On the day I posted The Hem of His Robe Venerable Anandajoti (Feb.19th) just happened to be translating these verses from the Javanahamsa Jataka (Ja.IV,217), which have a similar theme. Noticing this happy coincidence he sent me his translation of the verses and based on it I share my own rendering on them with you.
The cry of birds and jackals is easy to understand
But to understand the cry of humans is much harder.
One may think ‘He is my relative, my friend, my comrade’
But one who formerly gave happiness may later become a foe.
Though far away, the one who delights our mind is near.
Though close, the one who displeases our mind, is far from away.
One of radiant mind is still radiant-minded though he be across the sea.
Though far beyond the sea, one of corrupt mind is corrupt-minded still.