LXI 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. LXII And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky, Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die, Lift not thy hands to it for help - for it Rolls impotently on as Thou or I. LXIII With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man knead, And then of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed: Yea, the first Morning of Creation wrote What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read. LXIV Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare; To-morrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair: Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why: Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where. LXV I tell You this - When, starting from the Goal, Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal Of Heaven'd Parwin and Mushtari they flung, In my predestin'd Plot of Dust and Soul. LXVI The Vine has struck a fiber: which about If clings my Being - let the Dervish flout; Of my Base metal may be filed a Key, That shall unlock the Door he howls without. LXVII And this I know: whether the one True Light, Kindle to Love, or Wrath - consume me quite, One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught Better than in the Temple lost outright. LXVIII What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke A conscious Something to resent the yoke Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke! LXIX What! from this helpless Creature be repaid Pure Gold for what he lent us dross-allay'd - Sue for a Debt we never did contract; And cannot answer - Oh the sorry trade! LXX Nay, but for terror of his wrathful Face, I swear I will not call Injustice Grace; Not one Good Fellow of the Tavern but Would kick so poor a Coward from the place.
LXXI Oh, Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin Beset the Road I was to wander in, Thou wilt not with Predestin'd Evil round Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin? LXXII Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make, And who with Eden didst devise the Snake; For all the Sin wherever the Face of Man Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give - and take! LXXIII Listen again. One Evening at the Close Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose, In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone With the clay Population round in Rows. LXXIV And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot Some could articulate, while others not: And suddenly one more impatient cried - 'Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?' LXXV Then said another - 'Surely not in vain My Substance from the common Earth was ta'en, That He who subtly wrought me into Shape Should stamp me back to common Earth again.' LXXVI Another said - 'Why, 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 Fancy, in an after Rage destroy?' LXXVII None answer'd this; but after Silence spake A Vessel of a more ungainly Make: 'They sneer at me for leaning all awry; What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?' LXXVIII 'Why,' said another. 'Some there are who tell Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell The luckless Pots he marred in making - Pish! He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well.' LXXIX Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh, 'My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry: But, fill me with the old familiar Juice, Methinks I might recover by-and-by!' LXXX So while the Vessels one by one were speaking, The Little Moon look'd in that all were seeking: And then they jogg'd each other, 'Brother! Brother! Now for the Porter's shoulder-knot a-creaking!' LXXXI Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide, And wash my Body whence the Life has died, And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt, So bury me by some sweet Garden-side. LXXXII That ev'n my buried Ashes such a Snare Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air. As not a True Believer passing by But shall be overtaken unaware. LXXXIII 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. LXXXIV 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 thread-bare Penitence apieces tore. LXXXV And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel, And robb'd me of my Robe of Honor - well, I often wonder what the Vintners buy One half so precious as the Goods they sell. LXXXVI Alas that Spring should vanish with the Rose! That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close! The Nightingale that in the Branches sang, Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows! LXXXVII Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield One glimpse - If dimly, yet indeed reveal'd To which the fainting Traveller might spring, As springs the trampled herbage of the field! LXXXVIII Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire To grasp the sorry Scheme of Things entire, Would not we shatter it to bits - and then Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire! LXXXIX Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane, The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again: How oft hereafter rising shall she look Through this same Garden after me - in vain! XC And when like her, oh Saki, you shall pass Among the Guests star-scatter'd on the Grass, And in your Joyous errand reach the spot Where I made one - turn down an empty Glass!