Thompson - 1906
The quatrains of Omar Khayyam of Nishapur. Translated from the Persian into English verse, including quatrains now for the first time so rendered by Eben Francis Thompson. [S.l., s.n.], 1906.
Full text online version
Quatrains from Thompson's translation that correspond with the Bodleian Ms.
Let not your soul in Sorrow's clasp be prest,
Nor let your days be filled with vain unrest;
The book, the loved one's lips and marge of mead
Forsake not ere Earth fold you in her breast.
I'll counsel give, if you will list to me,
Don not the garment of Hypocrisy,
This life is but a breath, the next all time.
For that one breath sell not Eternity.
Drink wine! for when to dust your body turns,
Your clay becomes thereafter cups and urns,
Of Hell or Heaven reck not, for pray why should
A wise man be deceived in such concerns?
This vase like me a hapless lover pined
In snares of beauty's tresses once confined;
This handle on its neck you see was once
An arm oft round the loved one's neck entwined.
Since long in earth you 'll sleep, the goblet drain.
For far from friend, mate, consort, you 'll remain.
Take care this secret you do not reveal,
"No withered tulip ever blooms again."
O, thou! whose cheeks surpass the eglantine!
Whose lovely face outvies the maids of Chin!
Thy one glance giv'n my fond king yestere'en
Moved knight and bishop, castle, pawns and queen!
Life's caravan moves on in mystery,
Seize then the joyous moments as they fly.
Why fret, boy, o'er the morrow of thy friends?
Bring forth the cup, for night is hast'ning by!
I drink my wine, for men like me of sense
In God's sight 'tis of little consequence;
He knew it at the first, if I drink not
Sheer ignorance would be God's prescience!
Heaven whispered to my spirit secretly,
"The fixed decrees of Fate learn thou from me.
If I in my own turnings had a hand.
Myself from dizziness I 'd have set free!"
Since no one can the morrow guarantee.
To-day this woeful heart make glad in thee;
Drink wine in moonlight, O Moon, for the moon
Will shine full often nor find thee nor me.
The Koran though as ''Word sublime" read o'er.
Men sometimes on its page, but not long, pore;
There is a bright verse in the cup's lines, for
Within men everywhere read, evermore.
So far as lies in you cause no one pain.
Lest any you inflame, your wrath restrain;
If you desire to have eternal peace.
Though vexed, from wronging any man refrain.
Now 't is young manhood's season, I design,
Since it makes glad my heart, to quaff my wine.
Chide not the grape, though bitter yet 't is sweet,
'T is bitter since it is this life of mine.
To-day is thine, the morrow's not for thee,
Thy care for morrows naught but grief will be;
Nor waste this breath if thy soul 's not distraught,
For what remains of life will quickly flee.
Fate's marks upon the tablet still remain
As first, the Pen unmoved by bliss or bane;
In fate whate'er must be it did ordain,
To grieve or to resist is all in vain.
To change the written scroll there is no power.
And grieving only makes your heart bleed sore.
Though anguish all your life consume your blood.
You cannot add to it one drop the more.
The framework of the cup He did unite.
To break in rage how should God deem it right?
So many comely heads, feet, hands and arms!
Shaped by what love, and broke in what despite?
Upon a roof I saw a man alone
Trampling some clay in scorn ; in mystic tone
The clod besought the man, " Be gentle, pray,
For thou like me wilt be much trampled on."
I will arise intent pure wine to sip,
My cheek's hue make red as the loved one's lip;
This busy mind—a fist well filled with wine
Into its face I'll throw to make it sleep!
Khayyam, O why for sin this grief and shame?
What gain in mourning thus yourself to blame?
He knows not gracious mercy who sins not.
Why grieve? It was for sin that mercy came.
A cloud veil shadows still the face of rose,
Desire for wine my heart and nature knows.
Give wine O sweetheart, for the sun yet shines.
Go not to sleep, what time is 't for repose?
For none is there a way behind the veil.
Who tries to pierce its secrets but doth fail?
