The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say:
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
And this first Summer month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.
Well, let it take them! What have we to do
With Kaikobad the Great, or Kaikhosru?
Let Zal and Rustum bluster as they will,
Or Hatim call to Supper-heed not you.
With me along the strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot-
And Peace to Mahmud on his golden Throne!
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 a distant Drum!
Look to the blowing Rose 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.”
And those who husbanded the Golden grain,
And those who flung it to the winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn’d
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.
The 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.
by Edward FitzGerald
taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul