Gulistan of Saadi
On Love and Youth
A schoolboy was so perfectly beautiful and sweet-voiced that the teacher, in accordance with human
nature, conceived such an affection towards him that’ he often recited the following verses:
I am not so little occupied with thee, O heavenly face,
That remembrance of myself occurs to my mind.
From thy sight I am unable to withdraw my eyes
Although when I am opposite I may see that an arrow comes.
Once the boy said to him: ‘As thou strivest to direct my studies, direct also my behaviour. If thou
perceivest anything reprovable in my conduct, although it may seem approvable to me, inform me
thereof that I may endeavour to change it.’ He replied: ‘O boy, make that request to someone else
because the eyes with which I look upon thee behold nothing but virtues.’
The ill-wishing eye, be it torn out
Sees only defects in his virtue.
But if thou possessest one virtue and seventy faults
A friend sees nothing except that virtue.