The only place of rest is earth's dark breast,
Alas, that far from short should be the tale!
In convent, school, cell, church, whate'er the creed
Are those in fear of Hell, and Heaven in need:
But he who knows the mysteries of God,
Within his heart sows not this fruitless seed.
I dreamt that Wisdom came to me and said,
''In sleep for none joy's roses petals spread,
In life why dost thou mimic death? Arise!
For sleep thou must when 'neath earth is thy bed."
Your secrets from all knaves you should conceal;
Nor should you mysteries to fools reveal;
Your hopes you should keep close from all mankind;
See you be careful how with men you deal.
Of this wine, drink, for it is life etern;
The source of youthful pleasure, it doth burn
Like fire, yet drink, for to the Well of Life
The briny tears of Sorrow it doth turn!
A corner and two loaves our choice make we.
We 've put aside earth's pomp and vanity;
We have bought poverty with heart and soul,
In poverty great riches do we see!
All that 's not grape juice better to eschew,
Better one old wine draught than empire new;
Cups hundred times than realms of Feridun,
The wine-jar lid than crown of Kai Khosrau!
That one on whom you do so much rely,
You 'll find a foe if you ope wisdom's eye.
It were good in this age to choose few friends,
Holding aloof from people's company.
Khayyam, who stitched tents of philosophy,
In Grief's fire fallen, was burnt suddenly,
Death's shears cut his life's tent rope; he was sold
For nothing by the broker. Destiny.
Since from your soul you separate, then know
Behind God's secret veil you will go, too ;
Drink wine! for you know not whence you have come;
Be jocund ! for you know not where you go!
The sky, a vault, spans our worn lives below;
Jihun a course from our strained eyes aflow;
Hell is a spark struck by our vain distress;
Heaven but an instant when content we know.
I know not whether Allah fashioned me
For Heaven or in a horrid Hell to be;
Cup, lute and loved one by the garden side,
All three my cash. Heaven's credit then for thee!
I quaff wine and from right and left come those
Who say, "Drink not wine which doth Faith oppose."
By Allah! since I know Faith's foe is wine,
'T is right that I should drink the blood of foes!
The good and evil in man's mortal mould,
The joy and grief that Fate and Fortune hold,
Impute not to the skies, for reasoned well,
More helpless they than thou a thousand fold!
No single day lost from his life hath flown,
Within whose heart the seed of cheer is sown;
Whether he seeks obedience to God's will,
Or cup in hand in ease doth choose his own.
See that the false world doth not thee ensnare.
Sit not secure ! Fate's sword is sharp, take care!
If Fortune drop a sweetmeat in thy mouth.
Swallow it not, 'tis poison mixed, beware!
Where'er there is a rose or tulip bed.
From some King's blood it takes its hue of red ;
Each violet leaf that springs from earth was once
A mole that decked the cheek of some fair maid.
Drink wine, for it is life etern, in sooth,
The fruitage of the season of thy youth ;
'T is time of roses, wine and mellow friends,
Rejoice the while, for this is life, in truth.
When they say Houris' nuptials pleasant are,
"The juice of grapes is pleasant!" I aver;
Take this cash then and let that credit go,
For pleasant is the drum beat,—heard afar!
My spirit whispered, "I crave Heavenly lore;
Instruct me then I beg if thou hast power."
Quoth I, "Alif will do, to him who knows
One letter is enough, seek thou no more!"
Since coming at the first was naught of mine,
And I unwilling go by fixed design,
Cupbearer, rise ! and quickly gird thy loins!
For worldly sorrows I 'll wash down in wine!
How long shall I make bricks upon the sea?
Idolater and temple weary me;
Who says Khayyam in Hell is sure to be?
Sometimes to Hell, sometimes to Heaven goes he.
Spring's breath the rose's face doth sweetly woo,
A charmer's face makes sweet the garden too;
To talk of yesterday were sad. Rejoice!
To-day is sweet ! of past days speak not you!
