BLACK CAT POEMS
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Inscription on the Fountain of Jemshid
translated by Samuel Robinson
From the Bustan
I have heard that Jemshid, of happy disposition, inscribed on a tablet at the head of a fountain:
"Many, like ourselves, have breathed at this fountain, and departed, and closed their eyes upon it.
"They captured the world by courage, or violence, but carried away with them nothing to the grave.
"They departed each one, and of that which they had tilled nothing remained to them, save a good or an evil name.
"When thine enemy hath fallen into thy hands, grieve him not further; he hath already tasted enough of sorrow.
"Better hold in thy keeping a discomfited enemy alive, than to have on thy neck the stain of his blood."
poems by Saadi