by Omar Khayyam1048-1131
trans. by Edward Fitzgerald 1859
I. Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to flight: And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light. II. Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky I heard a voice within the Tavern cry, 'Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry.' III. And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before The Tavern shouted - 'Open then the Door! You know how little while we have to stay, And, once departed, may return no more.' IV. Now the New Year reviving old Desires, The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires, Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires. V. Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose, And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no-one Knows; But still the Vine her ancient ruby yields, And still a Garden by the Water blows. VI. And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine High piping Pehlevi, with 'Wine! Wine! Wine! Red Wine! - the Nightingale cries to the Rose That yellow Cheek of hers to incardine. VII. 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. VIII. Whether at Naishapur or Babylon, Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run, The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop, The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one. IX. Morning a thousand Roses brings, you say; Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday? And this first summer month that brings the Rose Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away. X. But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot: Let Rustum lay about him as he will, Or Hatim Tai cry Supper - heed them not. XI. With me along the strip of Herbage strown That just divides the desert from the sown, Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot - And peace is Mahmud on his Golden Throne! XII. A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, - and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness - Oh, Wilderness were Paradise now! XIII. Some for the Glories of This World; and some Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come; Ah, take the Cash, and let the Promise go, Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum! XIV. Were it not Folly, Spider-like to spin The Thread of present Life away to win - What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in! XV. Look to the Rose that blows about us - 'Lo, Laughing,' she says, 'into the World I blow: At once the silken of my Purse Tear, and its Treasure in the Garden throw.' XVI. The Worldly Hope men set their hearts upon Turns Ashes - or it prospers; and anon, Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face Lighting a little Hour or two is gone. XVII. And those who husband the Golden Grain, And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain, Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd As, buried once, Men want dug up again. XVIII. Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day, How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp Abode his Hour or two and went his way. XIX. They say the Lion and the Lizard keep The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep: And Bahram, that great Hunter - the Wild Ass Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep. XX. I sometime think that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled; That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely head.