What place is this for talk ? Arise, pour wine!
To-night thy pouting lips are food for mine.
Pour wine rose-colored as thy cheeks ! For this
My vow 's disturbed as is that curl of thine.
Beyond the skies from all eternity.
My soul sought Tablet, Pen, Heaven, Hell to see;
At length the master wisely said to me,
"Pen, Tablet, Heaven and Hell are all in thee!"
Now o'er the earth that joyousness prevails,
Each living heart the fields with yearning hails;
On each branch is the show of Moses' hand.
And every zephyr Jesus' sigh exhales.
Out on that heart wherein love hath no sway
Nor love-mad to the witching one a prey;
The day that thou dost pass devoid of love.
For thee is none more wasted than that day.
When at life's brink, what's Balkh, what's Nishapur?
What sweet or bitter when the cup brims o'er?
Drink wine for many a moon will wax and wane
Through changing months when we are here no more.
O, my companions, nourish me with wine !
This amber-hued face make like rubies shine;
When I am dead, wash me with wine, and shape
My coffin planks from timber of the vine!
Now that of pleasures only names remain,
No old friend left, and but new wine to drain.
To-day when, save the cup, naught is at hand.
Then from the flask do not Joy's hand restrain.
In wine ablution must in taverns be.
For none a sullied name from blot can free;
Its liquor pour, for none can now repair.
So torn it is, our veil of modesty.
The juice of grapes may my hand ever bear
And my heart ever long for Houri fair:
They say "God give thee penitence!" He 'll not.
Far be 't from me! Repentance I forswear!
Nor hot nor cold, the air breathes sweet to-day,
And clouds have washed the rose cheeks' dust away;
And ever to pale rose the nightingale
"Thou must drink wine!" in ecstasy doth say.
Ere you the blows of darkling Fate sustain
Bid them to bring you rose-hued wine to drain;
You are not gold, O heedless dolt, that men
Hide you in earth and then dig up again!
My coming brought no profit to the sky,
My going adds not to its majesty
Or pomp, from none have my two ears e'er heard.
Coming or going, the true reason why.
None the eternal secrets e'er can trace.
Nor one step, foot beyond his nature place;
From pupil to the master I behold
Those born of woman, weak in every case.
The world crave less and live contentedly,
Of earthly good and evil cut the tie;
Be light of heart as are these circling skies,
A little while they stay, and then pass by.
A thousand devotees one cup of wine
Is worth and one wine-draught the realm of Chin,
Its bitter is a thousand sweet lives worth.
What sweeter on the face of earth hath been?
O, Soul, seek not the frail ones' company.
And cease with love affairs engrossed to be.
Frequent the doorways of the Dervishes,
Then the Elect may make a choice of thee.
From thought of wealth or want the heart to free,
And two and seventy Creeds' perplexity,
Drink wine, for take one draught, a thousand ills
It cures, forswear not then its alchemy.
To drink wine though forbidden, yet this ban
Is as to measure, company and man;
These three conditions being right, then say,
If wine a wise man cannot drink, who can?
'T is time when earth its tender verdure wears.
And Musa-like froth on the bough appears,
The clouds open their eyes in vernal showers.
And Jesus' breathing ones the earth uprears.
Each draught the cupbearer pours on the clay
Its fire of grief in some eye doth allay;
Praise Allah that you see wine is a juice
That takes your hundred pangs of heart away.
Friends, when in concord ye meet and whene'er
The cupbearer the Magian wine doth bear.
Delighting in each other's charms, O, see
A helpless one ye think on in your prayer!
The heavens above from clouds shower eglantine,
You 'd say that blossoms rained upon the green.
In lily cups I '1l turn rose-colored wine.
Since, violet-hued, the clouds pour jessamine.
My aged head by love of thee is caught.
Else why my hand and cup together brought?
My sweetheart broke the vows of reason born.
And Time hath torn the garment Patience wrought.
I 'm not the man whom death doth fill with fear,
That half than this to me hath more of cheer;
To me life is a loan that God hath made.
