another anecdote from The Conference of the Birds by Farid-ud-Din Attar...

The King and the Beggar

Once upon a time in Egypt an unfortunate man fell in love with the king, who when he heard about it sent for the man and said: 'Since you are in love with me you must choose one of two things-either have your head cut off or go into exile.' The man said that he preferred exile, and almost beside himself, got ready to go. But the king ordered him to be beheaded. A chamberlain said: 'He is innocent, why must he die?' 'It is,' said the king, 'because he is not a true lover and was not whole-hearted. Had he really desired me, he would rather have lost his head than leave the object of his love. It would have been all or nothing. Had he consented to execution, I would have girded my loins and become his slave. He who loves me but loves his head better, is no true lover.'

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