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G. Plimmer - 1913

32 quatrains quoted by H.G. Plimmer in 1913 in his “Omariana”, Privately printed, 1913.

Lord ! Thou hast broken my pitcher of wine !
Thou hast shut for me the gate of pleasure !
Thou hast thrown my pure wine in the dust
Plague on it ! Thou too art drunk, Lord.
Who is there in the world who has not committed a sin ? Say !
When has one lived who has not committed a sin? Say !
If I do evil, Thou returnest evil for evil;
what is then the difference betwixt me and Thee ? Say !”
Am I a wine-bibber ? What if I am ?
Do I appear to you a lunatic or an infidel ? Suppose I am.
Every sect misnames me, but I heed them not.
I am my own, and what I am, I am.
Some fight for dogmas and rules,
others for beliefs or negations.
Who is he then to whom Truth shows herself ?
The answer comes: She shows herself to none.
Who never go a step out of the way,
who spend long nights in prayer, and
who make many brave ones lose both body and soul.
Oh ! canting Saints, grant me one request.
Spare me your preaching and he quiet.
Believe me, I walk aright, but you see all awry,
so leave me alone, and go, buy yourselves spectacles.
Pagodas and mosques signify Slavery:
the Christian bells, listen, they ring Slavery;
the Holy Stone, the Holy Ribbon, Rosary and Cross,
believe me, they all spell only Slavery.
In churches, in mosques and synagogues
we are deceived in order to make us at peace,
but those who pursue the secrets of Nature
art not deceived by any fear of the beyond.
I do not drink from mere pleasure of drinking,
nor for the sake of breaking the Koran’s laws.
No, but to attain unconsciousness of the sense of self,
that is the reason the wise drink deeply.
In one hand a wine-cup, in the other the Koran,
half inclining to wrong, half to right.
The turquoise vault looks down on a sorry Moslem,
and yet on not quite a heathen.
If thou hast pity on my misery,
take from my shoulders the burden of sin.
Pardon the feet that will go towards the tavern,
pardon the hands that will seize the glass.
I resolved at last to be sober and pious,
and in my heart was complete peace;
but, alas! my goodness was shattered at the first glass,
my sobriety drowned in the first draught of wine.
The Koran says that in Paradise houris dwell,
and fountains run with wine;
surely, if these be lawful there,
it is right to love them both here as well.
Go to the Prophet and ask him,
with Khayyam’s respects,
why he has allowed us sour milk
and has forbidden us sweet wine,
Tell Khayyám that only a fool
could ask so foolish a question;
to the wise my command does not apply;
only to fools is wine forbidden.
When I was in golden youth I thought
I had found out the riddle of existence,
but now, at the end of life, I see well that
I did not understand one word of it all.
What launched that golden orb to run its course ?
What will one day wreck its proud structure ?
That has no wise one ever yet been able to find out,
and thereto no weighing nor measuring is of use.
No man can explain the riddle of Nature;
no man can go a hair’s-breadth outside his own being,
and the greatest master is ever only a student.
The riddle of this world neither thou nor I can solve,
neither thou nor I can read the cipher-writing of the universe.
We would both know what the veil hides,
but when the veil falls, there will be neither thou nor I.
From this world, which for a short time gave me lodging,
I now depart; to all my questions no answer did I get,
and I take a thousand doubts with me to the grave.
Couldst thou living know the secret of the world,
thou wouldst not in death lose that treasure.
But if thou knowest naught here whilst thou art thyself,
how canst thou know aught when stripped of self ?
The secrets of the world thou wilt never fathom,
the word that none has found thou wilt not find.
Make thee an earthly paradise in wine;
whether there is a paradise There or not thou’lt find out some day.
Beings are kindled like bright sparks,
they live, love, hate and drink;
they empty here a glass or two, and are then extinguished,
drowned in the dust of eternity.
What has it availed Thee that I am here ?
What will it help Thee if Thou takest me away ?
Alas ! no man’s ear hath ever heard
for what purpose we come here or why we go from hence.
Yesterday in my drunkenness
I broke my jar of wine against a stone;
the fragments of the jar said;
As thou art I was, and as I am thou wilt be.
The drop wept at its severance from the sea;
the world-sea laughed, saying, Silly is thy grief.
Are we not all one ?
We are separated only by a tiny point of time.
At first I was not conscious of myself.
At last Thou wilt break the chain of consciousness.
If this from the first were Thy intention,
why didst Thou ever allow me to become aware of myself ?
In this endless circle in which we live
one cannot see beginning or end.
No one can tell whence we came,
and no one knows whither we go.
When Thou createdst life Thou createdst also death.
Us, Thy work, Thou consecratedst to destruction.
If Thy work were bad, say, whose is the fault ?
And if good, why throw us on the dust-heap ?
Though Kkayyám has no jewels of virtue,
and shines not in complete sinner’s purity,
yet he does not despair of Thy grace,
because he has never misread as two the eternal One.
Once and again my soul implored me
to teach her the heavenly learning.
I bade her learn the Alif well by heart;
whoso knows thai letter well need learn no more.
I go hence and leave the world in strife,
and I have barely strung one of a hundred pearls.
Unspoken remain many deep words,
because my time would never have understood them.