And I 'l1 repay it when the time is here.
The stars that are the dwellers of these skies,
Occasion much conjecture to the wise,
See you lose not the end of Wisdom's thread.
For those who rule are dizzied with surmise.
The stars that Heaven for a while adorn.
That come and go and back with earth are borne.
Now on Heaven's skirt, now in the pouch of earth.
While God dies not shall aye anew be born.
Those who are slaves of wit and subtle thought,
Fretting o'er "Is" and "Is not" come to naught.
Go, with the wise drink grape-juice, for these fools
From unripe grapes to raisins have been brought.
The sense which bids you Pleasure's path pursue,
Whispers a hundred times a day to you,
"This moment have in mind, for you 're no plant
Which when they mow it down, springs up anew!"
Now Ramazan is past, Shawwal is here.
The time of greeting, feasting, song is near;
'T is time when skins on shoulders they cry out,
"Behold the porters one by one appear!"
Those joyous ones who of old wine drink deep.
And they who in the prayer-niche vigil keep,
Not one is on dry land, but all at sea,
ONE only wakes, the others are asleep!
Companions, when ye meet as ye agree,
Your friend ye needs must pledge in memory;
And when together wholesome wine ye drink,
And my time comes, turn down a glass for me.
At first such grace and favor why did'st show?
Delights and blandishments on me bestow?
And now thou strivest to afflict my heart;
What wrong I may have done I fain would know.
Heed not Traditions nor the Law Divine,
Withhold from none the morsel that is thine,
None slander, nor afflict thou any heart,
I warrant thee the world beyond,—bring wine!
In the Bazaar I saw but yesterday
A potter pounding hard a lump of clay;
The clay cried out to him in mystic tones,
"I once was like thee, treat me gently, pray!"
Abandon wife and child if Him you 'd find,
From self cut bravely bonds to self that bind;
The things of earth but clog you on your way.
How fare with them? Free them and leave behind!
O, Heart! Since earth's truth is illusion vain,
Why so distressed in lasting grief and pain?
Bear trouble ! Bow to Fate ! Once gone the Pen
For thee will never trace the scroll again!
In taverns better I commune with Thee
Than far from Thee in mosques feign piety;
O Thou of all created first and last!
If Thou wilt, burn, if Thou wilt, cherish me!
Go! On earth's face, in Heaven's face high in air
Flung dust, drink wine and woo the sweet-faced fair!
What time is there for worship? What for prayer?
For none of all those gone returneth e'er.
If I Thy service' pearl did never thread.
Nor sin's dust ever wiped from off my head,
For all this of Thy mercy I have hope,
Because that ''One is two" I ne'er have said.
Our drinking habit we 've begun anew.
And to the "Five Prayers" have we said adieu;
Where'er the goblet is, our necks stretched out
Just Hke the necks of bottles you may view.
In truth and not by way of simile.
Heaven plays the game and its mere puppets we;
In sport moved on Life's chess-board, one by one
We reach the chess-box of Nonentity!
I prest my lip in yearning to the urn.
Thereby the means of length of life to learn.
And lip to my lip placed it whispered low,
"Drink! For to this world you will ne'er return!''
Khayyam, rejoice if overcome with wine
Thou with a tulip-cheeked one dost recline;
Since all things end in naught, rejoice and think
How 'twould be wert thou dead, whilst life is thine.
Last night I went into a pottery,
Two thousand pots did silent, speaking see.
"The potter, buyer, seller, where are they?"
One of the vessels cried out suddenly.
By mead and stream when roses scent the air,
Be with thy friends and mate as Houri fair;
Bring forth the cup! For those who drink at dawn
Give mosque nor synagogue nor thought nor care.
My virtues singly note, by the half score
My faults forgive, past sins O God, pass o'er!
O, let not whiff and gust Thy wrath's flame fan!
By Allah's Prophet's dust I grace implore!
Wine in the crystal is a subtle sprite.
And in the flask it is a fluid bright.
