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The Ruba'yat of Omar Khayam. Translated by H.M. Cadell. With an introduction by Richard Garnett. London; New York, John Lane The Bodley Head, 1899. 
Full text online version

Cadell's translation

Heron-Allen's translation

1

Since none can promise thee to-morrow's light,
Make glad, my love, thy weary heart to-night;
Yea, by the moonlight nectar's goblet drain,
For many moons will seek us, but in vain.

5

Since no one will guarantee thee a to-morrow,
make thou happy now this love-sick heart;
drink wine in the moonlight, O Moon, for the moon
shall seek us long and shall not find us.

3

Men call the Koran, God's Almighty word,
Yet read it rarely, or forget it quite;
Yet doth a graven verse the cup engird
That all men con, and all their tongues recite.

6

The Qur'an, which men call the Supreme Word,
they read at intervals but not continually,
but on the lines upon the goblet a text is engraved
which they read at all times and in all places. 

4a

As far as in you lies give no man pain,
Subject him not unto your anger's fire;
And would you to eternal peace aspire,
Grieve for yourselves, from grieving man refrain.

4

So far as in thee lies, cause no pain to anyone,
nor cause anyone to suffer from thy wrath;
if thou hast a desire for eternal peace,
fret thyself always and harass no one.

4b

Both scorn and proud hypocrisy eschew,
Taunt not the drinkers if you can refrain;
And if some pleasure from your life you'd gain,
Keep him who revels well within your view.

3

So far as in thee lies, reproach not drunkards,
lay thou aside pretence and imposture;
if, henceforth, thou desirest rest from this life of thine,
do not for a moment shun humble folk.

6

'Mid scattered treasures we, with wine and mirth
Are free from hope of peace or fear of pain.
Life, heart, cup, vesture, pawned for wine; no chain
Confines in air or water, fire or earth.

7

Here are we; and so is the wine, and the drinking bench; and the ruined furnace;
careless of hopes of mercy, and of fears of punishment;
our souls, and our hearts, and our goblets, and our garments full of the lees of wine,
independent of earth and air, and fire and water.

8

To-day, which is the season of my youth,
I drink, for in that is my happiness;
Slander not wine as bitter, for 'tis sweet;
In me, my life alone is bitterness.

11

To-day being the season of my youth,
I desire wine, for thence comes my happiness;
reproach me not, even though acrid it is pleasant;
it is acrid in that it represents my life.

9

Thou canst not help to-morrow by to-day,
Care for the morrow is but folly's spray;
If thy heart wake, forbear this hour to waste
Dreaming of joys that thou may'st never taste.

12

Thou hast no power to-day over the morrow,
and anxiety about the morrow brings thee only melancholy;
waste not thou this moment if thy heart be not mad,
for the value of the remainder of this life is not manifest.

10

This cup was once a man disconsolate,
Yea, such as I, wooing a stately queen;
That handle there, which on its neck is seen
Was then an arm, around his lovely mate.

9

This jug was once a plaintive lover as I am,
and was in pursuit of one of comely face;
this handle that thou seest upon its neck
is an arm that once lay around the neck of a friend.

11

Long, long ago, man's fate was graven clear,
The pen left nought unwrit of joy or woe;
Since from eternity God ruled it so
Then senseless are our grief and striving here.

31

From the beginning was written what shall be;
unhaltingly the Pen writes, and is heedless of good and bad;
on the First Day He appointed everything that must be —
our grief and our efforts are vain.

12

He who has formed the goblet from the clay
Can ne'er destroy his art's surpassing token.
These hands and feet and face of beauty - say,
Why framed in love, and why in fury broken?

19

The elements of a cup which he has put together,
their breaking up a drinker cannot approve,
all these heads and delicate feet—with his finger-tips,
for love of whom did he make them?—for hate of whom did he break them?

13

O Khayam! why for sin this sorrowing?
What gain its less or more, can any say?
On him who sins not, shines not mercy's ray.
Where then their harm, since sins God's mercy bring?

23

Khayyám, why mourn thus for thy sins?
from grieving thus what advantage, more or less, dost thou gain?
Mercy was never for him who sins not,
mercy is granted for sins—why then grieve?

14

Behind that veil no man has found a way,
Nor knows he anything of life's array,
He has no home but underneath the clay;
Thy truth thy sorrow is, O woeful lay!

29

No one can pass behind the curtain that veils the secret,
the mind of no one is cognizant of what is there;
save in the heart of earth we have no haven.
Drink wine, for to such talk there is no end.

15

In the proud mosque, in Magian temple tall
And in Christ's church men supplicating fall,
Would hell escape and heaven's joy attain.
But he who has God's secret learnt is sure
That the fair fruits of His rich blessings pure
Can never ripen from such mouldy grain.

24

In cell, and college, and monastery, and synagogue
are those who fear hell and those who seek after heaven;
he who has knowledge of the secrets of God
sows none of such seed in his heart of hearts.

16

'Twas while I slept, that thus a wise man spoke: -
"Sleep never caused joy's rose in man to bloom,
"Why court you thus the fellow of death's yoke?
"Drink now, you'll sleep enough in earth's dark womb."

27

I fell asleep, and wisdom said to me: —
"Never from sleep has the rose of happiness blossomed for anyone;
why do a thing that is the mate of death?
Drink wine, for thou must sleep for ages."

17

Bad men must not behold Thy secrets bright,
And fools Thy mysteries may never see;
O God! How Thou would'st harm humanity
If from it all Thou didst conceal thy light!

