Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WELCOME, by FARID OD-DIN MOHAMMAD EBN EBRAHIM ATTAR



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THE WELCOME, by            
First Line: One night shah mahmud, who had been of late
Last Line: "poor flue more royal than another's throne."
Alternate Author Name(s): Attar, Ferideddin; Attar, Farid-uddin
Subject(s): Friendship


ONE night Shah Mahmud, who had been of late
Somewhat distempered with Affairs of State,
Strolled through the Streets disguised, as wont to do --
And coming to the Baths, there on the Flue
Saw the poor Fellow who the Furnace fed
Sitting beside his Water-jug and Bread.
Mahmud stept in -- sat down -- unasked took up
And tasted of the untasted Loaf and Cup,
Saying within himself, "Grudge but a bit,
And, by the Lord, your Head shall pay for it!"
So, having rested, warmed and satisfied
Himself without a Word on either side,
At last the wayward Sultan rose to go.
And then at last his Host broke silence -- "So? --
Art satisfied? Well, Brother, and Day
Or Night, remember, when you come this Way
And want a bit of Provender -- why, you
Are welcome, and if not -- why, welcome too" --
The Sultan was so tickled with the whim
Of this quaint Entertainment and of him
Who offered it, that many a Night again
Stoker and Shah forgathered in that vein --
Till, the poor Fellow having stood the Test
Of true Good-fellowship, Mahmud confessed
One Night the Sultan that had been his Guest:
And in requital of the scanty Dole
The poor Man offered with so large a soul,
Bid him ask any Largess that he would --
A Throne -- if he would have it, so he should.
The Poor Man kissed the Dust, and "All," said he,
"I ask is what aud where I am to be;
If but the Shah from time to time will come
As now, and see me in the lowly Home
His presence makes a Palace, and my own
Poor Flue more royal than another's Throne."




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