A Persian tale
By John Godfrey Saxe (1816 -1887)
January 22, 2002
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,
Hoped 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.