30

The mystery must be kept hidden from all the ignoble,
and the secrets must be withheld from fools.
Consider thine actions towards thy fellow men:
our hopes must be concealed from all mankind.

24

Khayam, as deepest lore he sought to win
Fell in grief's brazier and was burned therein;
Fate's scissors midst life's tent ropes havoc wrought,
And then Death's broker sold the bits for nought.

22

Khayyám, who stitched at the tents of wisdom,
fell into the furnace of sorrow and was suddenly burnt;
the shears of doom cut the tent-rope of his existence,
and the broker of hope sold him for a mere song.

25

When a fair face is by me in the spring
To fill my cup beside the desert's brink;
(Though this, my saying, doubtless you will blame)
Worse than a hound were I of heaven to think.

25

If in the season of spring a being, houri-shaped,
gives me on the green bank of a field a goblet full of wine,
(though to everyone this saying may seem uncouth)
a dog is better than I am if thenceforth I pronounce the name of heaven.

26

Thou shalt be parted from thy soul, and then,
Enter God's veil of mystery again;
Be glad! For whence you came you do not know;
Drink! For you wist as little where you go.

26

Know this—that from thy soul thou shalt be separated,
thou shalt pass behind the curtain of the secrets of God.
Be happy—thou knowest not whence thou hast come:
drink wine—thou knowest not whither thou shalt go.

28

The world a girdle for our bodies worn,
The Oxus but a trace of blood-stained tears,
Hell but a spark from senseless sorrow's fears,
And heaven a breath of roses opening morn.

33

The heavenly vault is the girdle of my weary body,
Jihun is a water-course worn by my filtered tears,
hell is a spark from my useless worries.
Paradise is a moment of time when I am tranquil.

30

I know not if it be the will divine
To call me to heaven's gladness or hell's woe.
A lute, a cup, my love where sweet flowers blow,
Such is my coin, be heaven's credit thine.

40

I know not whether he who fashioned me
appointed me to dwell in heaven or in dreadful hell,
but some food, and an adored one, and wine, upon the green bank of a field—
all these three are cash to me: thine be the credit-heaven!

31

I drink, and enemies with all their might
Say, "Do it not, wine is the true faith's foe."
So be it, then I drink, for well I know
To drink the foeman's blood is ever right.

38

I drink wine, and my enemies from left and right
say: — "Do not drink wine, for it is the foe of religion."
When I knew that wine was the foe of religion,
I said: —"By Allah! let me drink the foe's blood, for that is lawful."

32

The good and evil which in man you see,
The joy and sorrow which may come to thee;
Impute these not to fickle fortune's wheel,
For in love's path 'tis certain sure that you
Are not so weak as is the giddy whirl
Which that wheel makes beyond our vista's view.

41

The good and the bad that are in man's nature,
the happiness and misery that are predestined for us —
do not impute them to the heavens, for in the way of Wisdom
those heavens are a thousandfold more helpless than thou art.

33

He who has sown by love joy in his soul
Has not spent fruitlessly life's brightest days;
For either he has tried to tread God's ways,
Or sought his own peace in the lifted bowl. 

42

Whosoever has engrafted the leaf of love upon his heart,
not one day of his life has been wasted;
either he strives to meet with God's approbation,
or he chooses bodily comfort and raises the wine-cup.

35

O pity me the heart where no fires be,
That is not sorrow-stamped with pure love's kiss.
That day you drink not wine, remember this,
That day is lost, no day is it to thee. 

10

Ah, woe to that heart in which there is no passion,
which is not spell-bound by the love of a heart-cheerer!
the day that thou spendest without love,
there is no day more useless to thee than that day.

37

As my first coming was no wish of mine
So my departure I can not devise.
Gird thyself, Saki! Fair bright Saki rise,
Lest time should fail to drink this skin of wine.

21

Seeing that my coming was not for me the Day of Creation,
and that my undesired departure hence is a purpose fixed for me,
get up and gird well thy loins, O nimble Cup-bearer,
for I will wash down the misery of the world in wine.

39

Drink deep, for long you'll sleep beneath the rose
Without companion, neighbour, wife or friend;
Beware, let none this dark veil's secret rend:
The withered bloom no second freshness knows.

35

Drink wine, for thou wilt sleep long beneath the clay
without an intimate, a friend, a comrade, or wife;
take care that thou tell'st not this hidden secret to anyone: —
The tulips that are withered will never bloom again.

40

The world by joy has o'ercome sorrow's death,
Each living heart turns from the desert drear;
On every branch to-day white blooms appear,
And full of life is every clamorous breath.

13

Now that there is a possibility of happiness for the world,
every living heart has yearnings towards the desert,
upon every bough is the appearance of Moses' hand,
in every breeze is the exhalation of Jesus' breath.

41

He, from whose stem springs not Truth's fruit of gold,
sure he is not well met in the way;
But he will be, who bears that tender spray
To-day as yesterday, to-morrow as of old.

14

For him for whom the fruit ot the branch of truth has not grown,
the reason is that he is not firm in the Road.
Every one has feebly shaken with his hand the bough of truth.
Know that to-day is like yesterday, and that to-morrow is like the First Day of Creation.

42

On the first day my heart, exalted high,
Craved pen and tablet, heaven and hell to see;
Till at the last the Master made reply,
"Pen, tablet, heaven and hell are all in thee."

15

Already on the Day of Creation beyond the heavens my soul
searched for the Tablet and Pen and for heaven and hell;
at last the Teacher said to me with His enlightened judgment,
"Tablet and Pen, and heaven and hell, are within thyself."

