Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Render ed into E nglish Verse b yE dwar dF itzgerald endered English by Edwar dward Fitzgerald An E lectr onic Classics S eries P ublication Electr lectronic Series Publication

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Contents
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam ..........................................................................4 Introduction .....................................................................................................4 First Edition ..................................................................................................14 KUZA—NAMA. (“Book of Pots”)...............................................................24 Fifth Edition ..................................................................................................27 Notes ...............................................................................................................44

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat of O mar Khayyam Omar ing, as quoted in the Calcutta Review, No. 59, from Mirkhond’s History of the Assassins. Render ed into E nglish Verse b yE dwar dF endered English by Edwar dward Fitzgerald “‘One of the greatest of the wise men of Khorassan was the itzgerald Imam Mowaffak of Naishapur, a man highly honored and Intr ntroduction reverenced,—may God rejoice his soul; his illustrious years oduction exceeded eighty-five, and it was the universal belief that every boy who read the Koran or studied the traditions in his presOmar Khayyam, Astronomer-P onomer-Poet Persia. ence, would assuredly attain to honor and happiness. For The Astr onomer-P oet of P ersia. this cause did my father send me from Tus to Naishapur with OMAR KHAYYAM WAS BORN at Naishapur in Khorassan in the Abd-us-samad, the doctor of law, that I might employ mylatter half of our Eleventh, and died within the First Quarter self in study and learning under the guidance of that illustriof our Twelfth Century. The Slender Story of his Life is curious teacher. Towards me he ever turned an eye of favor and ously twined about that of two other very considerable Fig- kindness, and as his pupil I felt for him extreme affection and ures in their Time and Country: one of whom tells the Story devotion, so that I passed four years in his service. When I of all Three. This was Nizam ul Mulk, Vizier to Alp Arslan first came there, I found two other pupils of mine own age the Son, and Malik Shah the Grandson, of Toghrul Beg the newly arrived, Hakim Omar Khayyam, and the ill-fated Ben Tartar, who had wrested Persia from the feeble Successor of Sabbah. Both were endowed with sharpness of wit and the Mahmud the Great, and founded that Seljukian Dynasty highest natural powers; and we three formed a close friendwhich finally roused Europe into the Crusades. This Nizam ship together. When the Imam rose from his lectures, they ul Mulk, in his Wasiyat—or Testament—which he wrote and used to join me, and we repeated to each other the lessons we left as a Memorial for future Statesmen—relates the followhad heard. Now Omar was a native of Naishapur, while Hasan 4

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Ben Sabbah’s father was one Ali, a man of austere life and prac- failing in a base attempt to supplant his benefactor, he was tise, but heretical in his creed and doctrine. One day Hasan disgraced and fell. After many mishaps and wanderings, Hasan said to me and to Khayyam, “It is a universal belief that the became the head of the Persian sect of the Ismailians,—a party pupils of the Imam Mowaffak will attain to fortune. Now, of fanatics who had long murmured in obscurity, but rose to even if we all do not attain thereto, without doubt one of us an evil eminence under the guidance of his strong and evil will; what then shall be our mutual pledge and bond?” We will. In A.D. 1090, he seized the castle of Alamut, in the answered, “Be it what you please.” “Well,” he said, “let us make province of Rudbar, which lies in the mountainous tract south a vow, that to whomsoever this fortune falls, he shall share it of the Caspian Sea; and it was from this mountain home he equally with the rest, and reserve no pre-eminence for himself.” obtained that evil celebrity among the Crusaders as the Old “Be it so,” we both replied, and on those terms we mutually pledged our words. Years rolled on, and I went from Khorassan to Transoxiana, and wandered to Ghazni and Cabul; and when I returned, I was invested with office, and rose to be administrator of affairs during the Sultanate of Sultan Alp Arslan.’ “He goes on to state, that years passed by, and both his old school-friends found him out, and came and claimed a share in his good fortune, according to the school-day vow. The Vizier was generous and kept his word. Hasan demanded a place in the government, which the Sultan granted at the Vizier’s request; but discontented with a gradual rise, he plunged into the maze of intrigue of an oriental court, and, 5 Man of the Mountains, and spread terror through the Mohammedan world; and it is yet disputed where the word Assassin, which they have left in the language of modern Europe as their dark memorial, is derived from the hashish, or opiate of hemp-leaves (the Indian bhang), with which they maddened themselves to the sullen pitch of oriental desperation, or from the name of the founder of the dynasty, whom we have seen in his quiet collegiate days, at Naishapur. One of the countless victims of the Assassin’s dagger was Nizam ul Mulk himself, the old school-boy friend.* *Some of Omar’s Rubaiyat warn us of the danger of Greatness, the instability of Fortune, and while advocating Char

that when he found Omar was really sincere in nomical tables. And the broker of Hope has sold him for nothing!’ *Though all these.’ “When the Malik Shah determined to reform the calendar. he pressed him no further. and the Sultan showered favors upon him. .]. but not to ask for title or office. ‘a druggist.’ He is also the author of some astrozier tells us.’ The Vithe Gregorian style. etc. and obtained great praise for his proficiency in science. Has fallen in grief’s furnace and been suddenly burned. Under the Sultanate of Malik Shah. and pray for your long life and prosperity. shadow of your fortune. Millers. Omar was one of the eight learned men employed to do it. Many Persian poets similarly derive their names from their occupations. but granted him a yearly lately republished and translated an Arabic Treatise of his on pension of 1200 mithkals of gold from the treasury of Algebra. wherein he attained to a very high pre-eminence. who stitched the tents of science. one confer on me. The shears of Fate have cut the tent ropes of his life. ‘an oil presser. like our Smiths. Attar makes Nizam-ul-Mulk use the very words of his friend Omar [Rub. may simply retain the Surname of an hereditary calling.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam “Omar Khayyam also came to the Vizier to claim his share. ‘is to let me live in a corner under the of the king’s names)—’a computation of time.’ he said. recommending us to be too intimate with none.’ etc.’ says Gibbon. xxviii. ‘busied.. Fletchers. perhaps before Nizam-ul-Mulk’s generosity raised him to independence. ity to all Men. and he is said to have at one time exercised that trade. Archers.* Omar himself alludes to his name in the following whimsical lines:— “‘Khayyam. “His Takhallus or poetical name (Khayyam) signifies a Tent“At Naishapur thus lived and died Omar Khayyam. entitled ‘Ziji-Malikshahi. Naishapur. he came to Merv.’ adds the Vizier.’ Assar. ‘Oh God! I am passing away in the hand of the wind. ‘The greatest boon you can the result was the Jalali era (so called from Jalal-ud-din. to spread wide the advantages of ‘which surpasses the Julian. ‘in winning knowledge of every kind. “When Nizam-ul-Mulk was in the Agony (of Death) he said.’ and the French have his refusal. thus we have Attar. and approaches the accuracy of Science. and especially in Astronomy.’” 6 maker.

