The Caliph And The Poet
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Once upon a time there was a famous Arab whose name was Al Mansur. He was the ruler of all the Arabs, and was therefore called the caliph. [Footnote: Caliph (pronounced ka'lif).]

Al Mansur loved poetry and was fond of hearing poets repeat their own verses. Sometimes, if a poem was very pleasing, he gave the poet a prize. One day a poet whose name was Thalibi came to the caliph and recited a long poem. When he had finished, he bowed, and waited, hoping that he would be rewarded.

"Which would you rather have" asked the caliph, "three hundred pieces of gold, or three wise sayings from my lips?"

The poet wished very much to please the caliph. So he said, "Oh, my master, everybody should choose wisdom rather than wealth."

The caliph smiled, and said, "Very well, then, listen to my first wise saying: When your coat is worn out, don't sew on a new patch; it will look ugly."

"Oh, dear!" moaned the poet. "There go a hundred gold pieces all at once." The caliph smiled again. Then he said, "Listen now to my second word of wisdom. It is this: When you oil your beard, don't oil it too much, lest it soil your clothing."

"Worse and worse!" groaned the poor poet. "There go the second hundred.
What shall I do?"


"Wait, and I will tell you," said the caliph; and he smiled again. "My third wise saying isó"

"O caliph, have mercy!" cried the poet. "Keep the third piece of wisdom for your own use, and let me have the gold."

The caliph laughed outright, and so did every one that heard him. Then he ordered his treasurer to pay the poet five hundred pieces of gold; for, indeed, the poem which he had recited was wonderfully fine.

The caliph, Al Mansur, lived nearly twelve hundred years ago. He was the builder of a famous and beautiful city called Bagdad.

 


The Caliph And The Poet- Inspirational Story

The inspirational story of The Caliph And The Poetincluded on this page is from the book Fifty Famous People - A Book of Short Stories by James Baldwin. The Book was Published in 1912 and James Baldwin describes each of the people included in the individual stories as having left "footprints on the sands of time".

The Caliph And The Poet

The story is based on the true life of the individual but is not a biography. It's a truly inspirational tale and a great example of excellent moral values. Despite being written over one hundred years ago, the story is still relevant today. If you are looking for an inspirational story full of ideas and enthusiasm to read to your children, look no further! Just print off this page, bookmark it for later or save it to your favorites!  Discover the life of one of the fifty characters from the book 'Fifty Famous People - A Book of Short Stories' by James Baldwin. Each one of these amazing characters has left a legacy for us to enjoy and pass on to future generations.

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