Home  »  library  »  poem  »  Noureddin Reads from an Old Folio

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Noureddin Reads from an Old Folio

By Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger (1779–1850)

From ‘Aladdin’: Translation of Sir Theodore Martin

LIFE’S gladsome child is led by Fortune’s hand;

And what the sage doth moil to make his prize,

When in the sky the pale stars coldly stand,

From his own breast leaps forth in wondrous wise.

Met by boon Fortune midway, he prevails,

Scarce weeting how, in whatsoe’er he tries.

’Tis ever thus that Fortune freely hails

Her favorite, and on him her blessings showers,

Even as to heaven the scented flower exhales.

Unwooed she comes at unexpected hours;

And little it avails to rack thy brain,

And ask where lurk her long-reluctant powers;

Fain wouldst thou grasp—Hope’s portal shuts amain,

And all thy fabric vanishes in air;

Unless foredoomed by Fate thy toils are vain,

Thy aspirations doomed to meet despair.