The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
- Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
- Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
- The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
- The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.
- 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!
- Some for the Glories of This World; and some
- Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
- Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
- Nor heed the rumble of the distant Drum!
- Ah, 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!
- For I remember stopping by the way
- To watch a Potter thumping his wet Clay;
- And with it's all-obliterated Tongue
- It murmur'd- "Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"
- For "Is" and "Is-Not" though with Rule and Line
- And "Up-and-Down" by Logic I define,
- Of all that one should care to fathom, I
- Was never deep in anything but - Wine.
Omar Khayyam (1048-1122), translated by Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883). Fifth Edition.