'The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam Of Naishapur' by Edward Fitzgerald
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1Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.2Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."3And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted-"Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more."4Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the WHITE HAND OF MOSES on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.5Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ringed Cup where no one knows;
But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.6And David's Lips are lockt; but in divine
High piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!"-the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers t'incarnadine.7Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly-and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.8And look-a thousand Blossoms with the Day
Woke-and a thousand scattered into Clay:
And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.9But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot!
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
Or Hatim Tai cry Supper-heed them not.10With me along some Strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan scarce is known,
And pity Sultan Mahmud on his Throne.11Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse-and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness-And Wilderness is Paradise enow.12"How sweet is mortal Sovranty!"-think some:
Others-"How blest the Paradise to come!"
Ah, take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest;
Oh, the brave Music of a distant Drum!13Look to the Rose that blows about us-"Lo,
Laughing," she says, "into the World I blow:
At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw."14The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes-or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two-is gone.15And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turned
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.16Think, in this battered Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.17They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep;
And Bahram, that great Hunter-the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, and he lies fast asleep.18I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.19And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean-Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!20Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
TODAY of past Regrets and future Fears-Tomorrow?-Why, Tomorrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.21Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.22And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch-for whom?23Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and-sans End!24Alike for those who for TODAY prepare,
And those that after a TOMORROW stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There!"25Why, all the Saints and Sages who discussed
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scattered, and their Mouth's are stopt with Dust.26Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.27Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.28With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand laboured it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reaped-"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."29Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.30What, without asking, hither hurried whence?
And, without asking, whither hurried hence!
Another and another Cup to drown
The Memory of this Impertinence!31Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,
And many Knots unravelled by the Road;
But not the Knot of Human Death and Fate.32There was a Door to which I found no Key:
There was a Veil past which I could not see:
Some little Talk awhile of ME and THEE
There seemed-and then no more of THEE and ME.33Then to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried,
Asking, "What Lamp had Destiny to guide
Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?"
And-"A blind Understanding!" Heav'n replied.34Then to this earthen Bowl did I adjourn
My Lip the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmured-"While you live
Drink!-for once dead you never shall return."35I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answered, once did live,
And merry-make; and the cold Lip I kissed
How many Kisses might it take-and give!36For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day,
I watched the Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all obliterated Tongue
It murmured-"Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"37Ah, fill the Cup:-what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TOMORROW, and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TODAY be sweet!38One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One Moment, of the Well of Life to taste-The stars are setting and the Caravan
Starts for the Dawn of Nothing-Oh, make haste!39How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.40You know, my Friends, how long since in my House
For a new Marriage I did make Carouse:
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.41For "IS" and "IS-NOT" though with Rule and Line,
And "UP-AND-DOWN" without, I could define,
I yet in all I only cared to know,
Was never deep in anything but-Wine.42And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and 'twas-the Grape!43The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemist that in a Thrice
Life's leaden Metal into Gold transmute.44The mighty Mahmud, the victorious Lord,
That all the misbelieving and black Horde
Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul
Scatters and slays with his enchanted Sword.45But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
And, in some corner of the Hubbub coucht,
Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.46For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Played in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.47And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in-Yes-Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be-Nothing-Thou shalt not be less.48While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyam the Ruby Vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to thee-take that, and do not shrink.49'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.50The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left as strikes the Player goes;
And He that tossed Thee down into the Field,
He knows about it all-He knows-HE knows!51The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.52And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coopt we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help-for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.53With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man's knead,
And then of the Last Harvest sowed the Seed:
Yea, the first Morning of Creation wrote
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.54I tell Thee this-When, starting from the Goal,
Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal
Of Heav'n Parwin and Mushtara they flung,
In my predestined Plot of Dust and Soul.55The Vine had struck a Fibre; which about
If clings my being-let the Sufi flout;
Of my Base Metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without.56And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrath, consume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.57Oh Thou, who didst with Pitfall and with Gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou wilt not with Predestination round
Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?58Oh Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blackened, Man's Forgiveness give-and take!Kuza-Nama59Listen again. One Evening at the Close
Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.60And, strange to tell, among the Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried-"Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"61Then said another-"Surely not in vain
My Substance from the common Earth was ta'en,
That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
Should stamp me back to common Earth again."62Another said-"Why, ne'er a peevish Boy,Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
Shall He that made the Vessel in pure Love
And Fancy, in an after Rage destroy!"63None answered this; but after Silence spake
A Vessel of a more ungainly Make:
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry;
What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"64Said one-"Folks of a surly Tapster tell,
And daub his Visage with the Smoke of Hell;
They talk of some strict Testing of us-Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."65Then said another, with a long-drawn Sigh,
"My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
But, fill me with the old familiar Juice,
Methinks I might recover by-and-bye!"66So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
One spied the little Crescent all were seeking:
And then they jogged each other, "Brother! Brother!
Hark to the Potter's Shoulder-knot a-creaking!"67Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.68That ev'n my buried Ashes such a Snare
Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air,
As not a True Believer passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware.69Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men's Eye much wrong:
Have drowned my Honour in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song.70Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore-but was I sober when I swore?
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My threadbare Penitence apieces tore.71And much as Wine has played the Infidel,
And robbed me of my Robe of Honour-well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.72Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!73Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits-and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!74Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st know wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me-in vain!75And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass
Among the Guests Star-scattered on the Grass,
And in thy joyous Errand reach the Spot
Where I made one-turn down an empty Glass!Taman Shud
Editor 1 Interpretation
Exploring the Intricacies of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
If there's one piece of literature that has stood the test of time, it has to be the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. This masterpiece, written by Edward Fitzgerald in the late 19th century, has captured the hearts and minds of readers for generations. It's a work that inspires and challenges, one that can be read and re-read, and always reveal something new.