by saying. relates the following story: “I often used to hold conversations with my teacher. I afterwards found the same question had been put to Mr. it is told in the anonymous preface boughs over the garden wall. I was made to repeat it several times over till they could pronounce it. conBibliotheque. and indeed more proper answer. and D’Herbelot alludes to it in his **The Rashness of the Words. Khwajah Nizami of Samarcand.— of his humble mark the noble sailor aimed—so pathetically the very paragon of his age. except the “Philosophe. he asked the name of my Marai (burying-place). 517 (A.** Years after.’” . and lo! it was just *”Philosophe Musulman qui a vecu en Odeur de Saintete dans sa Religion. but he gave a different.D. according to D’Herbelot. but I knew that his were no idle words. As strange a question as this was.” can apply to our Khayyam. vers la Fin du premier et le Commencement du second Siecle. and one day he said to me. I hesitated not a moment to tell him ‘Stepney’. under Khiam. Omar Khayyam. I went to his final resting-place.*— sisted in being so opposed to those in the Koran: “No Man “‘It is written in the chronicles of the ancients that this King knows where he shall die. 499. in a garden. so that the stone was hidden under them. 374). When leaving Ulietea. and dropped their flowers upon which is sometimes prefixed to his poems. and then ‘Stepney Marai no Toote’ was echoed through an hundred mouths at once. in science he was unrivaled. Forster by a man on shore.” no part of which. and outside a garden. ‘My tomb shall be in a spot where the north wind may scatter roses over it.”—This story of Omar reminds me of the Wise. died at Naishapur in the year of another so naturally—and when one remembers how wide of the Hegira. 1123). Omar Khayyam. “Oreo’s last request was for me to return. it has been printed his tomb. and trees laden with fruit stretched their that relates to the close. ‘No man who used the sea could say where he should be buried.”’” in the Persian in the Appendix to Hyde’s Veterum Persarum Religio. p. who was one of his pupils. when I chanced to revisit Naishapur. 7 told by Captain Cook—not by Doctor Hawkworth—in his Second Voyage (i. the parish in which I live when in London.’ I wondered at the words he spake. When he saw he could not obtain that promise.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam “We have only one more anecdote to give of his Life.

in common with all men. Omar was too honest of Heart as well of Head for this. however. on reading in India this story of Omar’s of a poetical expression. who are (with the exception of Firdausi) the most considerable in Persia. The writer of it. and therefore has been but scantily transmitted abroad. Archimedes’ Tomb at Syracuse. and any World but This. whose Practise he ridiculed. in which he must have taken great delight. of Omar’s material. buried in grass and weeds. preferring rather to soothe the Soul through However. For whatever Reason. There is no copy at the India House. on the wings view. and this World and the Next. a People quite as quick of Doubt as of Belief. and he very likely takes a humorous or perverse pleasure in exalting the gratification of Sense above that of the Intellect. and delighting in a cloudy composition of both.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Thus far—without fear of Trespass—from the Calcutta ReHeaven and Earth. It has been seen. when stript of the Mysticism and formal recognition of Islamism under which Omar would not hide. in which they could float luxuriously between 8 not exorbitant. as keen of Bodily sense as of Intellectual. and whose Faith amounts to little more than his own. of Cicero’s Account of finding ther. of his Poems. was reminded. I believe. The MSS. he set about making wish religiously fulfilled for him to the present day. none at the . borrowed largely. a but Destiny. has never been popular in his own Country. the Senses into Acquiescence with Things as he saw them. however. to return to Omar. although it failed to answer the Questions in which he.” Omar’s than to perplex it with vain disquietude after what they might Epicurean Audacity of Thought and Speech caused him to be be. I Having failed (however mistakenly) of finding any Providence think Thorwaldsen desired to have roses grow over him. Omar as before said. that his Worldly Ambition was regarded askance in his own Time and Country. in spite of all the acquisitions of Arms and Science. indeed. mutilated beyond the average Casualties of Oriental Transcription. but turning it to a mystical Use more convenient to Themselves and the People they addressed. Though the Sultan “shower’d Favors upon him. He is said to have been especially hated and dreaded by the Sufis. that might serve indifferently for eiGrave. was most vitally interested. he says. the most of it. Their Poets. including Hafiz. are so rare in the East as scarce to have reacht Westward at all.

at double that “If I myself upon a looser Creed number. with an Appendix containing 54 others not found in some MSS. This contains but 158 Rubaiyat. and as acted upon by the Circumstances in which he lived. Both indeed were men of subtle. Sprenger catalogues the Lucknow MS. It may be rendered thus:— Let this one thing for my Atonement plead: That One for Two I never did misread. while Dr. So Von cation. written In Hell. but who fell short of replacing what they *Professor Cowell. 1460. in which Omar’s mother asked about his future fate.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris. or foolish. Have loosely strung the Jewel of Good deed. We know but of one in En“O Thou who burn’st in Heart for those who burn gland: No. “we have met with a Copy of a very rare Edition. both as to natural Temper and Genius. and false. A. contains (and yet incomplete) 516.D. Hammer speaks of his Copy as containing about 200. One How long be crying. God!’ in the Asiatic Society’s Library at Calcutta (of which we have Why. and He to learn?” a Copy). printed at Calcutta in 1836. fine Imagination. ‘Mercy on them. the Oxford with one of Apology. 140 of the Ouseley MSS. and Hearts passionate for Truth and Justice.) to have arisen from a Dream. strong. each beginning with a Tetrastich (whether genuine or not). 9 *”Since this paper was written” (adds the Reviewer in a note). the Calcutta with one of Expostulation. too. at the Bodleian. at Shiraz. who justly revolted from their Country’s false Religion. though swelled The Bodleian Quatrain pleads Pantheism by way of Justifito that by all kinds of Repetition and Corruption. taken out of its alphabetical order. concludes his Review by comparing him with Lucretius. who art Thou to teach.” The Reviewer. supposed (says a Notice prefixed to the MS. of the Oxford and Calcutta MSS. Devotion to it.* to whom I owe the Particulars of Omar’s Life. whose fires thyself shall feed in turn. This contains 438 Tetrastichs.* The Scribes. seem to do their Work under a sort of Protest. and cultivated Intellect.” .

more desperate. Somewhat as in the Greek Alcaic. Destiny. with no better Rev.seems to lift and suspend the Wave that falls over in the last. only diverted himself with speculative problems of Deity. flung his own Genius and Learning with a bitter or humorous jest into the general Ruin which their insufficient glimpses only served to reveal. Matter and Spirit. sat down to contemplate the meAs usual with such kind of Oriental Verse. and other such questions. with such material as Epicurus furnished. Either way. rean severity of Attitude. missing an Arabic Guttural. pretending sensual pleasure. fell back upon to-day (which has outlasted so many To-morrows!) as the only Ground he had got to stand upon. and acting by a Law that implied no Legislator.Rubaiyat (as. though varied. however momentarily slipping from under his Feet. but oftener (as here imitated) the third line a blank. as the serious purpose of Life. had yet made a Law to themselves. sometimes all satisfied himself with the theory of a vast machine fortuitously rhyming. more musically called) are independent Stanzas. after vainly endeavoring to unshackle his Steps from Destiny. low one another according to Alphabetic Rhyme—a strange himself and all about him (as in his own sublime description succession of Grave and Gay. of four Lines of equal. constructed. Good and Evil. . The original 10 into something of an Eclogue. or more careless of any so complicated System as resulted in nothing but hopeless Necessity. where the penultimate line and so composing himself into a Stoical rather than Epicu. these Tetrastichs are elation to guide them. Prosody. and. easier to start than to run down. Those here selected are strung of the Roman Theater) discolored with the lurid reflex of the Curtain suspended between the Spectator and the Sun. and to catch some authentic Glimpse of to-morrow. the Rubaiyat folchanical drama of the Universe which he was part Actor in. who.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam subverted by such better Hope as others. the Result is sad enough: saddest perhaps when most ostentatiously merry: more apt to move Sorrow than Anger toward the old Tentmaker. and the pursuit of which becomes a very weary sport at last! With regard to the present Translation.” which (genuine or not) recurs over-frequently in the Original. with perhaps a less than equal proportion of the “Drink and make-merry. Omar. consisting each Lucretius indeed.