No heavy-wits are fit to be my friends
Save wine-flasks, which are heavy and yet light.
How long will prate of all eternity?
'T is past my science and my theory;
Wine has no substitute in time of joy,
'T is wine for every riddle turns the key.
This wheel of Heaven which we amazed discern.
Is like a Chinese lantern, as we learn;
The Sun the lamp, the World the lantern is.
And we like figures are that on it turn.
How long mere slaves of petty prudence be?
What if we live a day or century?
Wine bring us in the bowl, or ever we
Become but wine-jars in the pottery.
I fight with my desires continually. What shall I do?
And my own deeds bring constant shame to me. What shall I do?
Suppose that of Thy kindness Thou forgive?
For this my shame Thou did'st my actions see, What shall I do?
Since in this world no resting-place have we,
Sans wine and sweetheart folly 't were to be.
How long, O wise man, prate of old or new?
When I am dead, what 's old or new to me?
Although to mosque I 've come with humble air,
By gracious Allah ! I 've not come for prayer;
One day I stole a prayer-mat, which worn out
Time and again still thither I repair.
I'll bear a hundred scoffs for thy dear sake,
Or pay the debt if I this promise break;
Though life suffice thy cruelties, 'twere less
Than what till Judgment I would undertake!
Since earth's but fantasm, I 'll fantastic be,
Naught think of save bright wine and revelry.
They say "God give thee penitence!" He'll not
Give it and I would not repent, did He!
When at the foot of Death I am laid low,
And when his hand doth my plucked plumage strew.
Naught of my clay, look ye but flasks ye make.
Perchance the wine-scent new life will bestow.
Let us sip rose-hued wine, 'tis break of day,
Fame's chalice on the stones we'll fling away
And cease to strive for what we long have hoped
And with long tresses and the lute's strings play.
What 's manifest in life and death know I,
The heart of everything both low and high;
But shame upon my knowledge if I know
A state that with wine's ecstasy can vie!
Dervish, the cloak of seeming cast from thee!
Give not thy being to hypocrisy.
Go! Poverty's old rug on shoulders throw,
Beneath it beat the drum of empery!
Awhile the master's side we did frequent,
Awhile then with our progress were content,
Hear the discourse's end, what came to us,
From dust we came and on the wind we went!
That ruby bring, in crystal pure confined,
The mate and stay of men of noble mind!
Yea, bring wine, since thou knowest that the days
Of this dust world pass swiftly as the wind!
Arise! To this sad heart bring medicine!
Yea, that musk-scented and rose-colored wine!
Grief's antidote's ingredients v/ould'st thou have?
With red wine bring that silk stringed lute of thine!
To him who doth the world's state truly know,
As one, is all its trouble, joy and woe;
Since both its good and bad will have an end,
As Thou wilt, pain or remedy bestow!
While you have power with drinkers seek to be.
Break down the wall of prayer and piety.
Hear from Khayyam O friend this sage advice,
Drink wine and rob, but O, show charity!
Better to drink, with fair maids wander free.
Than in deceit to practice piety;
If sots and lovers all in Hell will be.
Then who would wish the face of Heaven to see?
The joyous heart keep ever from despair,
Nor on the trial stone life's pleasures wear;
Since no one knows what is to be, we need
At will with wine and love to rest from care.
Our names from off the Scroll of Life erased.
We by the hand of Fate must be effaced;
O sweet-faced boy, bring water cheerfully,
For in the dust soon must we be abased!
The ill deeds of yon circling dome, survey!
See earth laid bare of friends who've passed away!
Look for no morrow, seek not yesterday!
Live while you may, a breath, behold To-Day!
Since in this harsh world all man's gain hath been
Only his soul's vexation and chagrin,
Happy is he who quickly flees this world,
And he who never came knows joy serene!
Against our dear lives holding its design,
This wheel of Heaven doth plot thy death and mine;
Come sit upon this grass, 'twill not be long
Ere verdure springs up from my dust and thine.
