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

Drowsing 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"

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"

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

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

And David's lips are lockt, but in divine
High-piping Pehlevi with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!" the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That sallow cheek of hers to incarnadine

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

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

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

But 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

With 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

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"

XIV (alternate)
Were it not Folly, Spider-like to spin
The Thread of present Life away to win
What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall
Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in?

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

Think, in this battered Caravanserai
Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two, and Went his way

They 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, but cannot break his Sleep

I 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

And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the river lip on which we lean
Ah, lean upon it lightly, for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen

XX (alternate)
The Palace that to Heav'n his pillars threw
The Kings the forehead on his threshold drew
I saw the solitary Ringdove there
And "Coo coo" she cried and "Coo coo"

Ah 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

For some we loved, the loveliest and the 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

And 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?

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

Alike for those who for Today prepare
And those that after some Tomorrow stare
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There"

Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, they are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth, their Words to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust

Myself 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

With them the Seed of wisdom did I sow
And with mine own hand laboured it to grow
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd:
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go"

XXVIII (alternate)
Another Voice, when I am sleeping, cries
"The Flower should open with the Morning skies"
And a retreating Whisper, as I wake
"The Flower that once has blown forever dies"

Into 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

What, without asking, hither hurried Whence?
And, without asking, Whither hurried hence
Oh, many a Cup of this forbidden Wine
To drown the memory of this Impertinence

Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate
And many Knots unravel'd by the road
But not the knot of Human Death and Fate

There was a door to which I found no key
There was a Veil through which I might not see
Some little Talk awhile of Me and Thee
There seem'd, and then no more of Thee and Me

Earth could not answer, nor the Seas that mourn
In flowing Purple, of their Lord forlorn
Nor rolling Heaven, with all his SIgns reveal'd
And hidden by the sleeve of Night and Morn

Then 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

Then to this earthen Bowl did I adjourn
My Lip the secret Well of Life to learn
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd, "While you live,
Drink! for, once dead, you never shall return"

I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer'd, once did live
And merry-make, and the cold Lip I kissed
How many Kisses might it take, and give

For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day
I watch'd the Potter thumping his wet Clay
And with its all-obliterated Tongue
It murmur'd, "Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"

And has not such a Story from of Old
Down Man's successive generations roll'd
Of such a clod of saturated Earth
Cast by the Maker into Human mould?

And not a drop that from our Cups we throw
For Earth to drink of, but may steal below
To quench the fire of Anguish in some Eye
There hidden, far beneath, and long ago

As then the Tulip for her morning sup
Of Heav'nly Vintage from the soil looks up
Do you devoutly do the like, till Heav'n
To Earth invert you, like and empty Cup

Perplext no more with Human or Divine
Tomorrow's tangle to itself resign
And lose your fingers in the tresses of
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine

And 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

While 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

Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride
Wer't not a Shame, wer't not a Shame for him
In this clay carcass Crippled to abide?

XLIV (alternate)
Do you, within your little Hour of grace
The waving Cypress in your arms enlace
Before the Mother back into her arms
Fold, and dissolve you in a last embrace

'Tis but a Tent where takes his one day's rest
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest
The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
Strikes, and prepares it for another Guest

And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, and mine, should know the like no more
The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour

When You and I behind the Veil are past
Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As the Sev'n Seas should heed a pebble cast

One Moment in Annihalation's waste
One Moment, of the Well of Life to taste
The Stars are setting and the Caravan
Draws to the Dawn of Nothing. Oh, make haste!

Would you that spangle of Existence spend
About the Secret, quick about it Friend!
A Hair perhaps divides the False and True
And upon what, prithee, does Life depend?

A Hair perhaps divides the False and True
Yes, and a single Alif were the Clue
Could you but find it, to the Treasure-house
And peradventure to the Master too

Whose secret Presence, through Creation's veins
Running Quicksilver-like eludes your pains
Taking all shapes from Mah to Mahi, and
They change and perish all, but He remains

A moment guess'd, then back behind the Fold
Immerst of Darkness round the Drama roll'd
Which, for the Pastime of Eternity
He doth Himself contrive, enact, behold

But if in vain, down on the stubborn floor
Of Earth, and up to Heaven's unopening Door
You gaze Today, while You are You, how then
Tomorrow, You when shall be You no more?

How 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

You know my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed
And took the Daughter of the Vine to spouse

For "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

Ah 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?

LVII (alternate)
Ah, but my Computations, people say
Reduced the Year to better reckoning? Nay,
'Twas only striking from the Calendar
Unborn Tomorrow and dead Yesterday

And lately, by the Tavern Door agape
Came shining through the Dark an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder, and
He bid me Taste of it, and 'twas the Grape!

The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute
The subtle Alchemist that in a trice
Life's leaden metal into Gold transmute

The mighty Mahmoud, the all-victorious Lord
That all the misbelieving and dark Horde
Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul
Scatters and slays with his whirlwind sword

Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare
Blaspheme the twisted tendril as a Snare?
A Blessing, we should use it, should we not?
And if a Curse, why then, Who set it there?

I must abjure the Balm of Life, I must
Scared by some After-reckoning ta'en on trust
Or lured with Hope of some Diviner Drink
To fill the Cup, when crumbled into Dust!

