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Pashtun Poetry

As I Look On 

By Khushal Khan Khattak



Just seeing what these dogs will do to satisfy the flesh.

Such dealing as are brought about, men being what they are, satan himself could not devise, Still less consider fair.

They place before them the Koran, they read aloud from it, but of their actions not a one
Conforms with the Koran.

In which direction should I go? Where should I seek for them? Wise men have now become as rare as the alchemists stone.

Good men are like garnets and rubies, not often to be found, while other common, worthless men, like common stones, abound.

It may be that in other lands good men are to be found but they are few and far between,
I know, among Afghans.

However much he counsels hem and gives him sound advice, not even his own fathers word does he consider good.

And yet Afghans, in all their deeds, are better than the Moguls; but unanimity they lack, and there is the pity of it.

I hear talk of Sultan Baholol, also of Sher Shar Sur: they were Afghans who won renown
As emperors in Hind.

For six or seven generations they ruled in such a way that all the people were amazed
at their accomplishments.

Either they were another kind than these Afghans today, or else it is by Gods command
that things have reached this pass.

I once Afghans acquire the grace of unanimity aged Khushal will thereupon
Become a youth again


By Khushal Khan Khattak



The Afghans are far superior to the Mughals at the sword,
Were but the Afghans, in intellect, a little discreet,
If the different tribes would but support each other,
Kings would have to bow down in prostration before them.
But whether it be concord or strife, or folly or wisdom,
The affairs of every one are in the hands of the Almighty.
Let us see what the Afridis, Mohmands, and Shinwaris will do;
For the Mughals are now lying encamped at Nangrahar.
I alone, amongst the Afghans, grieve for our honour and renown;
Whilst the Yusufzais at their ease are tilling their fields.
They who now act so dishonourably, and so shamelessly,
Will, hereafter, the upshot of their own acts perceive.
In my poor judgement, death is more preferable than life,
But the memory of Khushal will long, long endure!


By Khushal Khan Khattak


Life’s no life when honor’s left;
Man’s a man when honor’s kept.

Nation’s honor and nation’s fame;
On life they have a prior claim.

With thoughts of these I do remain;
Unvexed with cares of loss or gain.

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