My wine-jar Thou hast shattered Lord, for me
And closed the door of my felicity;
My pure wine Lord, Thou hast poured on the earth.
May I die Lord! 'Tis Thou art drunk, may be!
O, Shah! To thee Heaven lotted sovereignty!
Saddled for thee the steed of empery!
And where thy moving charger, golden-hoofed,
Sets foot on clay, earth gilded seems to be!
The cup fill ! For dawn light as snow doth turn,
And from the wine that 's ruby, color learn
Take two sweet aloe logs, make bright the feast!
Then shape a lute from one, the other burn!
'T is best all things save grape-juice to forego.
That best, pavilion beauties' hands bestow,
A Kalender best, drinking, wand'ring free,
A wine-draught 's best from Moon to Fish below!
Like an inverted bowl behold these skies
Whereunder fallen helpless are the wise.
Regard the bottle's friendship for the cup,
Lip to lip, between life blood fallen lies.
With my moustache I 've swept the wine-house sill;
I 've bade farewell to both worlds' good and ill;
Should both the worlds roll in the street like balls,
A grain, when drunk and drowsed I 'd rate them still.
How long shall I fret for what I've not got,
Or if content or not I 'll pass my lot?
The wine-cup fill! since 't is not known to me
If I this breath I draw breath out or not.
Give not yourself to grief for fate unkind,
Nor call sad thoughts of parted ones to mind.
Yield not your heart save to sweet fairy lips.
Sans wine be not, nor cast life to the wind!
Lo, Zephyr rends the rose's robe in twain,
Her beauty bulbuls praise in joyous strain;
Sit we 'neath this rose shade, for many a rose
Wind strewn in earth has turned to earth again!
Study of science you had best beware;
And best hang o'er the tress-tip of the fair
And ere that Fortune shed your best life-blood,
Best shed the flask's blood in the cup to share.
Can you not, Heart, the riddle's secret gain?
Nor make the subtlety of wise men plain?
Here make your Heaven with wine and cup; for you
The place where Heaven is may,—may not attain.
O, cup-bearer! those who have gone before
Sleep in the dust of pride for evermore;
Go, boy, drink wine and hear the truth from me,
You '11 find but empty wind is all their lore.
A thousand snares Thou settest in my way,
And threatenest if I step therein to slay;
Thou mak'st Thy law and me dost rebel call,
Though nowise is the world free from Thy sway!
O, Soul ! if from the body's dust set free
You soar a sprite in Heaven's infinity,
Which is your mansion, shame upon you, then,
That you come dwelHng on this earth to be.
Last night the cup I dashed against a stone.
Base was the act, my head with wine was flown.
The cup cried out to me in mystic tone,
"I was like thee, my case will be thine own."
A skin of red wine, book of poesy.
Bread, a half loaf, enough for life give me.
Then sitting in some solitude with thee
Were sweeter than the Sultan's empery!
Behold where'er I look, lo! everywhere
Heaven's verdure springs and Kausar's stream is there;
And wastes as Heaven are; Hell is gone, you'd say;
Sit in this Heaven then with a Heaven faced fair.
Give me the ruby, tulip-tinted wine,
Draw from the flagon's throat blood of the vine.
For save the wine-cup there is not to-day
For me one friend at heart so genuine.
Whene'er there conies to hand two maunds of wine,
To drink in all assemblies ne'er decline;
For whoso does thus, sets his spirit free
Of such as thy moustache or beards like mine!
If bread you have made from the grain of wheat,
Two maunds of wine, a mutton joint for meat,
In some nook sitting with fair Tulip-cheeks,
Not every Sultan hath such joy complete!
Rejoice ! for yesterday thy lot fixed They!
Secure from all thy clamors j^esterday!
Be jocund ! for They, lacking thine accord
Did yesterday thy morrow's fate array!
I 'd ne'er have come, could I have had my say,
If mine were going, when should I go, pray?
Were it not better in this world of dust.
Neither to come, nor be, nor go away?
