Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Fitzgerald by Fitzgerald - Read Online



Omar Khayyam was born at Naishapur in Khorassan in the latter half of our Eleventh, and died within the First Quarter of our Twelfth Century. The Slender Story of his Life is curiously twined about that of two other very considerable Figures in their Time and Country: one of whom tells the Story of all Three. This was Nizam ul Mulk, Vizier to Alp Arslan the Son, and Malik Shah the Grandson, of Toghrul Beg the Tartar, who had wrested Persia from the feeble Successor of Mahmud the Great, and founded that Seljukian Dynasty which finally roused Europe into the Crusades.
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of Omar


Translated by


Introduction by


Illustrated by



Bombay • Delhi • Bangalore

Calcutta • Hyderabad • Madras

© 1948 by Jaico Publishing House



ISBN 81-7224-227-1

This Book is NOT a digest or condensation. It contains the complete text of Edward FitzGerald's first and fifth versions.

Tenth Jaico Impression: 1980

Eleventh Jaico Impression: 1990

Twelveth Jaico Impression: 1993

Published by

Ashwin J. Shah

Jaico Publishing House

121, M.G. Road

Bombay-400 023.

Printed By:

R.N. Kothari

Konam Printers,

Diana Talkies Lane,

Tardeo, Bombay - 400 034.



It is said that when Thomas Hardy lay dying in his eighty-eighth year, he asked to have one particular stanza read to him. It was the verse which runs:

O Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make, And ev'n with Paradise devise the Snake : For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man Is blackened—Man's forgiveness give—and take!



WHEN he was horn at Naishapur in Khorassan, some time during the latter half of the 11th century, he was called Ghiyathuddin Abulfath Omar bin Ibrahim AlKhayyami. Reduced to its practical origins, the sonorous syllables indicated nothing more than that the child was the son of one Abraham, or Ibrahim, the tentmaker. The boy, familiarly known as Omar, seems to have followed his father's trade. From tentmaking he graduated to science and mathematics, and in his day he was far better known as a mathematician and astronomer than as a poet. He wrote a standard work on algebra; he revised the astronomical tables; he prompted the Persian Sultan Malik-Shah to make a drastic reform of the calendar.

During the few intervals when he was free of his computations, Omar indulged himself in the pleasures of poetry. He celebrated two intoxicants: verse and the vine. Before he died in 1123 he had composed some five hundred epigrams in quatrains, or rubais, peculiar in rhyme and pungent in effect. The stanzas were, for the most part, independent; they embodied a terse and self-contained idea. But they were connected, if not unified, by a central philosophy: a vigorous, free-thinking hedonism, a casual but frank appeal to enjoy the pleasures of life without too much reflection.

For six centuries Omar's work was unknown to the western world. It remained for a secluded English country gentleman to establish the Persian poet-mathematician among