Oh threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain, This Life flies
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies

LXIII (alternate)
Oh, 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 Rose that once has blown for ever dies

Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of Darkness through
Not one returns to tell us of the Road
Which to discover we must Travel too

The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn'd
Are all but Stories which, awoke from sleep
They told their fellows, and to Sleep return'd

LXV (alternate)
If but the Vine and Love-abjuring Band
Are in the Prophet's Paradise to stand
Alack, I doubt the Prophet's Paradise
Were empty as the hollow of one's Hand

I sent my Soul through the Invisible
Some letter of that After-life to spell
And by and by my Soul return'd to me
And answer'd, "I Myself am Heav'n and Hell"

Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire
Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves
So late emerged from, shall so soon expire

For in and out, above, about, below
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go

'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 Drawer lays

The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes
But Here or There as strikes the Player goes
And He that toss'd thee down into the Field
He knows about it all, He knows, HE knows!

The Moving Finger writes, and having Writ
Moves on, nor all your Piety or Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it

And that inverted Bowl we call the Sky
Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die
Lift not thy hands to It for help, for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I

With Earth's first Clay they did the Last Man's knead
And there of the Last Harvest sow'd the seed
And teh first Morning of Creation wrote
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read

Yesterday this day's Madness did prepare
Tomorrow's silence, triumph or despair
Drink! for you know not whence you came nor why
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where

I tell you this, When, started from the goal
Over the flaming shoulders of the Foal
Of Heav'n Parwin and Mushtari they flung
In my predestin'd Plot of Dust and Soul

The Vine had struck a fibre, which about
If clings my being, let the Dervish flout
Of my base Metal may be filed a Key
That shall unlock the Door he howls without

And 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

LXXVII (alternate)
For let Philosopher and Doctor preach
Of what they will and what they will not, each
Is but one Link in an eternal Chain
That none can slip, nor break, nor over-reach

What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke
A conscious Something to resent the Yoke
Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain
Of everlasting Penalties, if broke

What! from his helpless Creature be repaid
Pure Gold for what he lent us dross-allay'd
Sue for a Debt we never did contract
And cannot answer, oh the sorry Trade!

Oh Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in
Thou wilt not with Predestined Evil round
Enmesh me, then impute my fall to Sin!

Oh Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make
And ev'n with Paradise devise the Snake
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's forgiveness give, and take

As under cover of departing Day
Slunk hunger-stricken Ramazan away
Once more within the Potter's house alone
I stood, surrounded by the Shapes of Clay

Shapes of all sorts and sizes, great and small
That stood along the floor and by the wall
And some locuacious Vessels were, and some
Listen'd perhaps, but never talk'd at all

LXXXIII (alternate)
And once again there gather'd a scarce heard
Whisper among them, as it were, the stirr'd
Ashes of some all but extinguish'd Tongue
Which mine ear kindled into living Word

Said one among them, "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"

Then said a second, "Ne'er a peevish Boy
Would break the Bowl from which he Drank in joy
And He that with his hand the Vessel made
Will surely not in after Wrath destroy"

None answer'd this, but after silence spake
Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry
What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"

LXXXVI (alternate)
Nay, but for terror of his wrathful Face
I swear I will not call Injustic Grace
Not one Good Fellow of the Tavern but
Would kick so poor a Coward from the place

Whereat some one of the locquacious Lot
(I think a Sufi pipkin, waxing hot)
"All this of Pot and Potter, tell me then
Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"

Said 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"

Then said another, with 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 by"

So while the Vessels one by one were speaking
One spied the little crescent all were seeking
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!
Hark to the Porter's shoulder-knot a-creaking!"

Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide
And wash my Body whence the Life has died
And in a Winding-sheet of Vine-leaf wrapt
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side

That ev'n my buried Ashes such a snare
Of Vintage shall fling up into the Air
As not a True-believer passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware

Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in mens' eyes much wrong
Have drown'd my Honour in a shallow Cup
And sold my Reputation for a Song

Indeed, indeed Repentance oft before
I swore, but was I Sober when I swore?
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore

And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honour, well
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so Precious as the goods they Sell

Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose
That Youth's sweet-scented manuscript should close
The Nightingale that in the brances Sang
Ah whence, and whither flown again, Who knows?

Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield
One glimpse, if dimly, yet indeed reveal'd
To which the fainting Traveler might spring
As springs the trampled herbage of the Field

Or if the World were but to re-create
That we might catch ere closed the Book of Fate
And make the Writer on a fairer leaf
Inscribe our names, or quite Obliterate!

XCVIII (alternate)
Would but some winged Angel ere too late
Arrest the yet unfolded Roll of Fate
And make the stern Recorder otherwise
Enregister, or quite Obliterate!

Ah 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!

XCIX (alternate)
Whither resorting from the vernal Heat
Shall old Acquaintance old Acquaintance greet
Under the Branch that leans above the Wall
To shed his Blossom over head and feet

XCIX (alternate)
Better, oh better, cancel from the Scroll
Of Universe one luckless Human Soul
Than drop by drop enlarge the Flood that rolls
Hoarser with Anguish as the Ages roll

But see the rising Moon of Heav'n again
How oft hereafter will she wax and wane
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after us in vain

And 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!