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Poetry

Persia's poetic past
In memory of my father, who taught me to be proud of my heritage

 

Amir Nasseri
September 29, 2005
iranian.com

The sands of time have always known
That civilization which has grown
In that plateau we call Iran
Land of the Lion, and the Sun

Kourosh brought unmatched glory,
Dariush's Persepolis told a lasting story,
Strength came from tolerance and freedom,
Justice and nobility flourished in this kingdom

Wise words of Kourosh, baked on a cylinder of clay;
Respect all foreign cultures, and the right to freely pray,
Women were respected, and slavery abolished
Kourosh was Great, for the "Human Rights" he polished

The greatest empire ever seen
Their lasting legacy was unforeseen
Masters of the world
The Persians' achievements must be told

And what of Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis?
Did the Greeks truly receive such bliss?
Herodotus embellished, told lies for the West
For the Persians, these were skirmishes at best

But every golden era must someday end
So too Achaemanesh's dynasty would bend
Alexander's army won, but could not see
Win or lose, Persians' hearts always stay free

Revenge, envy, and wine made Alexander yearn
The pride of Persia, Persepolis, to burn
The labor of years, by a thousand artisans employed
Took one lunatic one night, for this jewel to be destroyed

Greatness comes, from a worthy contribution
To humanity, to art, to law, or a scientific institution
Those who burn and loot deserve our hate
So answer this, was Alexander truly Great?

Parthians picked up the torch of our land
Put Iranian rule back in Iranian hand
They showed Greece and Rome, to name just two
That Iran possesses great horses, and great MEN too

Like a Phoenix, from the ashes rising
The Sassanians arrived, with Iran reorganizing
Power, wealth, and wisdom again flourished
The rule of Ardeshir, Shapur, and Khosro let Iran be nourished

Life was based on three simple needs
Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds
Monotheist religion, for all its evil and its good
Came from Iran, from where Zarathustra stood

Rome, for all its power and its legions
Couldn't touch Iran's vast regions
Many times Rome tried but failed
Every time cataphract armor thundered and hailed

But Sassanian wealth and beauty caught the eye
Of a dessert tribe, whose religion was a lie
Like dessert snakes, they ruthlessly attacked
Until beautiful Ctesiphone was sacked

Rostam-e-Farokhzad, the brave and capable general
Fought till the end, though his wounds were several
At Qaddissiya, he came to Iran's defense
Alas, the Taazi army was too dense

With coercion and the sword
Islam was able to spread its word
A dark and sinister force was born
That to this day brings Iran much scorn

Some to India had to flee
Iran's destruction was unbearable to see
Parsees, they are called to this day
Ahura Mazda, with them will always stay

But Iranian roots are strong and hard to kill
Iran was freed again, with such a thrill
The Saffarids would answer the nation's call
To make Arab tyranny shamefully fall

Don't mourn the Ashura, weep a Taazi's death
Hassan and Hossein were foreigners, who weakened Iran's breath
If mourn you must, then mourn, a national event
Like Gauguamela, or Qaddissiya, places of great lament

While Europe was stagnant in its Dark Ages
Persian scholars thrived, free from mental cages
From algebra, to astronomy, and architecture
Persians wrote the book, and gave the lecture

A time of great Persian thinkers had emerged
Where poetry and science, love and knowledge, easily verged
Saadi, Hafez, Rumi, Omar Khayam to name a few
Thanks to them, humanity exponentially grew

Who could forget Ferdowsi, the greatest poet ever?
He gave us Sam, Zal, and Rostam, heroes both brave and clever
The Persian language, so eloquently resurrected
As The Shahnameh was written with all Arabic words neglected

Many other invaders would come again, much the same
From Genghis Khan to Teimur the Lame
They would loot, burn, and murder
The cities too proud to surrender

Though Turks and Mongols had military strength
They were lacking in cultural length
The Persian culture was too rich, to be absorbed into theirs
Instead they settled in Iran, and joined her proud heirs

It's clear from this short and simple recap
That Iran had its share of glory, as well as mishap
Our generation is unfortunate, assigned the station
Of another dark chapter, in the book of our nation

Once again Zahak is in power
His snakes consume and poison every flower
He uses religion and superstition
To enforce his selfish and malicious mission

So once more dust off the Kaviyani banner
And fly it high, in a proud and fitting manner
Zahak and his snakes will die once more
And our nation we shall yet restore

Iran in its infancy reached the sky
Will Faravahar's wings expand, will Iran soar that high?
Just lift the veil, you'll surely see
Iran's brightest days lie ahead, when the Aryans are free again

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