Friday, December 31, 2010

In many lands

In many lands I have wandered, and
wondered, and listened, and seen;
And many my friends and companions,
and teachers and lovers have been.

And nowhere a corner was there but I
gathered up pleasure and gain;
From a hundred gardens the rose-blooms,
From a thousand granaries grain.

And I said to my soul in secret,
''Oh, thou who from journeys art come!
It is meet we should bear some token of
love to the stayers at home;

For where is the traveller brings not from
Nile the sweet green reed,
Or Kashmiri silk, or musk-bags or coral,
or cardamum seed?"

I was loath from all that Pleasaunce of
the Sun, and his words and ways.
To come to my country gift less, and
showing no fruit of my days:

But, if my hands were empty of honey,
and pearls and gold.
There were treasures far sweeter than
honey, and marvellous things to be told.

Whiter than pearls and brighter than
the cups at a Sultan's feast,
And these I have brought for love-tokens,
from the Lords of Truth, in my East,

Sa'di, translated by Sir Edwin Arnold

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