Nasir Khusraw

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Nasir Khusraw, also known as Abu Mo’in Hamid ad-Din Nasir ibn Khusraw al-Qubadiani or Nāsir Khusraw Qubādiyānī Balkhi (1004– 1088), was a Persian poet, philosopher, and Isma'ili scholar, traveler and one of the greatest writers in Persian literature.


  • Twas in Religion that he gloried by whom till the Day of Judgement
    The Arabs excel the Persians in glory.
    He who lacks religion is ignoble and mean,
    Though Feridun be his maternal, and Jamshid his paternal uncle.

The Gourd and the Palm-tree[edit]

Stanza 1[edit]

  • Have you heard? A squash vine grew beneath a towering tree.
    In only twenty days it grew and spread and put forth fruit.
    Of the tree it asked: "How old are you? How many years?"
    Replied the tree: "Two hundred it would be, and surely more."
    The squash laughed and said: "Look, in twenty days, I've done
    More than you; tell me, why are you so slow?"
    The tree responded: "O little Squash, today is not the day
    of reckoning between the two of us.
    "Tomorrow, when winds of autumn howl down on you and me,
    then shall it be known for sure which one of us is the most resilient!"

Stanza 2[edit]

  • A gourd wrapped itself round a lofty palm and in a few weeks climbed to its very top.
    ‘And how old mayest thou be?’ asked the newcomer; ‘About a hundred years,’ was the answer.
    ‘A hundred years and no taller? Only look, I have grown as tall as you in fewer days than you can count years.’
    ‘I know that well,’ replied the palm; 'every summer of my life a gourd has climbed up round me, as proud as thou art, and as short-lived as thou wilt be.’

Stanza 3[edit]

  • To whome the Pine, with longe Experience wise,
    And ofte had seene suche peacockes loose theire plumes,
    Thus aunswere made, thow owght'st not to despise,
    My stocke at all, oh foole, thow much presumes.
    In coulde and heate, here longe hath bene my happe,
    Yet am I sounde and full of livelie sappe.
    But, when the froste and coulde shall thee assaie,
    Thowghe nowe alofte, thow bragge, and freshlie bloome,
    Yet, then the roote shall rotte and fade awaie,
    And shortlie, none shall knowe where was thy roome:
    Thy fruicte and leaves, that nowe so highe aspire,
    The passers by shall treade within the mire.

Stanza 4[edit]

  • Good deeds stand tall like a green pine, evil deeds bloom like flowers;
    The pine is not as brilliant as the flowers, it seems.
    When the frost comes, the pine will still stand tall,
    While the flowers, withered, can be seen no more

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