pleasure, turneth day into night in the bondage of desire, and night into day in the slumber of forgetfulness, eateth whatever he layeth hold on, and speaketh that which is uppermost, he is an evil-doer, though he may wear the garb of the Dervishes.