As a literary critic and interpreter, I can attest to the brilliance of this work. In this article, I'll be exploring the intricacies of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and sharing my insights on what makes it such a timeless piece of literature.
The Poet: Omar Khayyam
Before we dive into the Rubaiyat, it's important to understand who Omar Khayyam was. He was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries. He's widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of his time, and his work has had a lasting impact on both Persian and Western culture.
Khayyam was known for his intellectual curiosity and his desire to explore the mysteries of the universe. He was also a deeply spiritual man who believed in the power of love and the importance of living in the moment. These themes are present in much of his poetry, including the Rubaiyat.
The Poem: A Collection of Quatrains
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a collection of quatrains, or four-line stanzas, that were translated by Edward Fitzgerald from Persian to English. The word "Rubaiyat" itself means "quatrains" in Persian, and the poem consists of 112 of them.
Each quatrain is a complete thought, but they are also interconnected, forming a larger narrative. The poem is structured in such a way that the quatrains flow into each other, creating a sense of continuity and coherence.
Themes: Love, Nature, and the Transience of Life
At its core, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a meditation on the transience of life and the importance of living in the present. It's a poem that celebrates the beauty of nature and the power of love, while also acknowledging the impermanence of all things.
The theme of love is particularly important in the Rubaiyat. Khayyam believed that love was the greatest force in the universe, and that it was the key to unlocking the mysteries of life. He wrote about the power of love to transform us and to bring us closer to the divine.
Nature is also a major theme in the Rubaiyat. Khayyam was a lover of the natural world, and he celebrated its beauty and wonder in his poetry. He believed that by immersing ourselves in nature, we could connect with our true selves and find peace and joy.
Finally, the Rubaiyat is a meditation on the transience of life. Khayyam believed that everything in life is temporary, and that we must embrace the present moment before it's gone. He wrote about the inevitability of death, and the importance of living our lives to the fullest while we still can.
Structure: The Power of Repetition
One of the most striking features of the Rubaiyat is the power of repetition. Each quatrain follows a strict ABAB rhyme scheme, and many of the words and phrases are repeated throughout the poem.
This repetition creates a sense of rhythm and a feeling of continuity. It also emphasizes the themes of love, nature, and the transience of life, reminding us of their importance and reinforcing their significance.
Interpretation: Finding Meaning in the Rubaiyat
As a literary critic and interpreter, I believe that the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a work that can be interpreted in many different ways. Some readers may see it as a celebration of love and nature, while others may see it as a meditation on the impermanence of life.
For me, the Rubaiyat is a poem that reminds us of the beauty and wonder of the world around us, and the importance of living in the present moment. It's a work that encourages us to embrace our humanity, to seek out joy and love, and to appreciate the fleeting nature of life.
Conclusion: The Timelessness of the Rubaiyat
In conclusion, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a masterpiece of literature that has stood the test of time. Its themes of love, nature, and the transience of life are as relevant today as they were when they were written over 800 years ago.
Through its use of repetition, its celebration of the natural world, and its meditation on the mysteries of life, the Rubaiyat continues to inspire and challenge readers from all walks of life. It's a work that deserves to be read and re-read, savored and explored, and cherished for generations to come.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam of Naishapur is a classic piece of poetry that has captured the hearts of readers for centuries. Written by Edward Fitzgerald, this masterpiece is a collection of quatrains that explore the themes of love, life, and mortality. In this analysis, we will delve into the intricacies of this work and explore the reasons why it has stood the test of time.
Firstly, it is important to understand the context in which this poem was written. Omar Khayyam was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet who lived in the 11th century. He was known for his philosophical musings and his love for wine and women. His poetry was not widely known during his lifetime, but it gained popularity in the 19th century when it was translated into English by Edward Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald's translation of Khayyam's poetry is considered a masterpiece in its own right. He took the original Persian quatrains and translated them into English, adding his own poetic flair to the work. The result is a collection of quatrains that are both beautiful and thought-provoking.
One of the most striking features of The Rubaiyat is its exploration of the theme of mortality. Khayyam's poetry is filled with references to death and the fleeting nature of life. In one quatrain, he writes:
"The moving finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it."
This quatrain is a powerful reminder that life is short and that we cannot change the past. The moving finger represents time, and once it has written something, it cannot be undone. This theme of mortality is woven throughout the entire poem, and it serves as a reminder to readers to live life to the fullest.
Another theme that is explored in The Rubaiyat is the concept of love. Khayyam's poetry is filled with references to love and the beauty of the natural world. In one quatrain, he writes:
"A book of verses underneath the bough, A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou Beside me singing in the wilderness— Oh, wilderness were paradise enow!"
This quatrain is a beautiful expression of the joys of love and the beauty of nature. It is a reminder that love and nature are intertwined, and that they can bring us great joy and happiness.
One of the reasons why The Rubaiyat has stood the test of time is its universal appeal. The themes that are explored in this poem are timeless and resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you are a young person just starting out in life, or an older person reflecting on the meaning of life, there is something in this poem that will speak to you.
In addition to its universal appeal, The Rubaiyat is also a beautifully written piece of poetry. Fitzgerald's translation captures the beauty and elegance of Khayyam's original quatrains, while adding his own poetic flair to the work. The result is a collection of quatrains that are both beautiful and thought-provoking.
Overall, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam of Naishapur is a classic piece of poetry that has stood the test of time. Its exploration of the themes of love, life, and mortality are timeless, and its universal appeal has made it a beloved piece of literature for generations. Whether you are a lover of poetry or simply looking for a beautiful and thought-provoking read, The Rubaiyat is a must-read.
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