a Ferdowsi poem

All have gone sweeping in the garth of lore
And what I tell hath all been told before,
But though upon a fruit-tree I obtain
No place, and purpose not to climb, still he
That sheltereth beneath a lofty tree
Will from its shadow some protection gain;
A footing on the boughs too I may find
Of yonder shady cypress after all
For having left this history behind
Of famous kings as my memorial.
Deem not these legends lying fantasy,
As if the world were always in one stay,
For most accord with sense, or anyway
Contain a moral.
In the days gone by
There was an Epic Cycle spread broadcast
Among the learned archmages (arch-magi or mobeds), and at last
A certain paladin, of rustic birth,
A man of courage, wisdom, rank, and worth,
An antiquary, one who ransacked earth
For any legends of the ages past,
Intent on learning what might yet be known,
Called hoar archmages (arch-magi or mobeds) out of every clime,
To ask about the annals of the throne,
The famed successful heroes of old tune,
What men were doing in those days that we
Inherit such a world of misery,
And how each day beneath auspicious skies
They carried out some daring enterprise.
The archmages (arch-magi or mobeds) told their legendary store,
How this world fared and what kings undertook,
And as he listened to the men of lore
He laid the basis of the famous book,
Which now remaineth his memorial,
Amid the plaudits both of great and small.

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