OMAR KHAYYAM (1048-1131) – “The Rubaiyat” (Selected Stanzas) – Precious Poetry Series [#09]

Rubaiyat_Ford_Watercolor_300dpi
7

Come, fill the Cup 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.

* * * *

12

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread – and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness –
O Wilderness were Paradise enough!

* * * *

24 & 25

Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in New Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch – for whom?

* * * *

29

For let Philosopher and Doctor preach
Of what they will, and what they will not – each
Is but one link in an eternal Chain
That none can slip, nor break, nor over-reach.

* * * *

36

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.

* * * *

47

And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in – Yes –
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be – Nothing – Thou shalt not be less.

* * * *

59 & 60

How long, how long in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.

You know, my friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

* * * *

69

Strange is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass’d the door of Darkness through
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.

* * * *

71

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

* * * *

95

Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in the Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.

* * * *

97, 98 & 99

Indeed 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
And sold my Reputation for a Song.

Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore – but was I sober when I swore?
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My threadbare Penitence apieces tore.

And much as Wine has play’d the Infidel,
And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour – well,
I often wonder what the Winemakers buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.

* * * *

103

Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would we not shatter it to bits – and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!

Rubaiyat

OMAR KHAYYAM  (1048-1131),

Persian astronomer, mathematician and freethinker.

The Rubaiyat.

Translated by Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883).

Other poets you might enjoy:
#09 – Omar Khayyam

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15 thoughts on “OMAR KHAYYAM (1048-1131) – “The Rubaiyat” (Selected Stanzas) – Precious Poetry Series [#09]

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