To all churls something you give. Sphere on high!
Warm baths, mills, watercourses you supply.
The upright pledge their goods for evening bread.
Perhaps you'd give a puff for such a sky!
No longer vainly grieve! Live happily!
And in Life's devious path, do equity!
And since the end of worldly things is naught.
Think you are naught, and from concern live free!
Wine is a liquid ruby, flask the mine,
The cup the body and the soul is wine;
That crystal goblet laughing with its juice,
And yet like tears that heart's blood doth enshrine.
A love that passeth, no real value shows.
And with no warmth, like fire half-dead, it glows;
The lover true, for months, years, day and night,
Recks not of sleep nor food, ease nor repose!
Each dawn when dews the tulip's face o'erflow
The violet in the garden bendeth low,
Indeed the rosebud gives me joy, although
Round herself closely she her robe doth throw.
What boots the coming, going of the race?
And life's woof found, where will you life's warp place?
Consumed so many pure men, turned to dust,
Where in Heaven's dome is there of them a trace?
Earth's kitchen smoke consuming why remain?
How long o'er "Is" and "Is not" fret in vain?
A great loss to its people is the world;
That loss abjuring, you 'll enjoy all gain.
Debauched, to wine and tavern we repair;
Hopeless of Mercy, naught for Pain we care,
Soul, heart, cup, raiment filled with dregs of wine,
We 're freed from earth and water, fire and air!
Life's length beyond three-score seek not to trace;
Nor, save drunk, anywhere thy foot to place;
And ere thy skull they make into a bowl,
Set not from back thy jar, from hand thy glass!
If one as Houri fair by marge of lea,
In Springtime sweet a brimming cup give me,
Though men this speech deem bad, if then I call
On Heaven, than I a dog would better be!
Like drop in mighty stream, like desert blast.
Another day from our lives flieth fast;
However two days' grief I reckon not,
The day to come and that already past!
Though drink has torn my veil, while life have I,
Wine I 'll not leave. I 'm in perplexity
Concerning those who deal in wine, for they—
Better than that they sell, what will they buy?
Since Life moves on, what matters sweet or sour?
What Balkh or Baghdad when the cup brims o'er?
Drink wine ! for oft this moon from new to full,
From full to new will pass and we no more!
Give me wine which to my bruised heart doth prove
A balm, boon friend to those who mope for love;
Better, I hold, the dregs of but one draught
Than the world's hollow skull Heaven's dome above!
Wine jar and lover's lips in blossomed dell
Have filched thy credit and my cash as well;
The human tribe to Hell or Heaven is pledged,
But whoe'er came from Heaven or went to Hell?
Each vow we make we break again. The door
Of Fame and Shame shut on ourselves once more.
Blame me not if I act beside myself,
For I am drunk with Love's wine as before.
My heart no odds 'twixt bait and snare divines,
Toward mosque and cup alternately inclines;
In taverns better, wise with wine and love.
Than be a fool the cloister wall confines.
That spirit which is called pure wine, they say
Will grief of desolated hearts allay:
''Good water" why do they "bad water" call?
Quickly some cups well filled by me array!
Is wine rose red, the cup water of rose
Whose crystal casket a pure ruby shows?
Rubies dissolved in water it may be,
And moonlight be but sunlight veiled, who knows?
Wine-cup and tankard take, O dearest Love!
Joyous through blossomed mead by stream's marge rove;
Many dear ones are turned a hundred times
To cups and jugs by vengeful Heaven above!
Reproach not drinkers, while you can refrain,
Avoid pretence and idle talk restrain;
If henceforth you desire a peaceful life,
The very humblest people ne'er disdain.
They come whose faith rests but in fallacies,
'Twixt soul and body draw distinctions nice;
If on my head they 'd place a saw, I 'll put
The wine jar on it after this, likewise.
The fruit of truth on earth can never grow.
Since in this path none rightly e'er doth go;
All feebly grasp the brittle branch: regard
To-day as past, as first to-morrow know.