comprising 464 Rubaiyat. He may now as little approve of my Version on one side. (Note to Rub.) A Persian would naturally wish to vindicate a distinago. and very much of other. French Consul at Resht. does not consider Omar to be the ma. informed me. and a Sufi to enroll him in his own as of Mons. He admired Omar’s Geoccur in the Text—which is often enough—Mons.) Indeed I and instructed me in others. (See pp. For here we see that. Monsieur Nicolas. whenever Wine. but a Mystic. the veritable Juice of the Grape it Hafiz is supposed to do.Poems themselves. 8. Wine-bearer.* indeed that one is tempted to think that he was indoctrinated by the Sufi with whom he read the Poems.” “La Divinite. guished Countryman. as that Hafiz drank and sang. but (says Mons.hardly knew poor Omar was so far gone till his Apologist terial Epicurean that I have literally taken him for. Nicolas) in order to excite himself to more than a dozen years ago when Omar was first shown me that pitch of Devotion which others reached by cries and by one to whom I am indebted for all I know of Oriental. Nicolas’ Theory. not only when carousing with his I cannot see reason to alter my opinion. &c. a very careful and very good Edition of the Text.there is the Biographical Notice which he himself has drawn lation and notes of his own. “hurlemens. Nicolas’ if he could. Nicolas. formed as it was friends.: so carefully Interpretation of his meaning as Mons.” &c. published Poet’s Life. with trans.” And yet. &c..] That he could not. a Sufi Poet like Hafiz and the rest. in which he argues from the WHILE THE SECOND Edition of this version of Omar was pre. whose Edition has reminded me of several things. was which Omar used. 11 . * Perhaps would have edited the Poems himself some years p. in short.. Wine-bearer. that he would gladly have adopted any such carefully annotates “Dieu. literature. as well as from what records remain of the paring. ii. graph copy at Teheran. given in his Notes. up in direct contradiction to the Interpretation of the Poems Mons. Nicolas nius so much. from a lithoAnd if more were needed to disprove Mons. Nicolas’ Theory on the other. whatever were the Wine shadowing the Deity under the figure of Wine. appears by his Paper in the Calcutta Review already so largely quoted.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam [From the Third Edition. 13-14 of his Preface.

sia— “Quant aux termes de tendresse qui commencent ce quatrain.mystical meaning of such Images must be to Europeans. nor to Epicurus before him.” perhaps because.” 12 . for instance. he would not pretend ployees par Kheyam pour rendre ses pensees sur l’amour divin. * A note to Quatrain 234 admits that. comme tant d’autres dans ce recueil. Necessity. convenances” do not permit him to translate. “bizarres” and “trop Orientales” allusions and images— “d’une Materialism. d’une sensualite of the Bodleian MS.) The Doctrines of Pantheism. were not peculiar to the Sufi. nos lecteurs. how wash the Body with it when dead? Why make cups of What historical Authority has Mons. they posed to divide the world. Sir W. Were the Wine spiritual.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam sect. n’auront pas de peine a se persuader qu’il s’agit de la Divinite. Nicolas’ quelquefois revoltante. but still which probably the very original Irreligion of Thinking men from the reader cannot but refer to “La Divinite. however clear the under shadow of one of the Two and Seventy Religions sup. and very likely to be the spontaneous growth of a Philosopher living in an Age of social and political barbarism. habithinker.. Nicolas to show that the dead clay to be filled with— “La Divinite.”* No doubt also the first. qui rougissent veritablement d’une pareille licence de unless mystically interpreted. tues maintenant a 1’etrangete des expressions si souvent emwhile holding much of their Doctrine. p. leur compatriote a 1’egard des choses spirituelles. &c. Nicolas himself is puzzled by some des Soufis”? (Preface. but many more as unaccountable unless literally. discutee par les moullahs musulmans. sensualite quelquefois revoltante ” indeed—which “les nor to Lucretius before them. bien que cette conviction soit vivement own Edition Suf and Sufi are both disparagingly named. and a great opponent of Sufism. which already comprises all the chief Poets of Persia. et meme par beaucoup de No doubt many of these Quatrains seem unaccountable laiques.” by some sucOmar gave himself up “avec passion a l’etude de la philosophie ceeding Mystic? Mons. Von Hammer (according to are not quoted without “rougissant” even by laymen in PerSprenger’s Oriental Catalogue) speaks of Omar as “a Free. to any inconsistent severity of morals. Ouseley has written a note to something of the same effect on the fly-leaf et a la singularite des images trop orientales. xiii. And in two Rubaiyat of Mons.

others sang. would be far more likely than so when. as some think with Hafiz and Omar.H. which must be one of the Brethren. never wholly believed in the Mysticism of Hafiz. Lucretius’ blind Divinity certainly merited. as frankly before us as if we were really at Table with him. and the burden of Omar’s Song—if not “Let us eat”—is assuredly—”Let us drink. not as a Mask to hide. 865. and 13 tantalized with Images of sensual enjoyment which must be renounced if one would approximate a God. and into whose Universe one expects unconsciously to merge after Death. yet to his weaker Quatrains are in the Bodleian MS. as much self-sacrifice as this of the Sufi. tells as much one way ing. And this. with all his Humours and Passions. Under such conditions Jelaluddin. the abstract is the careless Epicure to interpolate what favours his own view not only likened to. the Divinity they were celebratof Epigram in Persia. such Rubaiyat being the common form trate. And all for what? To be think.D. is Sensual Matter as well as Spirit. are spurious. the Sufi.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam many of the Quatrains in the Teheran. if not to the Devotee himself. But this. Perhaps some Allegory less liable to mistake or abuse as another. A. using Wine and Beauty indeed as Images to illusCopies. the Man in Allegory and Abstraction. after the Wine had gone round. and probably got. but identified with. for To-morrow we die!” And if Hafiz meant quite otherwise by a similar language. without hope of any posthumous Beatitude in another world to compensate for all one’s self. we seem to have the Man—the Bon-homme—Omar himself. who may be considered the Scholar had been better among so inflammable a People: much more and Man of Letters in Persia. A. so long as the Poet made his Salaam to Mohammed at the beginning and end of his Song. I votion of the Initiated grew warmer. I observed that very few of the more mystical hazardous. for one. I must say that I. Attar. 1460. as in the Calcutta.. at best. not Christian—familiar name) from all other Persian Poets: That. and worse for the Profane in proportion as the Deoldest.denial in this. he surely miscalculated when he devoted his Life and Genius to so equivocal a Psalmody . nay. the sensual Image. especially distinguishes Omar (I cannot help calling him by his—no. It does not appear there was any danger in holding and singing Sufi Pantheism. of the Poet. who according to the Doctrine. whereas with them the Poet is lost in his Song. Jami. as dated at Shiraz.

he bragg’d more than he drank of it. and such moderate wants as rarely satisfy a Debauchee. in very defiance perhaps of that Spiritual Wine which left its Votaries sunk in Hypocrisy or Disgust. ing a Philosopher. may return no more. as there is far more historical certainty of his beThe Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light. as there is some traditional presumption. “Awake. I. Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry. those who stood before The Tavern shouted—”Open then the Door. has been said and sung by any rather than spiritual Worshippers. On the And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught other hand. of scientific Insight and Ability far beyond that of the Age and Country he lived in. in favour of Omar’s Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night being a Sufi—and even something of a Saint—those who Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight: please may so interpret his Wine and Cup-bearer. other readers may be content to believe with me that. of such moderate worldly Ambition as becomes a Philosopher. from his Day to this. And. and fill the Cup Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry. And.” III. Fitzgerald II. my Little ones.” 14 .Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam First E dition Edition as. once departed. However. You know how little while we have to stay. as the Cock crew. and certainly the opinion of some learned men. Edward J. while the Wine Omar celebrates is simply the Juice of the Grape.