43

Sweet to the rose is dewy morn in May,
Sweet is a lovely face midst orchards gay;
'Tis only sad to talk of yesterday.
Rejoice, for every thing is sweet to-day.

17

The spring breeze blows sweetly upon the face of the rose,
in the shade of the garden plot a darling's face is sweet;
nothing thou canst say of yesterday that is past, is sweet,
be happy and do not speak of yesterday, for to-day is sweet.

44

Be ye then bold, for fate doth sorrow yield,
not at ease, the sword of time is keen;
fortune place some sweet your lips between,
Beware! Eat not! Poison is there concealed.

44

Be prudent, for the means of life are uncertain;
take heed, for the sword of destiny is keen.
If fortune place almond-sweets in thy very mouth,
beware! swallow them not, for poison is mingled therein.

45

How long shall I fling spears at the smooth sea?
I loath all pious men's idolatry.
Khayam! who say that hell shall be thy doom?
Who goes to hell? And who from heaven hath come?

18

How long shall I throw bricks upon the surface of the sea?
I am disgusted with the idol-worshippers of the pagoda.
Khayyám! who can say that he will be a denizen of hell,
who ever went to hell, and who ever came from heaven?

46

As the brook's water, or the desert's wind,
Another day of this my life has fled;
of two days I ne'er will bring to mind;
The one has not yet come, the other's sped.

20

Like water in a great river and like wind in the desert,
another day passes out of the period of my existence;
grief has never lingered in my mind—concerning two days,
the day that has not yet come and the day that is past.

47

To those who sit with fairy-faced maids
By rose, or stream, or fields of waving corn
Bring the full wine cup; those who drink at morn
Are free from mosque's or temple's servile shades.

32

In the spring, on the bank of the river and on the edge of the field,
with a few companions and a playmate houri-shaped,
bring forth the cup, for those that drink the morning draught
are independent of the mosque and free from the synagogue.

48

They say, in heaven joy's shining face shall glow;
I answer, sweet earth's vintages now are;
Hold fast the coin, let future credit go;
An empty drum sounds pleasant from afar.

34

They say that the garden of Eden is pleasant with houris:
I say that the juice of the grape is pleasant.
Hold fast this cash and let that credit go,
for the noise of drums, brother, is pleasant from afar.

49

Wine's melted ruby, the jug the mine;
The cup the body, its soul the wine;
And the crystal cup where the wine shines through,
A tear where the heart's blood is hid from view.

39

Wine is a melted ruby and the cup is the mine thereof;
the cup is a body and its wine is the soul thereof;
that crystal cup that is bubbling over with wine
is a tear in which the heart's blood is hidden.

50

Drink wine, for it is everlasting day,
It is the very harvest of our youth;
In time of roses, wine and comrades gay,
Be happy, drink, for that is life in sooth.

36

Drink wine, for this is life eternal,
this is thy gain firom the days of thy youth;
a season of roses, and wine, and drunken companions —
be happy for a moment for this is life!

51

Where e'er the tulips or the roses bloom,
Know that they sprout where blood of kings hat flowed;
Each violet tuft that bursts in fresh perfume,
Was once a mole where Beauty's visage glowed.

43

Everywhere that there has been a rose or tulip-bed,
there has been spilled the crimson blood of a king;
every violet shoot that grows from the earth
is a mole that was once upon the cheek of a beauty.

51a

Arise! Bring wine! What need is there to speak?
To me thy doubts to-night are sunlight's glare.
Give me one draught as rosy as thy cheek,
For my repentance wavers like doth thy hair.

16

Arise and give me wine-what time is this for words?
for to-night thy little mouth fills all my needs;
give me wine, rose-coloured as thy cheeks,
for this penitence of mine is as full of tangles as thy curls.

51b

"You long for joy," my spirit said to me,
"Then show me that you gladness comprehend."
I answered: "a -." He stopped me; "Hold there, end,
One letter is enough if wit there be."

28

My heart said to me:— "I have a longing for inspired knowledge;
teach me if thou art able."
I said the Alif. My heart said :— "Say no more.
If One is in the house, one letter is enough."

51c

Give wine, my wounded heart is scored with pain,
Our path has scarce got any other gain;
I love the clay from which the cup is wrought
More than yon wheel, where skulls do count for nought.

37

Give me wine which is a salve for my wounded heart,
it is the boon companion of those who have trafficked in love;
to my mind the dregs of a single draught are better
than the vault of heaven which is the hollow of the world's skull.

51d

A cup, a loved lip, cornfields' waving swell,
These are my cash, be heaven's credit thine;
men existence pawn for heaven and hell.
Who goes to hell? Who comes from heav'n divine?

45

One jar of wine and a lover's lips, on the bank of the sown field —
these have robbed me of cash, and thee of the credit.
Some are pledged to heaven or hell,
but who ever went to hell, and who ever came from heaven?

51e

O thou, whose cheek, is but the counterfeit
Most perfect of wild roses blooming sweet,
Whose face is formed in mould of eastern grace!
When on the chess board of life here below
dost thy magic glance benignly throw,
Pawns, castles, kings and knights all give thee place.

46

O thou, whose cheek is moulded upon the model of the wild rose,
whose face is cast in the mould of Chinese idols,
yesterday thy amorous glance gave to the Shah of Babylon
the moves of the Knight, the Castle, the Bishop, the Pawn, and the Queen.

