An impostor arranged his hair in a peculiar fashion, pretended to be a descendant of A’li and entered the town with a caravan from the Hejaz, saying that he had just arrived from a pilgrimage. He also presented an elegy to the king, alleging that he had himself composed it. One of the king’s courtiers, who had that year returned from a journey, said: ‘I have seen him at Bosrah on the Azhah festival, then how can he be a Haji?’ Another said: ‘His father was a Christian at Melitah. How can he be a descendant of A’li? And his poetry has been found in the Divan of Anvari.’ the king ordered him to be beaten and expelled the country for his great mendacity. the man said: ‘O lord of the surface of the earth, I shall say something more and, if it is not true, I shall deserve any punishment which thou mayest decree.’ He asked: ‘What is it?’
When a stranger brings before thee buttermilk
two measures of it will be water and a spoonful sour milk.
If thou hast heard heedless talk from thy slave, be not offended.
A man who has seen the world utters much falsehood.
the king laughed, told him that all his life he had not uttered more true words than these and ordered the present which the fellow hoped for to be got ready.