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You m d yourself to heaven 1 With meo alone avails hypocrisy; ill the wiles that cunning e'er devised help you to outwit your destiny. Behold these cups, he takes such pains to make them, And then enraged lets ruin overtake them ; So many shapely feet, and heads, and hands, What love drives him to make, what wrath to break them?
Death's terrors spring from foolish fantasy ; Death yields the tree of immortality ; Since Isa breathed new life into my soul, I wash my hands of fear and dare to die. Khayyam, why weep you that your life is bad? What boots it thus to mourn? Rather be glad, He that sins not, no title makes to grace, Sin entails grace, then prithee why so sad? Still doth the " veil " man's utmost ken impede, And all our fond conjecturings mislead : Our only prospect is earth's quiet breast ; 'lis given to none the dark beyond to read. In synagogue and cloister, mosque and school, Hell's terrors and heaven's lures men's bosoms rule ; But they "who pierce the secrets of " The Truth," Sow not such empty chaff their hearts to fool.
Thus spake the sage : " Wherefore thy days consume In sleep? Did ever sleep make roses bloom? Forgather not with death's twin-brother, sleep ; Thou wilt have sleep enough within thy tomb. If the heart knew earth's secrets here below, At death 'twould know heaven's secrets too, I trow ; But if you know naught here, while still yourself, To-morrow, stripped of self, what can you know? My law it is, my own sweet will to obey, My creed, to shun the fierce sectarian fray ; I wedded luck, and offered her a dower, She said, " I want none, so thy heart be gay.
These raging passions their poor lords oppress, As dogs with noisy barks the house distress, Foxes are they in craft, and hares in sloth, In fury tigers, wolves in wantonness. See how the grass yon river marge doth grace, So springs the down upon a cherub's face, Tread not this grass with scorn, perchance it springs From some poor buried beauty's cold embrace. Hearts with the light of love illumined well, "Whether in mosque or synagogue they dwell, Have their names written in the book of love, Unvexed by hopes of heaven or fears of hell.
If wine be an unpardonable sin, God help Khayyam and his wine-bibbing kin! If all poor drouthy souls be lodged elsewhere, Heaven's plains must be as bare as maiden's chin. Here in this palace, where Bahrain held sway, The wild does drop their young, and tigers stray, And that great hunter king, ah! That bosom friend, on whom you so rely, Seems to clear wisdom's eyes an enemy, Choose not your friends from this rude multitude, Their converse is a plague 'tis best to fly. This body La a tent, which for a space Dotli the pure soul with kingly presence grace, When lie departs, comes the tent-pitcher, death, Strikes it, and moves to a new halting-place.
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Khayyam, who long time stitched the tents of learning, Has fallen into a furnace, and lies burning, Fate's shears have cut his thread of life asunder, And brokers cast his lumber out with spurning. All a long summer's day here Khayyam lies On this green sward, gazing in Houris' eyes, Yet Mollas say he is a graceless dog, Who never "ives a thought to Paradise.
Time is one point in our long weary years, Jihun a drop beside our floods of tears, Hell but a fire enkindled of our griefs, And heaven a moment's peace stolen from our fears. If men rebel, what of omnipotence?
And if they wander, what of providence? If heaven be earned by works, as wages due, "What room for mercy and benevolence? Khayyam his own true lineage cannot tell, Whether derived from heaven or from hell ; Howbeit he will not renounce his wine, Nor cash in hand for promised credit sell. From right and left grave Mollas came, and stood, Saying, " Eenounce this wine, this foe of good ; " But if wine be my foe, as they declare, I swear by Allah I must drink his blood. The good and evil with thy nature blent, The weal and woe that heaven's decrees have sent, Impute them not to motions of the skies, — Skies than thyself ten times more impotent.
To him who all the week his thirst allays To drink on Friday too is no dispraise ; Adopt my creed, and count all days the same, Be worshippers of God and not of days. The breezes waft Thy fragrance, and it takes My heart so that his master he forsakes, And him forgetting, pants and leaps to Thee, And so himself a part of Thee he makes.
Did no fair rose my paradise adorn, I would make shift to deck it with the thorn ; And if I lacked these prayer-mats and these beads, Those Christian bells and stoles I would not scorn. To lover's eyes what matters dark or fair, Or if the loved one silk or sackcloth wear, Or lie on dust or down, or rise to heaven, Yea, though she sink to hell, he seeks her there.
To friends and eke to foes true kindness show : No kindly heart unkindly deeds will do, Harshness will alienate a bosom friend, And kindness reconcile a deadly foe.
The potter did himself these vessels frame, What makes him cast them out to scorn and shame? If he has made them well, why should he break them? And though he marred them, they are not to blame. By fate full many a hi And many a Bprightly rose made woebegone; Plnme thee nut on thy lusty youth and strength, Full many a bud is blasted ere 'tis blown.
Tellings and Texts - Bibliography - Open Book Publishers
Gold yields not wit, yet to wit lacking bread Earth's flowery carpet seems a dungeon bed : 'Tis his full purse that makes the rose to smile, Their empty hands make violets hang the head. Drink wine, and then as Mahmud thou wilt reign, And list to music passing David's strain ; Think not of past or future, seize to-day, Then one to-day will not be lived in vain. Dame Fortune's smiles are full of guile.