52

Why Baghdad or why Balkh? Our life's near done,
Its cup is full. Joy - sorrow, which is gain?
Rejoice, for after us, the phases run;
Inconstant moons will ever wax and wane.

47

Since life passes; what is Baghdad and what is Balkh?
When the cup is full, what matter if it be sweet or bitter?
Drink wine, for often, after thee and me, this moon
will pass on from the last day of the month to the first, andfrom the first to the last.

53

Life's caravan passes in wonder by,
Unknown the hour is which most blessing bears.
Saki, why fret tor our friend's future cares?
'Twere best the cup to bring, the dawn is nigh.

60

This caravan of life passes by mysteriously;
mayest thou seize the moment that passes happily!
Cup-bearer, why grieve about the to-morrow of thy patrons?
give us a cup of wine, for the night wanes.

54

Behold! now strengthen me with blood-red wine
And make my amber visage ruby red;
me with wine when I have passed away,
And with the vin's wood line my earthy bed.

69

Take heed to stay me with the wine-cup,
and make this amber face like a ruby;
when I die, wash me with wine,
and out of the wood of the vine make the planks of my coffin.

55

The road of love we must have purified,
Destruction in death's hand we'll surely see;
O sweet-faced Saki! liquid-almond-eyed,
Now give us water, dust we soon shall be.

52

We must be effaced in the way of love,
we must be destroyed in the talons of destiny;
O sweet-faced Cup-bearer, sit thou not idle,
give to me water, for dust I must become.

56

Nought else is left of joy but some poor names,
New wine the one friend faithful as of old;
Therefore, from that, do not joy's hand withhold
To-day when thereof nothing else remains.

53

Now that nothing but the mere name of our happiness remains,
the only old friend that remains is new wine;
withhold not the merry hand from the wine-cup
to-day that nothing but the cup remains within our reach.

57

In tavern wine alone can purge life's pangs,
The name once sullied none can ever clean;
Rejoice, for now our reputation's screen
Can ne'er be mended, in such rags it hangs.

65

In the tavern thou canst not perform the Ablution save with wine,
and thou canst not purify a tarnished reputation;
be happy, for this veil of temperance of ours
is so torn that it cannot be repaired.

59

May to my hand the brimming cup ne'er fail,
And may some beauty always love me true;
They say God showers on me repentance' dew;
He does not, if He did, 'twould not avail.

64

In my mind may there be desire for idols houri-like,
in my hand may there be, all the year round, the juice of the grape;
they say to me, "May God give thee repentance!"
He himself will not give it; I will none of it; let it be far off!

60

The day is sweet, the air not hot, not cold,
The clouds from off the rose have washed the dust;
And to the rose the bulbul's chant is trolled
And this methinks the burden, "Drink ye must."

67

It is a pleasant day, and the weather is neither hot nor cold;
the rain has washed the dust from the faces of the roses;
the nightingale in the Pehlevi tongue to the yellow rose
cries ever:—"Thou must drink wine!"

61

Ere death's assault fall on that head of thine,
Say: "Sweetheart bring to me the rosy wine."
Thou art not gold, oh senseless fool! that men
Should bury thee to dig thee up again.

68

Ere that fate makes assault upon thy head,
give orders that they bring thee rose-coloured wine;
thou art not treasure, O heedless dunce, that thee
they hide in the earth and then dig up again.

62

My advent on the world no gain conferred,
Nor will my going raise its rank or state;
Nor have mine ears from any mortal heard
The reason why I came, or what my fate.

51

My coming was of no profit to the heavenly sphere,
and by my departure naught will be added to its beauty and dignity;
neither from anyone have my two ears heard
what is the object of this my coming and going.

63

The love which is but feigned is nothing worth.
'Tis like a half dead fire, a fiameless coal;
Nights, days, months, years are by the faithful soul
Passed without food or sleep, or rest or mirth. 

71

A love that is imaginary has no value;
like a fire half-dead, it gives no heat.
A true lover, throughout the month, and year, and night, and day,
takes neither rest, nor peace, nor food, nor sleep.

65

No man has trod one step outside himself,
None have the ravel of dark death untwined;
When I from pupil to the master turn
All woman's offspring do I helpless find.

72

No one has solved the tangled secrets of eternity,
no one has set foot beyond the orbit,
since, so far as I can see, from tyro to teacher,
impotent are the hands of all men born of woman.

66

Live ye content, yearn less for this world's gain,
Of earthly good and bad break loose the chain;
Rejoice! For ever as the heavens move
So all things pass, and will our life remain?

73

Set limits to thy desire for worldly things and live content,
sever the bonds of thy dependence upon the good and bad of life,
take wine in hand and play with the curls of a loved one; for quickly
all passeth away—and how many of these days remain?

67

Drink, it will cut uncertainty in two
And pacify the doctors seventy-two;
Hold none then back from it, yea quaff it too,
And one good draught will all your frets subdue.

77

Drink wine, that will banish thy abundant woes,
and will banish thought of the Seventy-two Sects;
avoid not the alchemist, for, from him,
thou takest one draught, and he banishes a thousand calamities.

68

Wine is unlawful. 'Twere best first to think,
Who drinks, how much, what his companions be;
Be sure, if answered well these questions three,
That no one but the wise of wine will drink.

78

Even though wine is forbidden, for all that it depends upon who drinks it,
and then in what quantity, and also with whom he drinks it;
these three conditions being as they should be; say!
who drinks wine if a wise man does not do so?