Come. Where the white hand of Moses on the Bough Puts out. fill the Cup. with “Wine! Wine! Wine! Red Wine!”—the Nightingale cries to the Rose That yellow Cheek of hers to’incarnadine. and in the Fire of Spring The Winter Garment of Repentance fling: The Bird of Time has but a little way To fly—and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing. V. and Jesus from the Ground suspires. VI. And still a Garden by the Water blows. and leave the Lot Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot: Let Rustum lay about him as he will. And David’s Lips are lock’t. but in divine High piping Pelevi. VIII. 15 .Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam IV. And look—a thousand Blossoms with the Day Woke—and a thousand scatter’d into Clay: And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away. But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields. But come with old Khayyam. The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires. Now the New Year reviving old Desires. And Jamshyd’s Sev’n-ring’d Cup where no one knows. Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose. IX. VII. Or Hatim Tai cry Supper—heed them not.

And pity Sultan Mahmud on his Throne. And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain. XII. Where name of Slave and Sultan scarce is known. Oh. Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn’d As. XV. With me along some Strip of Herbage strown That just divides the desert from the sown. The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon Turns Ashes—or it prospers. and anon. 16 .” she says. Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough. “How sweet is mortal Sovranty!”—think some: Others—”How blest the Paradise to come!” Ah. A Flask of Wine. XI.” XIV. Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face Lighting a little Hour or two—is gone. take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest. “into the World I blow: At once the silken Tassel of my Purse Tear. And those who husbanded the Golden Grain. and its Treasure on the Garden throw.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam X. buried once. a Book of Verse—and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness— And Wilderness is Paradise enow. Look to the Rose that blows about us—”Lo. Men want dug up again. the brave Music of a distant Drum! XIII. Laughing.

XVIII. in this batter’d Caravanserai Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day. XVII. 17 . I sometimes think that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled. that great Hunter—the Wild Ass Stamps o’er his Head. lean upon it lightly! for who knows From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen! XX. Ah! my Beloved. They say the Lion and the Lizard keep The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep: And Bahram. Lo! some we loved. and went his way. That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head. Think.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XVI. XXI. the loveliest and the best That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest. To-morrow I may be Myself with Yesterday’s Sev’n Thousand Years. And this delightful Herb whose tender Green Fledges the River’s Lip on which we lean— Ah. fill the Cup that clears TO-DAY of past Regrets and future FearsTo-morrow?—Why. XIX. And one by one crept silently to Rest. and he lies fast asleep. Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before. How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp Abode his Hour or two.

come with old Khayyam. The Flower that once has blown for ever dies. that Life flies. and leave the Wise To talk. Why. XXVI. ourselves to make a Couch—for whom? XXIII. and under Dust. their Words to Scorn Are scatter’d. Sans Wine. one thing is certain. Alike for those who for to-day prepare. XXVII. Oh. And those that after a to-morrow stare. sans Song. And we. 18 . sans Singer and—sans End! XXIV. are thrust Like foolish Prophets forth. make the most of what we yet may spend. all the Saints and Sages who discuss’d Of the Two Worlds so learnedly. Ah. Dust into Dust. Before we too into the Dust Descend.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XXII. Myself when young did eagerly frequent Doctor and Saint. to lie. Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth Descend. One thing is certain. A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries “Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There. and the Rest is Lies. and their Mouths are stopt with Dust. and heard great Argument About it and about: but evermore Came out by the same Door as in I went. that now make merry in the Room They left. and Summer dresses in new Bloom.” XXV.

XXX. But not the Knot of Human Death and Fate. and why not knowing. and like Wind I go. I know not whither. And many Knots unravel’d by the Road. without asking. hither hurried whence? And. like Water willy-nilly flowing: And out of it. Up from Earth’s Centre through the seventh Gate I rose. Asking. as Wind along the Waste. What. willy-nilly blowing. There was a Door to which I found no Key: There was a Veil past which I could not see: Some little Talk awhile of me and thee There seemed—and then no more of thee and me. And with my own hand labour’d it to grow: And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d— “I came like Water. With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow. and on the Throne of Saturn sate. Into this Universe. Then to the rolling Heav’n itself I cried.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XXVIII. 19 . XXXIII. without asking. XXXII. whither hurried hence! Another and another Cup to drown The Memory of this Impertinence! XXXI.” XXIX. “What Lamp had Destiny to guide Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?” And—”A blind understanding!” Heav’n replied. Nor whence.

Why fret about them if to-day be sweet! XXXVIII. I watch’d the Potter thumping his wet Clay: And with its all obliterated Tongue It murmur’d—”Gently. Fruit. of the Well of Life to taste— The Stars are setting. Ah. make haste! XXXIX. Brother. I think the Vessel. How long. Drink!—for once dead you never shall return. how long. And merry-make. that with fugitive Articulation answer’d. fill the Cup:—what boots it to repeat How Time is slipping underneath our Feet: Unborn to-morrow and dead yesterday. one Dusk of Day. 20 . once did live. in infinite Pursuit Of This and That endeavour and dispute? Better be merry with the fruitful Grape Than sadden after none. One Moment in Annihilation’s Waste.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XXXIV.” XXXV. One moment. pray!” XXXVII. Then to this earthen Bowl did I adjourn My Lip the secret Well of Life to learn: And Lip to Lip it murmur’d—”While you live. XXXVI. and the Caravan Starts for the dawn of Nothing—Oh. or bitter. For in the Market-place. and the cold Lip I kiss’d How many Kisses might it take—and give. gently.

my Friends. You know. how long since in my House For a new Marriage I did make Carouse: Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed. and He bid me taste of it. and with me The Quarrel of the Universe let be: And. XLII. Was never deep in anything but—Wine. Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee. in some corner of the Hubbub coucht. and ’twas—the Grape! XLIII. “up-and-down” without. Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape. Bearing a vessel on his Shoulder. And. I yet in all I only cared to know. That all the misbelieving and black Horde Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul Scatters and slays with his enchanted Sword. For “is” and “is-not” though with Rule and Line. But leave the Wise to wrangle. The mighty Mahmud. by the Tavern Door agape. 21 . XLI. And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse. XLIV. XLV. The Grape that can with Logic absolute The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute: The subtle Alchemist that in a Trice Life’s leaden Metal into Gold transmute.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XL. I could define. the victorious Lord. And lately.

above. Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. And He that toss’d Thee down into the Field. Round which we Phantom Figures come and go. L. the Lip you press. The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes. Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun. And one by one back in the Closet lays. The Moving Finger writes. and mates. having writ. End in the Nothing all Things end in—YesThen fancy while Thou art. Thou art but what Thou shalt be—Nothing—Thou shalt not be less. 22 . and. below. And if the Wine you drink. XLVIX. ’Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays: Hither and thither moves. With old Khayyam the Ruby Vintage drink: And when the Angel with his darker Draught Draws up to thee—take that. ’Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show. XLVIII. He knows about it all—HE knows—HE knows! LI. and do not shrink. While the Rose blows along the River Brink. But Right or Left as strikes the Player goes.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XLVI. For in and out. and slays. XLVII. about. Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line.

