A bird accepts the hoopoe’s leadership.

Another bird said: ‘Hoopoe, you’re our guide.

How would it be if I let you decide?

I’m ignorant of right and wrong – I’ll wait

For any orders that you stipulate.

Whatever you command I’ll gladly do,

Delighted to submit myself to you.’

 

‘Bravo!’ the hoopoe cried. ‘By far the best

Decision is the one that you suggest;

Whoever will be guided finds relief

From Fate’s adversity, from inward grief;

One hour of guidance benefits you more

Than all your mortal life, however pure

Those who will not submit like lost dogs stray,

Beset by misery, and lose their way –

How much a dog endures! and all in vain;

Without a guide his pain is simply pain.

But one who suffers and is guided gives

His merit to the world; he truly lives.

Take refuge in the orders of your guide,

And like slave subdue your restive pride.

 

Farid Ud-din Attar (The conference of the birds)

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