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Makhtumkuli’s Advice

Never speak sharply to a fellow man.
The poor are aided by your courtesy.
Stay distant from the sinner if you can.
Doing your work well needs efficiency.

When meeting orphans1 greet them with a smile
And, better yet, provide a meal meanwhile.
Comfort the sad in gently hopeful style.
Support the helpless man with constancy.

Though poverty brings pain with it, perforce,
It does not kill. So smile – a dog or horse
Conceals its weakness from a wolf. Of course
Such wiles are needed ‘gainst the enemy.

With brave men, what is promised is then done.
Don’t argue when there’s no case to be won.
And modesty becomes us, everyone,
As justice does a Sultan’s sovereignty.

The fields grow green, with flowers ever young.
O Makhtumkuli thanks God for his tongue,
As advocates plead cases yet unsung.
There’s elegance shown in a bended knee.

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