And then of the Last Harvest sow’d the Seed: Yea. Of my Base Metal may be filed a Key. LVII. or Wrath consume me quite. In my predestin’d Plot of Dust and Soul LV. which about It clings my Being—let the Sufi flout. LIV. One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught Better than in the Temple lost outright. LIII. That shall unlock the Door he howls without. and impute my Fall to Sin? 23 . Lift not thy hands to IT for help—for It Rolls impotently on as Thou or I. starting from the Goal. Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal Of Heav’n Parwin and Mushtari they flung. Oh Thou who didst with Pitfall and with Gin Beset the Road I was to wander in. Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die. I tell Thee this—When.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LII. LVI. With Earth’s first Clay They did the Last Man’s knead. And this I know: whether the one True Light. Thou wilt not with Predestination round Enmesh me. The Vine had struck a Fibre. And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky. Kindle to Love. the first Morning of Creation wrote What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

who Man of baser Earth didst make. And strange to tell. Listen again. ere the better Moon arose. and who the Pot?” LXI. That He who subtly wrought me into Shape Should stamp me back to common Earth again. in an after Rage destroy!” 24 . while others not: And suddenly one more impatient cried— “Who is the Potter.” LXII. Pots ots”) LIX. (“Book of P ots ”) KUZA—NAMA. Another said—”Why. among that Earthen Lot Some could articulate. pray. Then said another—”Surely not in vain My substance from the common Earth was ta’en. One Evening at the Close Of Ramazan. For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man Is blacken’d. ne’er a peevish Boy Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy. Shall He that made the Vessel in pure Love And Fansy.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LVIII. Oh Thou. And who with Eden didst devise the Snake. Man’s Forgiveness give—and take! *********************** KUZ A—NAMA. LX. In that old Potter’s Shop I stood alone With the clay Population round in Rows.

while the Vessels one by one were speaking. So. As not a True Believer passing by But shall be overtaken unaware. And wash my Body whence the life has died. but after Silence spake A Vessel of a more ungainly Make: “They sneer at me for leaning all awry. So bury me by some sweet Gardenside. One spied the little Crescent all were seeking: And then they jogg’d each other. Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh. Methinks I might recover by-and-bye!” LXVI. and ‘twill all be well. None answer’d this. “Brother! Brother! Hark to the Porter’s Shoulder-knot a-creaking!” ******************* LXVII. What? did the Hand then of the Potter shake?” LXIV. 25 . They talk of some strict Testing of us—Pish! He’s a Good Fellow. Ah.” LXV. And in a Windingsheet of Vineleaf wrapt. Said one—”Folks of a surly Tapster tell. LXVIII. with the Grape my fading Life provide. And daub his Visage with the Smoke of Hell. fill me with the old familiar Juice.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LXIII. That ev’n my buried Ashes such a Snare Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air. “My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry: But.

The Moon of Heav’n is rising once again: How oft hereafter rising shall she look Through this same Garden after me—in vain! 26 . Would not we shatter it to bits—and then Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire! LXXIV. Ah. Alas. I often wonder what the Vintners buy One half so precious as the Goods they sell. that Spring should vanish with the Rose! That Youth’s sweet-scented Manuscript should close! The Nightingale that in the Branches sang.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LXIX. and whither flown again. LXXII. whence. Ah. Indeed. and Rose-in-hand My thread-bare Penitence a-pieces tore. the Idols I have loved so long Have done my Credit in Men’s Eye much wrong: Have drown’d my Honour in a shallow Cup. LXXI. Moon of my Delight who know’st no wane. who knows! LXXIII. Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire. And sold my Reputation for a Song. Repentance oft before I swore—but was I sober when I swore? And then and then came Spring. And much as Wine has play’d the Infidel. Ah. LXX. indeed. Indeed. And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour—well.

And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass Among the Guests Star-scatter’d on The Grass. “Why nods the drowsy Worshiper outside?” III. and strikes The Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light. once departed. “When all the Temple is prepared within. And in Thy joyous Errand reach the Spot Where I made one—turn down an empty Glass! I. And. II. Before the phantom of False morning died. those who stood before The Tavern shouted—”Open then the Door! “You know how little while we have to stay.” 27 Fifth E dition Edition TAMAM SHUD. Wake! For the Sun. And. who scatter’d into flight The Stars before him from the Field of Night.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LXXV. may return no more. Methought a Voice within the Tavern cried. . Drives Night along with them from Heav’n. as the Cock crew.

28 . Each Morn a thousand Roses brings. Come. VII. fill the Cup. and in the fire of Spring Your Winter garment of Repentance fling: The Bird of Time has but a little way To flutter—and the Bird is on the Wing. Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run. But still a Ruby kindles in the Vine. IX. The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop. And David’s lips are lockt. VI. Now the New Year reviving old Desires. And Jamshyd’s Sev’n-ring’d Cup where no one knows. V.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam IV. you say: Yes. Whether at Naishapur or Babylon. but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday? And this first Summer month that brings the Rose Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away. Iram indeed is gone with all his Rose. Where the white hand of Moses on the Bough Puts out. with “Wine! Wine! Wine! “Red Wine!”—the Nightingale cries to the Rose That sallow cheek of hers to’ incarnadine. The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires. VIII. but in divine High-piping Pehlevi. The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one. And many a Garden by the Water blows. and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

” she says. “into the world I blow. Ah. Or Hatim call to Supper—heed not you. And those who flung it to the winds like Rain. XI. take the Cash. or Kaikhosru? Let Zal and Rustum bluster as they will. With me along the strip of Herbage strown That just divides the desert from the sown. A Jug of Wine. 29 . Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot— And Peace to Mahmud on his golden Throne! XII. let it take them! What have we to do With Kaikobad the Great. Look to the blowing Rose about us—”Lo.” XV. and some Sigh for the Prophet’s Paradise to come.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam X. Some for the Glories of This World. and its Treasure on the Garden throw. Wilderness were Paradise enow! XIII. and let the Credit go. a Loaf of Bread—and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness— Oh. Laughing. Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn’d As. A Book of Verses underneath the Bough. And those who husbanded the Golden grain. At once the silken tassel of my Purse Tear. buried once. Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum! XIV. Men want dug up again. Well.

The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon Turns Ashes—or it prospers. but cannot break his Sleep. my Beloved. Lighting a little hour or two—is gone. 30 . XX. Ah. Think. that great Hunter—the Wild Ass Stamps o’er his Head. To-morrow I may be Myself with Yesterday’s Sev’n thousand Years. XVII. XVIII. in this batter’d Caravanserai Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day. lean upon it lightly! for who knows From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen! XXI. and went his way. fill the Cup that clears To-day of past Regrets and future Fears: To-morrow—Why. I sometimes think that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled. And this reviving Herb whose tender Green Fledges the River-Lip on which we lean— Ah. How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp Abode his destined Hour. XIX.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XVI. They say the Lion and the Lizard keep The courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep: And Bahram. That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head. and anon. Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face.

“Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There. And we. Before we too into the Dust descend. And one by one crept silently to rest. sans Singer. A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries. their Words to Scorn Are scatter’d. XXVII. and Summer dresses in new bloom. make the most of what we yet may spend. sans Song. Myself when young did eagerly frequent Doctor and Saint. that now make merry in the Room They left. and heard great argument About it and about: but evermore Came out by the same door where in I went. all the Saints and Sages who discuss’d Of the Two Worlds so wisely—they are thrust Like foolish Prophets forth. and—sans End! XXV.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XXII. and under Dust to lie.” XXVI. Dust into Dust. and their Mouths are stopt with Dust. Alike for those who for to-day prepare. 31 . Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before. And those that after some to-morrow stare. Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth Descend—ourselves to make a Couch—for whom? XXIV. Sans Wine. Ah. XXIII. Why. the loveliest and the best That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest. For some we loved.

