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A Persian tale


By John Godfrey Saxe (1816 -1887)
January 22, 2002
The Iranian


THAT blessings lost, though hard to bear,

Are light when weighed with carking care, --

Some ill whose ever-goading spite

Affects us morning, noon, and night, --

Sadi, the Persian poet, shows

Most humorously. The story goes --

So sings the bard -- that, on a time,

Somewhere within the Eastern clime,

A worthy gentleman, whose wife

Took sudden leave of him and life,

In deepest lamentation fell

For the dear dame whom long and well

The man had loved, -- as well might be, --

For she was good, and fair to see,

And crowned with every winning grace

Of mind and soul to match her face.


What much his weight of woe in creased,

The mother of the dear deceased,

A meddling beldame, old and cross,

Remained to help him mourn his loss.

From morn to night the vixen's tongue

He heard, and groaned; and still she clung

Leech-like unto the widowed spouse;

For, by the daughter's nuptial vows,

The woman said, it was agreed --

Dared he dispute it? -- no, indeed! --

Her mother in the house should stay,

A guest -- unto her dying day!

In vain the hapless man essayed

To buy her off; in vain portrayed

The pleasures of a trip to Rome;

She still "preferred to stay at home!"


One day, amidst the deafening din

Of angry tongues, some friends came in,

With sympathetic voice to pay

Condolence, in the common way;

And, hinting at his recent loss,

Click Here to Pay Learn More Amazon Honor SystemHoped Heaven would help him bear his cross.

"Thanks!" said the mourner, with a sigh,

"My loss is great, -- I can't deny;

But for affliction, I must say,

What God was pleased to take away

A less calamity I find

Than what He chose to leave behind!"

Thanks to John Mohammadi for searching and forwarding the contents of this page.

Comment for The Iranian letters section


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