69

I drink, and he who is as wise as I
Wine's evil finds a simple thing I wot;
God from all time has known futurity,
And I should prove Him wrong, if I drank not.

75

I drink wine, and every one drinks who like me is worthy of it;
my wine-drinking is but a small thing to Him;
God knew, on the Day of Creation, that I should drink wine;
if I do not drink wine, God's knowledge was ignorance.

70

Each draught on thirsty earth that Saki pours
Quenches the fire of sorrow in hot eyes;
Then praise ye God, when ye recall, ye wise,
This water frees the heart from manv sores.

81

Every draught that the Cup-bearer scatters upon the earth
quenches the fire of anguish in some afflicted eye.
Praise be to God! thou realizest that wine
is a juice that frees thy heart from a hundred pains.

71

Agree my friends to meet at rising sun
And each the other's perfectness extol;
And when the Saki has poured forth the soul,
Say as you pray: "Alas for such an one."

84

Friends, when with consent ye make a tryst together,
and take delight in one another's charms,
when the Cup-bearer takes round in his hand the Mugh wine,
remember a certain helpless one in your benediction.

72

One cup is worth a hundred hearts or creeds,
One draught of wine all China's realm is worth;
In wine alone, a bitterness on earth
We find, whose worth a thousand sweets exceeds.

85

One cup of wine is worth a hundred hearts and religions,
one draught of wine is worth the empire of China,
saving ruby wine there is not, on the face of earth,
any acrid thing that is worth a thousand sweet souls.

73

The slaves of reason, prudence, human lore
For what "is not" and "is," sigh helplessly;
Choose ye, my friends, the red grape's juicy core:
Pride made these fools like shrivelled raisins dry.

50

Those who are the slaves of intellect and hair-splitting,
have perished in bickerings about existence and non-existence;
go, thou ignorant one, and choose rather grape-juice,
for the ignorant from eating dry raisins have become like unripe grapes themselves.

74

Be not ensnared by sorrow's witching charms
Or grief for fortune's ill will thee enslave;
Rest by the sown field's or river's the edge,
For soon cold earth shall lull thee in her arms.

76

Do not allow sorrow to embrace thee,
nor an idle grief to occupy thy days;
forsake not the book, and the lover's lips, and the green bank of the field,
ere that the earth enfold thee in its bosom.

75

As those, who sink in deserts' dusty ways
This life's foundations, separation raise
Between man's heart and his rejoicing soul;
So ere, like barn-door cock o'erfilled with pride,
They with the knife my crimson gorge divide,
I'll press my lips to the wine's gladsome bowl.

57

Those whose beliefs are founded upon hypocrisy,
come and draw a distinction between the body and the soul;
I will put the wine jar on my head, if, when I have done so,
they place a comb upon my head, as if I were a cock.

76

I'm not the man, the coming death to fear;
That half may well brighter than this half be.
God as a loan my life has given me.
I'll give it back, when reckoning time draws near.

59

I am not the man to dread my non-existence,
for that half seems pleasanter to me than this half;
this is a life which God has lent me,
I will surrender it when the time of surrender comes.

77

The sage who on the path of peace doth go
Is told a hundred times a day, by God:
"Seek thou the hour of fellowship for lo!
"The grass you tread, is ne'er by you retrod."

49

This intellect that haunts the path of happiness
keeps saying to thee a hundred times a day: —
"Understand in this single moment of thine existence, that thou art not
like those herbs which when they gather them spring up again."

78

The matter which this earth of ours contains
Disturbs the wise man's proud omniscience.
Hold to - tight if you can - the rope of sense,
For we have teachers with bewildered brains. 

58

The bodies which people this heavenly vault,
puzzled the learned.
Beware lest thou losest the end of the string of wisdom,
for even the controllers themselves become giddy.

79

Fortune's offspring, elected from on high,
Shall come, go, live again, and it, may hap
That some of them shall live in heaven's lap
Or in earth's pocket hid, till God shall die.

56

Those who adorn the Heavens for a fragment of time,
come, and go, and come again as time goes on;
in the skirt of Heaven, and in the pocket of earth,
are creatures who, while God dies not, will yet be born.

80

Some men there be, who quaff pure wine alway;
Some in prayer's places night-long vigils keep;
They all in water splash, no, none live dry,
And if one wakes, the rest are all asleep.

48

Of those who draw the pure date wine
and those who spend the night in prayer,
not one is on the dry land, all are in the water.
One is awake: the others are asleep.

81

My soul! O let not fools thy feet allure!
Nor meddle with what can't be understood;
By circling round the threshold of the poor,
Thou mayest be accepted of the good.

55

O heart, for a while seek not the company of the frail ones;
cease for a while to be engrossed with the commerce of love.
Frequent the thresholds of the darvlshes -
perhaps thou mayest be accepted for awhile by the accepted people.

82

Your love, has in a net, my old head caught,
Nor can my hand from wine cup be withdrawn.
Love the repentance broke which wisdom taught,
The garment patience sewed, by life is torn.

61

Being old, my love for thee led my head into a snare;
if not, how comes it that my hand holds the cup of date-wine?
My sweetheart has destroyed the penitence born of reason,
and the passing seasons have torn the garment that patience sewed.

83

As I, a solitary hermit passed
He with contempt struck hard blows at the clay;
And as it could, I heard it murmuring say: -
''Withhold! you'll eat such blows as these at last."

66

I saw upon the terrace of a house a man, alone,
who trampled upon the clay, holding it in contempt;
that clay said to him in mystic language: —
"Be still, for like me thou wilt be much trampled upon."