Nor rolling Heaven. and Why not knowing Nor Whence. XXXIII. And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d— “I came like Water. hither hurried Whence? And. And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow. 32 . willy-nilly blowing. XXXII.” XXIX. With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XXVIII. I know not Whither. without asking. And many a Knot unravel’d by the Road. There was the Veil through which I might not see: Some little talk awhile of me and thee There was—and then no more of thee and me. But not the Master-knot of Human Fate. nor the Seas that mourn In flowing Purple. many a Cup of this forbidden Wine Must drown the memory of that insolence! XXXI. Into this Universe. with all his Signs reveal’d And hidden by the sleeve of Night and Morn. What. as Wind along the Waste. And out of it. Whither hurried hence! Oh. XXX. Earth could not answer. Up from Earth’s Center through the Seventh Gate I rose. and like Wind I go. and on the Throne of Saturn sate. of their Lord Forlorn. without asking. There was the Door to which I found no Key. like Water willy-nilly flowing.

but may steal below To quench the fire of Anguish in some Eye There hidden—far beneath. pray!” XXXVIII. you never shall return. I lifted up my hands to find A lamp amid the Darkness. As from Without—”The me within thee blind!” XXXV. “Drink!—for. and Ah! the passive Lip I kiss’d. For I remember stopping by the way To watch a Potter thumping his wet Clay: And with its all-obliterated Tongue It murmur’d—”Gently. once did live. and long ago. I think the Vessel. gently. And has not such a Story from of Old Down Man’s successive generations roll’d Of such a clod of saturated Earth Cast by the Maker into Human mold? XXXIX. Then of the thee in me who works behind The Veil. Brother. And not a drop that from our Cups we throw For Earth to drink of. 33 . that with fugitive Articulation answer’d. How many Kisses might it take—and give! XXXVII. And drink.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XXXIV. and I heard. Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn I lean’d. once dead. the Secret of my Life to learn: And Lip to Lip it murmur’d—”While you live.” XXXVI.

’Tis but a Tent where takes his one day’s rest A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest. XLII. and prepares it for another Guest. and the dark Ferrash Strikes. And.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XL. To-morrow’s tangle to the winds resign. And lose your fingers in the tresses of The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine. As then the Tulip for her morning sup Of Heav’nly Vintage from the soil looks up. if the Soul can fling the Dust aside. invite your Soul Forth to your Lips to quaff—you shall not shrink. till Heav’n To Earth invert you—like an empty Cup. XLIV. And naked on the Air of Heaven ride. XLIII. End in what All begins and ends in—Yes. Were’t not a Shame—were’t not a Shame for him In this clay carcass crippled to abide? XLV. Do you devoutly do the like. offering his Cup. Perplext no more with Human or Divine. The Sultan rises. Why. XLI. So when that Angel of the darker Drink At last shall find you by the river-brink. Think then you are to-day what yesterday You were—to-morrow you shall not be less. the Lip you press. 34 . And if the Wine you drink.

When You and I behind the Veil are past. A Moment’s Halt—a momentary taste Of being from the Well amid the Waste— And Lo!—the phantom Caravan has reach’d The nothing it set out from—Oh. Whose secret Presence through Creation’s veins Running Quicksilver-like eludes your pains. make haste! XLIX. The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour’d Millions of Bubbles like us. but the long. and will pour. LI. XLVIII. 35 . A Hair perhaps divides the False and True. Would you that spangle of Existence spend About the secret—quick about it. And fear not lest Existence closing your Account. Taking all shapes from Mah to Mahi and They change and perish all—but He remains. and a single Alif were the clue— Could you but find it—to the Treasure-house.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XLVI. XLVII. Which of our Coming and Departure heeds As the Sea’s self should heed a pebble-cast. Yes. And peradventure to the master too. should know the like no more. long while the World shall last. Oh. prithee. Friend! A Hair perhaps divides the False from True— And upon what. may life depend? L. and mine.

Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed. LIII. LVI. For “Is” and “Is-not” though with Rule and Line And “Up-and-down” by Logic I define. nor in the vain pursuit Of This and That endeavor and dispute. down on the stubborn floor Of Earth. when You shall be You no more? LIV. 36 . Waste not your Hour. Reduce the Year to better reckoning?—Nay. But if in vain. People say. He doth Himself contrive.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LII. Of all that one should care to fathom. behold. by my Computations. ’Twas only striking from the Calendar Unborn To-morrow and dead Yesterday. Fruit. enact. with what a brave Carouse I made a Second Marriage in my house. Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape Than sadden after none. And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse. or bitter. You gaze to-day. LV. Ah. A moment guessed—then back behind the Fold Immerst of Darkness round the Drama roll’d Which. LVII. and up to Heav’n’s unopening Door. while You are You—how then To-morrow. I was never deep in anything but—Wine. my Friends. for the Pastime of Eternity. You know.

we should use it. That all the misbelieving and black Horde Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul Scatters before him with his whirlwind Sword. who dare Blaspheme the twisted tendril as a Snare? A Blessing. To fill the Cup—when crumbled into Dust! LXIII. Of threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise! One thing at least is certain—This Life flies. and ’twas—the Grape! LIX. 37 . And lately. I must abjure the Balm of Life. Came shining through the Dusk an Angel Shape Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder. LXI. The Grape that can with Logic absolute The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute: The sovereign Alchemist that in a trice Life’s leaden metal into Gold transmute. Scared by some After-reckoning ta’en on trust. Who set it there? LXII. The mighty Mahmud. LX. I must. be this Juice the growth of God. should we not? And if a Curse—why. The Flower that once has blown for ever dies. then. and He bid me taste of it. Or lured with Hope of some Diviner Drink. One thing is certain and the rest is Lies. by the Tavern Door agape. Allah-breathing Lord. Why.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LVIII.

and slays. But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days. So late emerged from. LXVI. which. Which to discover we must travel too. and checks. Strange. awoke from Sleep They told their comrades. We are no other than a moving row Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held In Midnight by the Master of the Show. and as Prophets burn’d. Not one returns to tell us of the Road. Are all but Stories. Some letter of that After-life to spell: And by and by my Soul return’d to me. The Revelations of Devout and Learn’d Who rose before us. And answer’d “I Myself am Heav’n and Hell:” LXVII. LXIX. And one by one back in the Closet lays. shall so soon expire. Hither and thither moves. Heav’n but the Vision of fulfill’d Desire.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LXIV. Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves. I sent my Soul through the Invisible. is it not? that of the myriads who Before us pass’d the door of Darkness through. LXV. LXVIII. And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire. 38 . and to Sleep return’d.

39 . LXXII. I tell you this—When. Triumph. Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line. With Earth’s first Clay They did the Last Man knead. LXXIV. The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes. The Moving Finger writes. And there of the Last Harvest sow’d the Seed: And the first Morning of Creation wrote What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read. And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky. LXXIII. Over the flaming shoulders of the Foal Of Heav’n Parwin and Mushtari they flung. nor where. In my predestined Plot of Dust and Soul. Whereunder crawling coop’d we live and die. He knows about it all—he knows—he knows! LXXI. To-morrow’s Silence. LXXV. and. nor why: Drink! for you know not why you go. Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it. But Here or There as strikes the Player goes. having writ.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LXX. started from the Goal. or Despair: Drink! for you not know whence you came. Lift not your hands to It for help—for It As impotently moves as you or I. Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare. And He that toss’d you down into the Field.

