Sunday, June 29, 2014


A beggar of Shiraz once had a looking-glass
That by its magic power all others did surpass­
Which many dames would wish their mirrors too could I share-­
To show an ugly face as if it were most fair!
 The beggar held this glass in front of everyone
From whom he begged; and copious guerdons thus he won.
 For each with gladness gave who saw himself so fair:
The gay young lord, the foul old hag, both looking there.
At last the beggar, lying sick, gave to his son the glass,
 and said, "Make use of it as I have done."
But with the glass at night all empty came he back,
 For he had made a different use of it, alack!
 He held not up the glass before each passing wight,
 But saw his own face there and lingered on the sight.
The father said, "The foolish fruits of idle pride,
My son, no human heart has ever satisfied.
Who shows the world in Flattery's glass is one shrewd elf;
He is a fool who looks therein to see himself." (Translation of an Oriental Poem)

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