The Self

والنفس كالطفل إن تهملهُ شبَّ علــــى
حب الرضاعِ وإن تفطمهُ ينفطــــم
The self is like an infant; if you neglect its proper care, it will grow up still loving to suckle;
But once you wean it, it will be weaned

فاصرف هواها وحاذر أن توليــــــــــه
إن الهوى ما تولى يصم أو يصـــــم
So dismiss its passions, beware of letting them take over,
For when passion gets the upper hand, it will either kill or bring dishonour

وراعها وهي في الأعمالِ ســــــــائمةٌ
وإن هي استحلت المرعى فلا تسم
Keep a watchful eye on it as it grazes in the field of actions,
And if it finds the pasture too delightful, do not let it graze unchecked

كم حسنت لذةً للمرءِ قاتلــــــــــــــــــة
من حيث لم يدرِ أن السم فى الدسم
How often a pleasure that is in fact deadly has seemed good,
To one who does not know there may be poison in the fat


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