Gulistan of Saadi
On Love and Youth
I remember having in the days of my youth passed through a street, intending to see a moon-faced
beauty. It was in Temuz, whose heat dried up the saliva in the mouth and whose simum boiled the
marrow in my bones. My weak human nature being unable to endure the scorching sun, I took refuge
in the shadow of a wall, wishing someone might relieve me from the summer heat and quench my fire
with some water; and lo, all of a sudden, from the darkness of the porch of a house a light shone forth,
namely a beauty, the grace of which the tongue of eloquence is unable to describe. She came out like
the rising dawn after an obscure night or the water of immortality gushing from a dark cavern,
carrying in her hand a bowl of snow-water, into which sugar had been poured and essence of roses
mixed. I knew not whether she had perfumed it with rose-water or whether a few drops from her rosy
face had fallen into it. In short, I took the beverage from her beautiful hands, drank it and began to
The thirst of my heart cannot be quenched
By sipping limpid water even if I drink oceans of it.
Blessed is the man of happy destiny whose eye
Alights every morning on such a countenance.
One drunk of wine awakens at midnight,
One drunk of the cupbearer on the morn of resurrection.