Asia. The first part being an accurate description of Persia, and the several provinces thereof : the vast empire of the Great Mogol, and other parts of India, and their several kingdoms and regions : with the denominations and descriptions of the cities, towns, and places of remark therein contain'd : the various customs, habits, religion, and languages of the inhabitants : their political governments, and way of commerce : also the plants and animals peculiar to each country
Ogilby, John, 1600-1676.

Of their Poesie.

POesie is here also highly esteem'd, for in most places are many Shaers or Poets (for Shaer in the Persian Tongue signifies a Poet, as Casiechuan an Orator) which compose Ver∣ses in Writing, but extempore, which they recite publickly in the Maidan or Market-place, or in Houses of Entertainment, for a small Reward, and are often invited to great Feasts by Persons of Quality, to make their Entertainment more so∣lemn by the rehearsal of their Poetical Fancies. Della Valle affirms, that they have some knowledge in Poetry, Morality, and Oratory, yet it is but su∣perficial, consisting onely in words, for they are very shallow of Invention, which is the most no∣ble part, and like the Soul of the whole Body.

The King, as also the Chans, have each their own Poets, which do not make themselves com∣mon in the Streets, but keep in their Houses, and make new Verses to delight their Lords, and if they chance to hit on a Subject pleasing to them, they are rewarded with great Presents.

*These Poets differ from other People in their Habit, for like the Philosophers they wear white under-Coats, open before, with broad and wide Sleeves, and a Bag by their Girdle, in which they carry their Paper and Inkhorn: Their Cloaks are without Sleeves, their Stockings short, and their Breeches run down sloaping to their Feet: In the Winter they wear Coats which reach down to their Ancles; but they never wear Turbants, onely Caps. Those that stand in the Maidans or Mar∣kets, tie a painted Cloth about their Bodies, which hang over their right Shoulder and under their left Arm, in which manner they read their Poetry; but these are not all to be suppos'd excellent, for some scarce deserve the Name of Rhimers; these may be seen venting their Froth in publick Hou∣ses and in the Market-places, to the illiterate Vul∣gar. But there are many excellent Copies of the ancient Persian Poets, as well in the Turkish as Per∣sian Language; for as they esteem both Tongues alike, so they read the Turks Poetry with as much pleasure as the Persian. The best Poets amongst them are distinguish'd by these Names, viz, Saadi, Hasis, Firdausi, Fussuli, Chagani, Eheli, Schems, Nawai, Schahidi, Deheki, Nessimi. Their Verses close almost after the German manner,* having re∣gard to like sounding words at the end of each Verse, but mind not the number of Feet. Some Verses are onely a few words, which being trans∣pos'd into several places, make the Verses divers; and to this purpose they often use such words as have a double signification; some end with the ending word of the former Line, as thus:

Tzire, tzire, tzirag Janitze,
Adamira demag Janitze?
Tzire, tzire, tzirag Osteri bud?
Adamira demag Cheri bud.

Some begin with the ending word, and end with the beginning word of the former Line, as in the following Verses:

Kalem be dest Debira beh hasar derem,
Derem be dest neajed Meker nauk kalem.

Here the second Verse begins with the word wherewith the first ended, and the last ends with the same with which the first begins; so that we may conclude, though they have a high conceit of themselves, yer we can discover nothing by this, but that they are very mean Poets.