Conversations with the wise one

| by Basil Fernando
[October 03, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian] 

Advice to a King

A King was planning a war

He wished to conquer a neighboring land

where, he had heard,

the people were prosperous.

Wanting to be sure of victory,

he summoned his senior minster,

bade him to go before the Wise One.

And after letting the wise one know

the King's intentions,

to ask for his thoughts

on the venture's success.

The minister did as he was told

And waited for the wise one's words,

who then spoke, saying,

People of that land, I have learned

Hold assemblies, talk to each other

Such is the secret of their prosperity

Such a nation can not be conquered.

Minster brought these word to the King

and the King replied,"The wise one

Always tells the truth,"

and abandoned his planned warfare.