Thou wilt not with Predestined Evil round Enmesh. And this I know: whether the one True Light Kindle to Love. who Man of baser Earth didst make. who didst with pitfall and with gin Beset the Road I was to wander in. And cannot answer—Oh the sorry trade! LXXX.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LXXVI. or Wrath consume me quite. Oh Thou. LXXVIII. and then impute my Fall to Sin! LXXXI. LXXVII. Of my Base metal may be filed a Key That shall unlock the Door he howls without. What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke A conscious Something to resent the yoke Of unpermitted Pleasure. One Flash of It within the Tavern caught Better than in the Temple lost outright. The Vine had struck a fiber: which about It clings my Being—let the Dervish flout. Oh Thou. if broke! LXXIX. And ev’n with Paradise devise the Snake: For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man Is blacken’d—Man’s forgiveness give—and take! ************************ 40 . under pain Of Everlasting Penalties. What! from his helpless Creature be repaid Pure Gold for what he lent him dross-allay’d— Sue for a Debt he never did contract.

Then said a Second—”Ne’er a peevish Boy Would break the Bowl from which he drank in joy. And some loquacious Vessels were.” LXXXVI. After a momentary silence spake Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make. but never talk’d at all. to be broke. “They sneer at me for leaning all awry: What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?” LXXXVII. pray. Once more within the Potter’s house alone I stood. And He that with his hand the Vessel made Will surely not in after Wrath destroy. Who is the Potter. As under cover of departing Day Slunk hunger-stricken Ramazan away. and some Listen’d perhaps. LXXXIV. Whereat some one of the loquacious Lot— I think a Sufi pipkin—waxing hot— “All this of Pot and Potter—Tell me then. Said one among them—”Surely not in vain My substance of the common Earth was ta’en And to this Figure molded. Or trampled back to shapeless Earth again. surrounded by the Shapes of Clay.” LXXXV. That stood along the floor and by the wall. great and small.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LXXXII. LXXXIII. Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes. and who the Pot?” 41 .

“Some there are who tell Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell The luckless Pots he marr’d in making—Pish! He’s a Good Fellow. with the Grape my fading life provide. So while the Vessels one by one were speaking. My Clay with long Oblivion is gone dry: But fill me with the old familiar Juice.” murmured one. “Let whoso make or buy. “Well. XCII. “Why. And sold my reputation for a Song. shrouded in the living Leaf. That ev’n buried Ashes such a snare Of Vintage shall fling up into the Air As not a True-believer passing by But shall be overtaken unaware. Indeed the Idols I have loved so long Have done my credit in this World much wrong: Have drown’d my Glory in a shallow Cup.” XC. The little Moon look’d in that all were seeking: And then they jogg’d each other. “Brother! Brother! Now for the Porter’s shoulders’ knot a-creaking!” ******************** 42 XCI. Methinks I might recover by and by. And wash the Body whence the Life has died. By some not unfrequented Garden-side. Ah.” said another.” LXXXIX. . And lay me.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam LXXXVIII. and ‘twill all be well. XCIII.

Ah Love! could you and I with Him conspire To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire. Would but some winged Angel ere too late Arrest the yet unfolded Roll of Fate. To which the fainting Traveler might spring. Ah whence.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XCIV. Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield One glimpse—if dimly. indeed. and whither flown again. XCV. XCVI. And make the stern Recorder otherwise Enregister. yet indeed. I wonder often what the Vintners buy One half so precious as the stuff they sell. reveal’d. Yet Ah. And much as Wine has play’d the Infidel. Would not we shatter it to bits—and then Re-mold it nearer to the Heart’s Desire! 43 . who knows! XCVII. or quite obliterate! XCIX. Indeed. that Spring should vanish with the Rose! That Youth’s sweet-scented manuscript should close! The Nightingale that in the branches sang. As springs the trampled herbage of the field! XCVIII. Repentance oft before I swore—but was I sober when I swore? And then and then came Spring. and Rose-in-hand My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore. And robb’d me of my Robe of Honor—Well.

except in the first note only. oh Saki. a transient Light on the Horizon about an hour before the Subhi sadik or True Dawn. and whose yearly Calendar he helped to rectify.) New Year. Before the Snow is well off 44 Notes The references are. Beginning with the Vernal Equinox. a well-known Phenomenon in the East.) The “False Dawn”. TAMAM. and (howsoever the old Solar Year is practically superseded by the clumsy Lunar Year that dates from the Mohammedan Hijra) still commemorated by a Festival that is said to have been appointed by the very Jamshyd whom Omar so often talks of. to the stanzas of the Fifth edition. And when like her. you shall pass Among the Guests Star-scatter’d on the Grass. it must be remembered. Yon rising Moon that looks for us again— How oft hereafter will she wax and wane. Binning. . How oft hereafter rising look for us Through this same Garden—and for one in vain! CI. (Stanza I. “The sudden approach and rapid advance of the Spring. Subhi Kazib. “are very striking.” says Mr. (IV. And in your joyous errand reach the spot Where I made One—turn down an empty Glass! (II.) Flinging a Stone into the Cup was the signal for “To Horse!” in the Desert.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam C.

set—’— (VI. where Moses exploits are among the most celebrated in the Shahnama. White.” but white. while the Fruit-trees in the Garden were budding beautifully. the old Heroic Sanskrit of Persia.ing sickly.) Pehlevi. and now sunk someon every side— where in the Sands of Arabia. Red.) Iram. Jamshyd’s Seven-ring’d Cup was typical of the 7 Heavens. a coarse species of the Daisy.” Exodus iv. According to them also the Healing Power of Jesus Snow was lying in patches on the Hills and in the shaded resided in his Breath. identical Blackbird and Woodpecker helped to make up something of a North-country Spring. tances I had not seen for many a Year: among these. (X. and Yellow Roses all common in Persia. planted by King Shaddad. for the Rose was not yet blown: but an almost “Rosa Perfecta” at 2. as in mockery. yet heard. which did not change with Among the Plants newly appear’d I recognized some Acquainthe People’s.) Rustum. 45 . An odorous Chaplet of sweet Summer buds Is. and green Plants and Flowers springing upon the Plains (V. red and white clover. whose “The White Hand of Moses. the blue Cornflower. quotes from some on the Banks of the Water-courses. and “perfecta incarnada” at 5. 6. two variI am not sure if the fourth line refers to the Red Rose looketies of the Thistle. gowan.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam the Ground. like the Horse. &c. the Dock.” The Nightingale was not Spanish author about the Rose being White till 10 o’clock. 7 Seas. “lepTai. a well-known type of Oriental Generosity. and was ‘And on old Hyems’ Chin and icy Crown a Divining Cup. or to the Yellow Rose that ought to be Red.. 7 Planets. and Zal his Father. Vallies. as our May-blossom in Spring perstart from the Soil. the “Hercules” of Persia. Hafiz also speaks of the Nightingale’s Pehlevi. Hatim draws forth his Hand—not. At Naw Rooz (their New Year’s Day) the haps. according to the Persians. the Trees burst into Blossom. and the Flowers rous as Snow. I think that and that vulgar Herb the Dandelion rearing its yellow crest Southey in his Common-Place Book.