Her scimitar is sharp to smite. Take care! When she doth drop a sweetmeat in thy mouth, 'Tis poisonous, to swallow it forbear!
Where'er you see a rose or tulip bed, Know that some mighty monarch's blood was shed ; And where the violet rears its purple tuft, Be sure some blackmoled maiden rests her head. Wine is a melting ruby, cup its mine, Cup is the body, whose pure soul is wine ; These crystal cups which smile with ruddy wine Example tears, the which heart's blood enshrine. Long must you sleep within your silent tomb, Apart from friends, in solitary gloom ; Hark while I whisper softly in your ear, " Never again may withered tulips bloom.
They preach how sweet those Ilouri brides will be, But, Look you, so is wine sweet, taste and see. Hold fast this cash, and let the credit be, And shun the din of empty drums with me. L LXII. Thou'rt bound to hide, heavenly Artisan, From foolish creatures Thy mysterious plan ; Yet while Thou treatest him with such reserve, What prescience canst Thou expect from man?
Once and again my soul did me implore To teach her, if I might, the inspired lore ; I bade her learn the Alif well by heart, Who knows that letter well need learn no more. I came not hither of my own free will, And go against my wish, a puppet still ; Cup-bearer! How long must I make bricks upon the sea? Beshrew this vain task of idolatry ; Call not Khayyam a denizen of hell — One while in heaven and one in hell is he.
Sweet is the breath of spring to rose's face, And thy sweet face adds charm to this fair place ; To-day is sweet, but yesterday is sad, And sad all mention of its parted grace. To-night thou'lt sing to me some dulcet air, And I upon thy lips will hang, fair! Pour me some wine as rosy as thy cheeks, My mind is troubled like thy ruffled hair.
Pen, tablet, heaven, and hell I looked to see Above the skies from all eternity; At last the master sage instructed me : " Pen, tablet, heaven, and hell are all in thee. The fruit of certitude you cannot pluck, The path that hails thereto you never struck, Xor ever shook the bough with strenuous hand ; To-day is lost, hope for to-inorrow's luck. Alas for those cold hearts that never burn "With love, and his distracting bondage spurn ; The days misspent with no redeeming love, More wasted than all days, — most wasted, mourn.
Or cares in Naishapur and Balkh to reign? Come, quaff your wine, for after we are gone, Moons will still wane and wax, and wax and wane.
The sun dotli smite the roofs with Orient ray, And, Kkosru-like, his wine-red sheen display ; Arise, and drink, the herald of the dawn Proclaims the advent of another day. He who the world's foundations erst did lay, Doth bruise full many a bosom day by day, And many a ruby lip and musky tress Doth coffin in the earth, and shroud with clay. Comrades, I pray you, physic me with wine, Make this wan amber face like rubies shine, And if I die, use wine to wash my corpse, And frame my coffin out of planks of vine.
When Allah yoked the coursers of the sun, And launched the Pleiades their race to run, My lot was fixed in fate's high chancery, Then why blame me for wrong that fate has done? Whilom, ere youth's conceit had waned, methought Answers to all life's problems I had wrought; But now, grown old and wise, too late I see My life is spent, and all my lore is naught. They bring us hither to our sore undoing, And while we stay, we find but grief and rueing ; And last we go against our wills, nor know The reason of our coming, nor our going.
XX XI. When I recall my grievous sins to mind, Fire burns my breast, and tears my vision blind; Yet, when a slave repents, is it not meet His lord should pardon, and again be kind '. Il8, L. They, at 'whose lore the wide world stands amazed, Whose thoughts above high heaven's self are raised, Strive to know Thee in vain, and, like heaven's wheel, Their heads are turning, and their brains are dazed. This world will last long after Khayyam's fame Has passed away, yea and his very name ; Aforetime we were not, and none did heed, When we are dead and gone, 'twill be the same. The sages who have compassed sea and land, And all the marvels of the heavens scanned, What think you, do they really understand The scheme on which this universe is planned?
Now is the volume of my youth outworn, And all my springtide's blossoms rent and torn. Ah, bird of youth!
I marked not how you came, Nor how you fled and left me thus forlorn. These fools, by dint of ignorance most crass, Think they in wisdom all mankind surpass ; And glibly do they damn as infidel Whoever is not, like themselves, an ass. Until the Loved One grants the boon embrace, The heavens will shower no kisses on thy face ; They say, " Eepent while there is time. When I am dead, take me and grind me small, So that I bo a caution unto all ; And knead me into clay with wine, and then Use me to stop the winejar's mouth withal. In the Etern Cupbearer's wine, methinks, There float some thousand bubbles such as we.
Translation and the Canon of Greek Tragedy in Chinese Literature
Glad hearts who seek not notoriety, Nor flaunt in gold and silken bravery, Haunt not the shades of earth like gloomy owls, But wing their way Simurg-like to the sky. I40, L. The tavern drudge to wash in wine is fain, "When names are tarnished, none can purge the stain ; The perfect veil of innocence once torn, Not all man's labours can make whole again. What adds my service to Thy majesty? Or how can sins of mine dishonour Thee?