A Tale from The Gulistan of Sa’adi

The Rose Garden of Sa’di

From the 1st Chapter:
The manner of Kings
Tale No. 12

Here we have a tale of Sa’di from the first section of his masterpieceGolistan (The Rose Garden of Sa’di) – The Manner of Kings, 12th story.

saadi 2 - A Tale of Sa’di (2)
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:یِکی اَز مُلوکِ بی اِنصاف پارسایی را پُرسید:

yeki az muluk-e bi-ensâf pârsâyi râ porsid:

یِکی= on of
مُلوک = (pl. of malek) kings
بی اِنصاف = unjust

پارسایی = a righteous man
را = sign of object
پُرسید = asked

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«اَز عِبادَت ها کُدام فاضِل تَر اَست؟»

“az ‘ebâdat-hâ kodâm fâzel-tar ast?”

اَز = from
عِبادَت = worshiping
ها = sign of plural

کُدام = which one
فاضِل تَر = more virtuous
اَست = is

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«.گُفت: «تو را خوابِ نیم روز تا دَر آن یِک نَفَس خَلق را نَیازاری

goft: “to-râ khâb-e nimruz tâ dar ân yek nafas xalq râ nayâzâri.”

گُفت = said
تو را = for you
خواب = sleep
نیمروز = midday

تا = so that
یِک نَفَس = one moment
خَلق = people
نیازاری= do not torment

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ظالِمی را خُفته دیدَم نیم روز

zâlemi râ xofte(h) didam nim-ruz

ظالمی = a cruel man
را = sign of object
خُفته = asleep

دیدَم = I saw
نیم روز = at midday

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گُفتَم این فِتنه اَست خوابَش بُرده بِه

goftam in fetne(h) ast xâbaš borde(h) beh

گُفتَم = I said
این = this (guy)
فِتنه = villain

اَست = is
خوابَش بُرده = fallen asleep
بِه = (short form of behtar) better

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وآنکه خوابَش بِهتَر اَز بیداری اَست

vânke(h) xâbaš behtar az bidâri ast

وآنکه = (short form of va ân kasi ke(h)) the one
خوابَش = his sleep
بِهتَر اَز = better than

بیداری = wakefulness
اَست = is

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آن چِنان بَد زِندگانی مُرده بِه

ânčenân bad zendegâni morde(h) beh

آن چِنان = like this  /such
بَد = bad
زِندِگانی = living

مُرده = dead
به = better

Sleeping Dictators
Painting Collection by: Bart Jensen

dictator sleeps2 - A Tale of Sa’di (2)
dictator sleeps1 - A Tale of Sa’di (2)

Tale no. 12 From the 1st Part of Sa’di’s Rose Garden

یِکی اَز مُلوکِ بی اِنصاف پارسایی را پُرسید: «اَز عِبادَت ها کُدام فاضِل تَر اَست؟» گُفت: «تو را خوابِ نیم روز تا دَر آن یِک نَفَس خَلق را نَیازاری».
ظالِمی را خُفته دیدَم نیم روز
گُفتَم این فِتنه اَست خوابَش بُرده به
وآنکه خوابَش بِهتَر اَز بیداری اَست
آن چِنان بَد زِندِگانی مُرده به
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Sa’di’s Tale
Translated by: CHARLOTTE DE GRAUWE

One of those unjust king asked a righteous man which prayer has the most merit. He responded: “for you to sleep at midday so that at least  for a moment you do not torment people.”

I saw a cruel man sleep at midday;
I said (to myself) it is better for a villain to sleep;

For one whose sleep is better than his wakefulness;
His death is better than his continued presence;

Sa’di’s Tale
Translated by: EDWARD REHATSEK

An unjust king asked a devotee what kind of worship is best? He replied: ‘For thee the best is to sleep one half of the day so as not to injure the people for a while.

I saw a tyrant sleeping half the day;
I said: ‘This confusion, if sleep removes it, so much the better;

But he whose sleep is better than his wakefulness;
Is better dead than leading such a bad life;