” (which grows plentifully about the Fleam Dyke. I am reminded of an old English Superstition. Whinfield’s translation. The Ruins of Three of those Towers are yet shown by the Peasantry.) A Drum—beaten outside a Palace. while pursuing his Gur. the Rose’s Golden Centre. and supposed (according to the Shah-nama) to have been founded and built by him. Coo. Apropos of Omar’s Red Roses in Stanza xix. written by Amir Khusraw: all these Sevens also figuring (according to Eastern Mysticism) the Seven Heavens.” [Included in Nicolas’s edition as No. that our Anemone Pulsatilla. And Kings the forehead on his threshold drew— I saw the solitary Ringdove there.] This Quatrain Mr. “King Splendid. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam like the Master of Ravenswood. each of whom tells him a Story. coo. Binning found. (XIV. Bahram Gur. and for ever harping on that one note of lamentation for her lost Yusuf. signifies also in Persian “Where? Where? Where?” In Attar’s “Bird-parliament” she is reproved by the Leader of the Birds for sitting still. Jan Ibn Jan—who also built the Pyramids—before the time of Adam.(XIII.” she cried.—Bahram of the Wild Ass—a Sassanian Sovereign—had also his Seven Castles (like the King of Bohemia!) each of a different Colour: each with a Royal Mistress within. or purple “Pasque Flower. coo. and also in Mr. into which the mystical Seven transcend. The Palace that to Heav’n his pillars threw. and within which they revolve. among several of Hafiz and others. coo. and “Coo. inscribed by some stray hand among the ruins of Persepolis. 350 of the Rubaiyat. as also the Swamp in which Bahram sunk. and perhaps the Book itself that Eighth. The Ringdove’s ancient Pehlevi Coo.) Persepolis: call’d also Takht-i-Jam-shyd—The Throne of Jamshyd. Coo. Others refer it to the Work of the Genie King.” of the mythical Peshdadian Dynasty.) That is. . as told in one of the most famous Poems of Persia. And “Coo. coo. near Cambridge.) grows only where Danish Blood has been spilt. 46 (XVIII.

perhaps. but for advice which I least like to disregard.) The custom of throwing a little Wine on the ground before drinking still continues in Persia. as somewhat de trop. . can never lose the bitter flavour of Mortality. as with the Ancients of the West? With Omar we see some(XXXVII. By-and-by comes another who draws up and drinks from an earthen bowl. Thus Hafiz.) According to one beautiful Oriental Legend. But a Voice—from Heaven. but pretty story about this. into whatever shape renew’d. I think—tells him the clay from which the Bowl is made was once Man.or make her an Accomplice in the illicit Revel? Or.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (XXI. Wherefore fear the Sin which brings to another Gain?” (XLIII. from the Text. ity distinct from the Whole. doit vider sa coupe jusqu’a la derniere goutte. Azrael accomplishes his mission by holding to the nostril an Apple from the Tree of Life. Nicolas considers it “un signe de liberalite.) Me-and-thee: some dividual Existence or Personal. and. the precious Liquor is not lost.) Saturn. ally in the East. Lord of the Seventh Heaven.) One of the Persian Poets—Attar. but is surprised to find that the same Water which had tasted sweet from his own hand tastes bitter from the earthen Bowl. and the two following Stanzas would have been withdrawn. This. (XXXII. et en meme temps un avertissement que le buveur (XXXI. Mons. to divert the Jealous Eye by some sacrifice of superfluity. I think—has a thing more is signified.” Is it not more likely an ancient Superstition. (XXXIX. copying Omar in so many ways: “When thou drinkest Wine pour a draught on the ground.) A thousand years to each Planet. The first Traveller takes it up for another draught. leaving his Bowl behind him. A thirsty Traveller dips his hand into sinks into the ground to refresh the dust of some poor Winea Spring of Water to drink from. and then departs. and perhaps gener47 worshipper foregone. a Libation to propitiate Earth.

A curious mathematiAnd me to end where I begun.) A very mysterious Line in the Original: And though thine in the centre sit. If we be two.) Alluding to Sultan Mahmud’s Conquest of India and when we have fixed the centre for our circle. the fixt foot. our feet) we have one body. Donne: (LXVIII.) A Jest. Yet when my other far does roam. the more curious because almost exactly parallel’d by some Verses of (LIX. that are quoted in Izaak Walton’s Lives! Here World. And rows erect as mine comes home. which she is said to take up just where she left off. heads (sc.) From Mah to Mahi. of course. we bring our its dark people. including Islamism. Thy firmness makes my circle just. is Omar: “You and I are the image of a pair of compasses. (LXX. from Fish to Moon. O danad O danad O danad O— Thine leans and hearkens after it.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (LI. Such thou must be to me. but does if the other do. at his Studies. feet) together at the end. (LX.) The Seventy-two Religions supposed to divide the Doctor Donne’s. though we have two heads (sc. who must 48 .” Dr. cal Quatrain of Omar’s has been pointed out to me. as some think: but others not. Like the other foot obliquely run. makes no show lighted Candle within. (LVI. and so lightly poised and ventilated as to revolve round the Thy Soul. breaking off something like our Wood-pigeon’s Note.) Fanusi khiyal. a Magic-lanthorn still used in India. we two are so the cylindrical Interior being painted with various Figures. As stiff twin-compasses are two. To move.

like the Faces one used to see on Earthenware Jugs. writes to me— ‘testifying’ (comp. instead of all this knowledge flows in from all quarters.” by the late James Hamley Tregenna. so the Boys of the Village used to shout out after . and then him out of that?’” And again—from a very different quarter—”I had to refer the other day to Aristophanes.] from the time of the Hebrew Prophets to the present.) This Relation of Pot and Potter to Man and his Maker figures far and wide in the Literature of the World. ous Speaking-pot story in the Vespae. and our present and future condition framed and ordered by His free. ix. whose ment.ity!’) you would buy yourself a rivet. [Greek text deleted from etext. than God hath over him. (LXXXVII. who. of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (LXXV. decrees. Cuddie and his mother in ‘Old Mortal“Apropos of old Omar’s Pots. by the strange fecundity of His omnipotent power.” My Sheikh. but wise and just. and another unto dishonour? (Rom. it would show more tence I found in ‘Bishop Pearson on the Creed’? ‘Thus are we wholly at the disposal of His will. by Proserpine. In our Country-dialect Earthenware is called ‘Clome’.” One more illustration for the oddity’s sake from the “Autobiography of a Cornish Rector. when it may finally tak e the name of “Pot theism.) Parwin and Mushtari—The Pleiads and Jupiter. “The Pot calls a bystander to be a witness to his bad treatCarlyle ridiculed Sterling’s “Pantheism.) And can that earth-artificer have a freer power over his brother potsherd (both being made of the same metal). ‘If. did I ever tell you the sen.’ with a long white beard—a rare Appendage in those days—and a Face the colour of which seemed to have been baked in. Hath not the potter power over the clay. which I had quite forgotten. and came by chance on a curi49 sense in you!’ The Scholiast explains echinus as [Greek phrase deleted from etext]. The woman says. 1871. first made the clay out of nothing. “There was one odd Fellow in our Company—he was so like a Figure in the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ that Richard always called him the ‘allegory. 21.” by which Mr.

’ though shrewd enough in most things. And a young Moon requite us by and by: Look how the Old one meagre. and get baked over again. Then it is that the Porter’s Knot maybe heard— toward the Cellar. of weak intellect. and hailed with Acclamation.Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam him—’Go back to the Potter. had the reputation of being ‘saift-baked.’ i.. Omar has elsewhere a pretty Quatrain about the same Moon— “Be of Good Cheer—the sullen Month will die.e. is fainting from the Sky!” 50 .’ For the ‘Allegory. Old Clomeface.) At the Close of the Fasting Month. bent. and wan With Age and Fast. the first Glimpse of the New Moon (who rules their division of the Year) is looked for with the utmost Anxiety.” (XC. Ramazan (which makes the Mussulman unhealthy and unamiable).

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