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The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

  • Contest: Love Poetry
  • Author: Omar Khayyam
  • Translation: Edward Fitzgerald, 1859
  • I.

    Awake! 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.

    II.
    Dreaming 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.'

    III.
    And, 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.'
  • IV.
    Now 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.

    V.
    Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
    And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one Knows;
    But still the Vine her ancient ruby yields,
    And still a Garden by the Water blows.

    VI.
    And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
    High piping Pehlevi, with 'Wine! Wine! Wine!
    Red Wine! ' - the Nightingale cries to the Rose
    That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine.

    VII.
    Come, 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.

    VIII.
    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 kep falling one by one.