84

The month Ram'zan is gone, and Shawal comes,
The time of talk and joy and pleasure comes;
'Tis here and see - bent-backed and stooping low -
Bearing the wine skin full, the porter comes.

158

The month of Ramazan passes and Shawwal comes,
the season of increase, and joy, and story-tellers comes;
now comes that time when "Bottles upon the shoulder!"
they say, — for the porters come and are back to back.

85

Drink, for thy body in the earth shall dwell,
And of that dust shall cups and jugs be made;
Keep thyself free from thoughts of Heaven and Hell;
The wise man can such cheating words evade.

79

Drink wine, for thy body becomes atoms in the earth,
thine earth, after that, becomes goblets and jars;
be thou heedless of hell and heaven,
why should a wise man be deceived about such things?

86

Spring breezes now to earth new freshness bring,
From the cloud's eyes the fountains overspring;
With Moses' blanching hand the bough is crowned,
And Jesus' breathing issues from the ground.

80

Now is the time when by the spring-breezes the world is adorned,
and in hope of rain it opens its eyes,
the hands of Moses appear like froth upon the bough,
the breath of Jesus comes forth from the earth.

87

Each morning when the dew the lily bathes
And bends o'er violets on the garden side,
At least the rosebud does me justice when
She sees me grasp the robe of selfish pride.

82

Every morning the dew bedecks the faces of the tulips,
the crests of the violets in the garden are bent downward;
verily, most pleasing to me is the rosebud
which gathers its skirts close around itself.

88

O my dear friends, as oft as ye shall meet,
Ye must remember me, who your friend was;
And as in turns you sip wine's pleasure sweet
When my turn cometh round, o'erturn the glass.

83

Friends, when ye hold a meeting together,
it behoves ye warmly to remember your friend;
when ye drink wholesome wine together,
and my turn comes, turn a goblet upside down.

88a

Though wine has torn my honour's veil, 'tis well,
I will not part from it while life is mine;
I marvel what the vendors of pure wine
Can find to buy, better than that they sell.

62

Although wine has rent my veil,
so long as I have a soul I will not be separated from wine;
I am in perplexity concerning vintners, for they —
what will they buy that is better than what they sell?

89

Nought can be changed of what was first decreed,
Grieve as thou wilt, no heart but thine will bleed;
If thy life long, thine eyes shed tears of blood,
'Twill not increase one drop woe's raging flood. 

54

What the Pen has written never changes,
and grieving only results in deep affliction;
even though, all thy life, thou sufferest anguish,
not one drop becomes increased beyond what it is.

90

Drink of that wine which is eternal life,
It is the spring from which youth's pleasures flow;
It burns like fire, yet calms our sorrow's strife,
Therefore drink wine, it as life's water know.

90

Drink of that wine that is eternal life,
it is the stock-in-trade of youthful pleasure, drink!
it burns like fire, but sorrows
it makes like the water of life—drink!

91

Circumcise not, all legal rites forgo;
Withhold from none the morsel that is thine.
Slander not - seek not man to harm - then know
I pledge thee heaven to come -and now bring wine.

91

Follow not the Traditions, and leave alone the Commands,
withhold not from anyone the morsel that thou possessest:
neither slander, nor afflict the heart of anyone,
I guarantee you the world beyond—bring wine!

92

Bring ye that ruby in the glass of wit,
Of the free man the comforter and friend;
Bring wine, for know, that dust is this world's end
In the short days the wind will scatter it.

87

Bring me that ruby in a clear glass,
bring me that companion and intimate of all excellent people:
since thou knowest that the duration of this earthly world
is a wind that quickly passes by,—bring me wine.

93

In the bazaar, I saw but yesterday
A potter hitting hard at his wet clay;
And it, as best it could, cried out; "Let be;
"I was as thou art once, be good to me."

89

I saw a potter in the bazaar yesterday,
he was violently pounding the fresh clay,
and that clay said to him, in mystic language,
"I was once like thee—so treat me well."

96

Wouldst thou be His? From son and wife be free,
Yea, boldly close the door on loves most true;
Existent things are bonds which tether thee.
With bonds how canst thou journey? Cut them through.

86

If thou desirest Him, be separated from wife and children,
bravely move thine abode from thy relations and friends;
whatever is, is an hindrance on the road for thee,
how canst thou journey with these hindrances? — remove them!

97

Arise and salve my dull heart's discontent,
Bring musky scented, rosy tinted wine;
As bribe to sorrow, bring the charms divine,
Wine's ruby and thy hands' soft blandishment.

88

Arise ! bring physic to this oppressed heart,
bring that musk-scented and rose-coloured wine;
if thou desirest the elements of sorrow's antidote,
bring ruby wine and the silk stringed lute.

98

Wine's the red rose, rose water that we quaff,
Or ruby pure contained in crystal cup,
Or ruby in the fountain melted up,
Or moonlight tinted with the sunlight's laugh.

92

Wine is rose-red, and the cup is filled with the water of roses, — maybe,
in the crystal casket is a pure ruby, — maybe,
a melted ruby is in the water, — maybe,
moonlight is the veil of the sun, — maybe.

99

Each vow we make, at once we break in twain,
On ourselves shut the gates of rank and fame.
If we act madly, 'tis - why do you blame? -
That love's strong wine has made us drunk again.

93

Every vow we make, we break again,
we shut once more upon ourselves the door of fame and fair repute;
blame me not if I act as a fool,
for once more am I drunken with the wine of love.

