On friends and enemies
I am displeased with the company of friends
To whom my bad qualities appear to be good;
They fancy my faults are virtues and perfection;
My thorns they believe to be rose and jessamine.
Say! where is the bold and quick enemy
To make me aware of my defects?
If people injure thee, grieve not;
Because neither rest nor grief come from the people.
Be aware that the contrasts of friend and foe are from God,
Because the hearts of both are in His keeping.
Although the arrow is shot from the bow,
Wise men look at the archer!
Oh thou! who showest virtues on the palms of the hand,
But concealest thy errors under the armpit,
What wilt thou purchase, oh vainglorious fool,
On the day of distress with counterfeit silver?
Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī , better known by his pen-name as Saadi, was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period.