Rose Garden *

The night was spent at the garden with a friend; such pleasant setting with tree brances meeting above, as if pieces of crystal and the cluster of pleiades were hanging from its vines. In the morning, when the thought of return exceeded the desire to stay, I saw my friend ready to leave for the city with a lapful of flowers, basil, and hyacinth. I said: "as you know, flowers do not last and unfulfilled are the promises of the garden. Men of wisdom advise against attachment to that which is ephemeral." "So, what is to be done?" asked my friend. I replied: "For the pleasure of observers and the delight of those present, I shall compose the gulistan ('The flower garden') whose pages the autumnal wind cannot rend and whose vernal bliss the passage of time cannot turn to the woes of winter."

* Saadi 13th century