100

O heart! 'tis true that all this world is vain,
Wherefore then eat the fruit of sorrow's tree ?
To fate thy body yield, endure the pain;
The once split pen will never mend for thee.

95

Oh, heart! since in this world truth itself is hyperbole,
why art thou so disquieted with this trouble and abasement?
resign thy body to destiny, and adapt thyself to the times,
for, what the Pen has written, it will not re-write for thy sake.

103

It gives me greater joy to speak to Thee
Of that dark secret in the tavern gay
Than without Thee in sombre mosque to pray.
O Thou of all creation First and Last!
Say wilt Thou burn me at the end of time
Or be all goodness then to me and mine?

2

If I talk of the mystery with Thee in a tavern,
it is better than if I make my devotions before the Mihrab without Thee.
O Thou, the first and last of all created beings!
burn me an Thou wilt, or cherish me an Thou wilt.

105

Go then, cast dust on heaven's sapphire stair,
Drink wine, love beauty, in this world of men.
What place for pious deeds? What need for prayer?
Of the departed, none comes back again.

97

Go! throw dust upon the face of the heavens,
drink wine, and consort with the fair of face;
what time is this for worship ? and what time is this for supplication?
since, of all those that have departed, not one has returned?

106

Though I have never, in my way through life,
Threaded that pearl - obedience to Thy will;
And though through all the darkest paths of strife
I have not sought to find Thy face; - yet still
am not hopeless of Thy mercy's dew
For I have never called the Great One - Two.

1

If I have never threaded the pearl of Thy service,
and if I have never wiped the dust of sin from my face;
nevertheless, I am not hopeless of Thy mercy,
for the reason that I have never said that One was Two.

107

Our evil drinking trade we seek anew,
At the five lawful hours we praise not God;
But you will see us where the wine cups nod
Stretching our necks like empty skins thereto.

99

We have returned to our wonted debauch,
we have renounced—the Five Prayers!
wherever the goblet is, there thou mayst see us,
our necks stretched out like that of the bottle.

110

With strong desire my lips the cup's lip sought
From it the cause of weary life to learn.
Its lip pressed my lips close and whisperèd: —
"Drink, in this world no moment can return."

100

In great desire I pressed my lips to the lip of the jar,
to enquire from it how long life might be attained;
it joined its lip to mine and whispered: —
"Drink wine, for, to this world, thou returnest not."

111

Fill up the cup, for snow-like falls the day,
With wine, wherefrom the rubies red acquire;
Hold the two feasts, make glad our company,
Of this make music, and of that make lire.

98

Fill the cup! for the day breaks white like snow,
learn colour from the wine that is ruby;
take two fragrant aloe logs, and brighten the assembly,
make one into a lute, and burn the other.

113

Lend me an ear, a warning I give thee,
For God's sake do not wear a cloak of lies;
Now is but time, the end eternity,
Sell not for time, then, the eternal prize.

101

I will give thee counsel if thou wilt give ear to me,
for the sake of God do not wear the garment of hypocrisy,
the hereafter will fill all hours, and the world is but a moment,
do not sell the kingdom of eternity for the sake of one moment.

114

Khayam! Be happy with the wine of love!
Rejoice each hour with rosy cheek you spend!
As nothingness of all will be the end,
What will be nothing, while it is, approve.

102

Khayyam, if thou art drunk with wine, be happy,
if thou reposest with one tulip-cheeked, be happy,
since the end of all things is that thou wilt be naught;
whilst thou art, imagine that thou art not,—be happy !

115

I passed the potter's shop by yesterday
Noisy and mute two thousand pots I saw,
From one of them a sudden shout did rise: -
"Where's he who makes the pots? Who sells? Who buys?''

103

I went last night into the workshop of a potter,
I saw two thousand pots, some speaking, and some silent;
suddenly one of the pots cried out aggressively: —
"Where are the pot maker, and the pot buyer, and the pot seller?"

116

By tens my faults, my good deeds singly come,
Forgive for God's sake actions reprobate;
With passion's breath fan not the fire of hate;
Rather forgive all by the Prophet's tomb.

105

Regard my virtues one by one, and forgive my crimes ten by ten,
pardon every crime that is past, the reckoning is with God!
let not the wind and air fan the flame of thy rancour,
by Muhammad's tomb! forgive me.

117

The spirit, which men here call sorrow pure
By souls thought-laden is named reprobate;
Say, why should wine as water be misnamed?
With wine in stony flagons on me wait.

104

Of this spirit, that they call pure wine,
they say :—" It is a remedy for a ruined heart";
set quickly before me two or three heavily filled cups,
why do they call a good water "wicked water"?

118

Be just, there's rare life in that lovely wine,
In the cup's body lives a laughing sprite;
No heavy one can be a friend of mine,
Weight solely in the brimming bowl is right.

106

Verily wine in the goblet is a delicate spirit,
in the body of the jar, a delicate soul reposes,
nothing heavy is worthy to be the friend of wine
save the wine-cup, for that is, at the same time, heavy and delicate.

122

Of the eternal past and future why
Discourse? They pass our understanding's powers;
Be sure, there's nought like wine in pleasant hours;
That every knotty tangle can untie.

107

Where is the limit to eternity to come, and where to eternity past?
now is the time of joy, there is no substitute for wine:
both theory and practice have passed beyond my ken,
but wine unties the knot of every difficulty.

