The Pearl and the Ocean

by: Saadi (c. 1213-1291)

    translated by Samuel Robinson

From the Bustan

A drop of rain trickled from a cloud into the ocean. When it beheld the breadth of its waters it was utterly confounded:

“What a place is this Sea, and what am I? If it is existent, verily I am non-existent.”

Whilst it was thus regarding itself with the eye of contempt, an oyster received and cherished it in its bosom.

Fortune preferred it to a place of honor; for it became a renowned royal Pearl.

Because it was humble, it found exaltation: it knocked at the door of Nonentity that it might arise into Being.

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