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Cadell, H.M. [1899]

The Ruba'yat of Omar Khayam. Translated by H.M. Cadell. With an introduction by Richard Garnett. London; New York, Lande, The Bodley Head, 1899

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.

When I am dead wine on my body pour,
Above my corse the goblet's praises tell;
And would you find me at the judgment's knell
Seek in the dust beside the tavern door.

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.

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.

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.

You drink not wine, but why the drinker flout?
Must I repent? First will I God forsake.
You always boast that wine you do without,
And yet a hundred weightier precepts break.

So much wine will I drink, that from the clay
'Neath which I'm laid, will rise its sweet perfume;
And as the reveller passes o'er my tomb,
O'ercome by odorous sweet, he'll swoon away.

'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.

O heaven! our woe is offspring of thy hate.
From all time 'tis thy way to be unjust!
O earth! if men would cleave thy bosom's dust,
What precious gems they would accumulate!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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!

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.

'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."

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!

Not fit for heaven, nor quite worthy hell,
God only knows, why thus He me has made;
Ugly as sin, poor as an infidel,
Faith, hope and fortune all within me fade.

I swear, I drink not my poor thirst to slake,
Nor is it that I faith or manners lack;
I drink, am drunken, but to breathe one breath
Of ecstasy, and hope for that ere death.

They tell me I am doomed eternally;
It is a lie, in which I'll put no trust;
If all who love, and drink, in hell are thrust,
Then heaven as empty as my hand will be.

In those old halls which rang to Bahram's jest,
The wolf now casts her young, the hind takes rest.
Bahram, who respite to the game ne'er gave,
Is now in turn the booty of the grave.

O love! As life brings sorrow to thine eye,
As soon from flesh thy spirit forth must fly;
Sit on the grass, and let these few days be
Joy to thy heart, ere grass grow forth from thee.

O Khayam! This thy body is a tent,
Thy soul its Lord, eternity his home;
Death, the tent pitcher, strikes this tent of thine
For life's next stage, when thy Lord hence must roam.

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.

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.

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.

My life I've spent in praise of ruby wine,
My home is but the temple of her shrine.
Is she thy mistress? Saint of Wisdom say!
Thy mistress is my slave, therefore be gay.

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.

A rebel slave am I, and I would know
Where is, O God, Thy will's all-swaying sword?
My heart is dark, where is Thy light and grace?
If heaven is only servitude's reward,
It is but barter and a poor exchange;
Where then is Thy forgiveness, Mighty Lord?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Since God has thus my body fashionèd
Each deed I shall perform, He first must know.
No sin of mine but from His dictates flow;
Why then should hell-fires with my bones be fed?

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.

Since we possess not truth and certainty
We must not sit in hope's expectancy;
But hold we ever a full cup to cheer;
That we shall sober die, we need not fear.

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.

How long will you of heaven's blessings tell,
Or drone of torments of lost souls in hell?
How long discuss the dim mosque's scented light?
Look at the tablet, read what's writ aright
By the great Lord of fate's uncertainty
For all the future from eternity.

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.

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.

He, from whose stem springs not Truth's fruit of gold,
Be 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.

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."

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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
Thou dost thy magic glance benignly throw,
Pawns, castles, kings and knights all give thee place.

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.

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.

"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."

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

In life no man can pluck love's rosy wreath
Without a scratch from thorns all pointed keen;
E'en as 'the comb, till cut in many teeth
Cannot caress the curl tips of a Queen.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

'Tis writ that houris shall our heaven complete
Where fountains flow with honey and pure wine;
What harm then here to worship at their shrine,
Whom at life's ending we above shall meet?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Those who all grace and morals can explain,
Who through their perfectness have mastered light,
No way have found out of this life's dark night;
Each tells his story and then sleeps again.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

O happy youth arise! 'tis morn, fill up
From yonder crystal jug the brimming cup;
For this sweet hour of fleeting time in vain
We oft shall seek, but never find again.

Yon jar-lid there, all Jamshid's crown is worth,
That goblet's smell more than full ears of corn,
The sigh the waking reveller breathes at morn
Gives more delight than planetary mirth.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Of all the travellers on that weary way
Has one returned to show us its display?
Take heed that thou, in this thy dwelling vain,
Pass nothing by; thou canst not come again.

"Victorious Ruler of this earth's empire!
Say Thou, which day wine sets the soul on fire."
"From Monday's dawn, till Sunday's waning light,
On each and every day, by day and night."

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?

When on the rose's face the cloud doth rest,
Deep in my heart is longing for that wine,
This is no time with sleep to be oppressed,
Rise loved one, bring the cup, the sun doth shine.

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.

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
I am not hopeless of Thy mercy's dew
For I have never called the Great One - Two.

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.

'Tis not a fancy of disordered brains
But certain truth, that on life's checkered square
We men are puppets, whose steps God ordains;
The time is short in which we dally there,
Then in death's casket one by one we fall,
The game is played and earth must cover all.

'Tis morn, arise, O source of life's delight,
Now gently music woo, wine's joy indite;
For they who dwell here will not long remain,
And they who go, never return again.

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."

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.

Eed comes, and now all will be well
For fair as bride's face he,
Wine in the jug that Khayam pours
Will bright as bird's eye be.
Yes, Eed will snatch from asses' heads again
Of prayer the bridle and of fast the rein.

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.

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.

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?''

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.

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.

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.

O Khayam! Fortune scorns the man who mute
Sits sulking at his share of Being's woes;
Drink from the crystal cup to sound of lute,
Ere on a stone the cup to pieces goes.

A soul, all free from earth's defiling cord,
From yon far world has come to be thy guest;
Give it rich wine at morn, then, joy - impressed
All men shall say: "God has His gift restored."

Why all this talk on earth of grief and woe?
Arise and pass with joy the present hour;
Since mile by mile the fields with greenness glow,
From brimming bumpers rosy wine outpour.

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.

From deepest heart of earth to Saturn's zone
To me the great world's mystery was known.
I leapt out free from bonds of fraud and lies,
Each knot was loosed, but death's my hand defies.

O whirling wheel! With thee I'm discontent,
Free me! I am not fit to be thy tool;
Thou favorest most the unwise and the fool,
Why not me too ? I'm not so sapient.

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.

Oh, come my love, we'll drink no morrow's fears,
And count as dear this life's short span of grace:
To-morrow we may pass from this earth's face
To journey through those seven thousand years.

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.

How long deplore man's pitiful estate
And bear the blandishments ot wily fate?
Rejoice! Thy days have passed their June at last,
Eed comes! Come thou, draw wine to break our fast!

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

If I've committed all the sins on earth,
Still will I hope Thy ruth will take my hand.
In weakness, aid Thou promised me at birth,
Weaker than I am now I cannot stand.

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.

Art thou discreet, that I may tell to thee
What man has been since time began to be?
Woe, pounded and mixed up with sorrow's clay:
Something of life he tastes, then slips away.

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.

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.

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."

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?

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."

The sore oppressions of that glassy sky
And fickle fate that favours fools below,
Have made my cheek a cup brimfull of tears,
My heart a goblet overfull of woe.