125

This heavenly dome, where we distracted dwell,
Is likest to a magic lantern made;
The sun the candle and the world the screen,
And we the images that flit and fade.

108

This vault of heaven, beneath which we stand bewildered,
we know to be a sort of magic-lantern:
know thou that the sun is the lamp-flame and the universe is the lamp,
we are like figures that revolve in it.

127

How long shall fasts ensnare our vital power?
In time what's one day, what a hundred years?
Bring then a bowl of wine, before that hour
When we as cups shall stand, but potter's wares.

111

How long shall we continue slaves to every-day problems?
what matter whether we live one year, or one day, in this world?
pour out a cup of wine, before that we
become pots in the workshop of the potters.

129

With passion ever I'm at war,
What shall I do, what shall I do?
For actions past I suffer sore,
What shall I do, what shall I do?
E'en should'st Thou all my sin wash clean,
Its stain lasts new, its stain lasts new;
What I have done, that Thou hast seen,
What shall I do, what shall I do?

109

I do not always prevail over my nature, — but what can I do ?
and I suffer for my actions, — but what can I do ?
I verily believe that Thou wilt generously pardon me
on account of my shame that Thou hast seen what I have done, — but what can I do?

130

Since we've no dwelling in this world, 'twould be
A sin of wine and love to be bereft;
O Saint! Why worry so with old and new?
What matters old and new when we have left?

112

Since our abode in this monastery is not permanent
without the Cup-bearer and the beloved, it is painful to support life;
how long of ancient creeds or new, O philosopher?
when I have left it what matter if the world be old or new?

131

Although to come to the dim mosque I yearn,
I come not, trust me, that I there may pray;
I stole a praying mat from thence one day,
It is worn out, and therefore I return.

115

Although I have come with an air of supplication to the mosque,
by Allah ! I have not come to pray;
I came one day and stole a prayer-mat -
that sin wears out, and I come again and again.

132

All kinds of blame I'll bear for love of thee,
Break I this faith, may I be sorrow's prey;
If all my life thy tyranny hath sway
The time from now till doom will quickly flee.

113

In loving Thee I incur reproaches for a hundred sins,
and if I fail in this obligation I pay a penalty:
if my life remain faithful to Thy cruelty,
please God, I shall have less than that to bear till the Judgment Day.

133

Deceitful I'll be in this world of fraudful earth,
And think upon nothing but wine and mirth,
"God give thee repentance," to me men will say.
He does not, but did He, I would not obey.

114

The world being fleeting, I practise naught but artifice,
I hold only with cheerfulness and sparkling wine;
they say to me: — " May God grant thee penitence."
He himself does not give it, and if He gives it, I will none of it.

134

When at death's foot I've fallen in decay,
When all life's hope is rooted out by pain;
Take heed, make wine-jugs only of my clay,
Perchance when full of wine I'll live again.

116

When I am abased beneath the foot of destiny
and am rooted up from the hope of life,
take heed that thou makest nothing but a goblet of my clay,
haply when it is full of wine I may revive.

135

'Tis morn, and we our breath with wine will wed,
Our reputation's cup on stone destroy,
Draw back our hands from life-long hopes of joy,
And grasp long locks and trailing robes instead.

118

It is morning: let us for a moment inhale rose-coloured wine,
and shatter against a stone this vessel of reputation and honour;
let us cease to strive after what has long been our hope,
and play with long ringlets and the handle of the lute.

137

Of "Is" and "Is not" I know the outside,
The inside, too, of human lore possess.
In this my knowledge yet I take no pride,
For I know how to value drunkenness.

120

I know the outwardness of existence and of non-existence,
I know the inwardness of all that is high and low;
nevertheless let me be modest about my own knowledge
if I recognise any degree higher than drunkenness.

139

Dearest, arise! 'tis for pure wine I seek
That ruby colour'd I may make my cheek;
Fling in my face, though I should sleeping lie,
That which can give us wisdom's ecstasy.

110

Let me arise and seek pure wine,
make thou the colour of my cheek like that of the jujube fruit,
as for this meddling intellect, a fist-full of wine
will I throw in its face, to make it sleep.

140

A corner and two cakes as this world's gain
I'll choose, from hope of wealth and power refrain;
I'll purchase poverty with heart and soul,
For that I see is of true wealth the whole.

119

We have preferred a corner and two loaves to the world,
and we have put away greed of its estate and magnificence;
we have bought poverty with our heart and soul —
in poverty we have discerned great riches.

141

In boyhood oft we to our teacher hied,
In our own wisdom took a joyous pride.
What was the matter's end? What do we know?
"As water came we, and as wind we go."

121

For a while, when young, we frequented a teacher,
for a while we were contented with our proficiency;
behold the foundation of the discourse:—what happened to us?
we came in like water and we depart like wind.

142

To those who life's true secrets comprehend,
Joy, sorrow, suffering must be the same;
As this life's good and bad all find one end,
What matter if all's pleasure or all pain?

122

To him who understands the mysteries of the world,
the joy and sorrow of the world is all the same;
since the good and the bad of the world will come to an end;
what matter, since it must end? an thou wilt, be all pain, or, an thou wilt, all remedy.

143

To help the dissolute do all you can,
The dome of prayer and fast beat down to ground,
And Khayam's saying hear, for all time sound: -
"Drink - if must be, steal - but do good to man."

123

So far as in thee lies, follow the example of the profligate,
destroy the foundations of prayer and fasting:
hear thou the Word of Truth from Omar Khayyám,
"Drink wine, rob on the highway, and be benevolent."

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