I
At dawn a cry through all the tavern shrilled
"Arise my brethren of the revellers' guild
That I may fill our measure, full of wine
Or e'er the measure of our days be filled"


II
Who was it brought thee here at nightfall, who?
Forth from the harem in this manner, who?
To him who in thy absence burns as fire
And trembles like hot air, who was it, who?


III
'Tis but a day we sojourn here below
And all the gain we get is grief and woe
And then, leaving life's riddles all unsolved
And burdened with regrets, we have to go


IV
Khaja! grant one request, and only one
Wish me Godspeed, and get your preaching done
I walk aright, 'tis you who see awry
Go! heal your purblind eyes, leave me alone


V
Arise! and come, and of thy courtesy
Resolve my weary heart's perplexity
And fill my goblet, so that I may drink
Or e'er they make their goblets out of me


VI
When I am dead, with wine my body lave
For obit chant a bacchanalian stave
And, if you need me at the day of doom
Beneath the tavern threshold seek my grave


VII
Since no one can assure thee of the morrow
Rejoice thy heart to-day and banish sorrow
With moonbright wine, fair moon, for heaven's moon
Will look for us in vain on many a morrow


VIII
Let lovers all distraught and frenzied be
And flown with wine, and reprobates, like me
When sober, I find everything amiss
But in my cups cry, "Let what will be, be"


IX
In Allah's name, say, wherefore set the wise
Their hearts upon this house of vanities?
Whene'er they think to rest them from their toils
Death takes them by the hand and says, "Arise"


X
Men say the Koran holds all heavenly lore
But on its pages seldom care to pore
The lucid lines engraven on the bowl
That is the text they dwell on evermore


XI
Blame not the drunkards, you who wine eschew
Had I but grace, I would abstain like you
And mark me, vaunting zealot, you commit
A hundredfold worse sins than drunkards do


XII
What though 'tis fair to view, this form of man
I know not why the heavenly Artisan
Hath set these tulip cheeks and cypress forms
To deck the mournful halls of earth's divan


XIII
My fire gives forth no smoke-cloud here below
My stock-in-trade no profit here below
And you, who call me tavern-haunter, know
There is indeed no tavern here below


XIV
Thus spake an idol to his worshipper
"Why dost thou worship this dead stone, fair sir?
'Tis because He who gazeth through thine eyes
Doth some part of His charms on it confer"


XV
Whate'er thou doest, never grieve thy brother
Nor kindle fumes of wrath his peace to smother
Dost thou desire to taste eternal bliss
Vex thine own heart, but never vex another


XVI
O Thou! to please whose love and wrath as well
Allah created heaven and likewise hell
Thou hast thy court in heaven, and I have naught
Why not admit me in thy courts to dwell?


XVII
So many cups of wine will I consume
Its bouquet shall exhale from out my tomb
And every one that passes by shall halt
And reel and stagger with that mighty fume


XVIII
Young wooer, charm all hearts with lover's art
Glad winner, lead thy paragon apart
A hundred Ka'bas equal not one heart
Seek not the Ka'ba, rather seek a heart


XIX
What time, my cup in hand, its draughts I drain
And with rapt heart unconsciousness attain
Behold what wondrous miracles are wrought
Songs flow as water from my burning brain


XX
Today is but a breathing space, quaff wine!
Thou wilt not see again this life of thine
So, as the world becomes the spoil of time
Offer thyself to be the spoil of wine


XXI
'Tis we who to wine's yoke our necks incline
And risk our lives to gain the smiles of wine
The henchman grasps the flagon by its throat
And squeezes out the lifeblood of the vine


XXII
Here in this tavern haunt I make my lair
Pawning for wine, heart, soul and all I wear
Without a hope of bliss, or fear of bale
Rapt above water, earth, and fire, and air


XXIII
Quoth fish to duck, "'Twill be a sad affair
If this brook leaves its channel dry and bare"
To whom the duck, "When I am dead and roasted
The brook may run with wine for all I care"


XXIV
From doubt to clear assurance is a breath
A breath from infidelity to faith
O precious breath! enjoy it while you may
'Tis all that life can give, and then comes death


XXV
Ah! wheel of heaven to tyranny inclined
'Twas e'er your wont to show yourself unkind
And, cruel earth, if they should cleave your breast
What store of buried jewels they would find


XXVI
My life lasts but a day or two, and fast
Sweeps by, like torrent stream or desert blast
Howbeit, of two days I take no heed
The day to come, and that already past


XXVII
That pearl is from a mine unknown to thee
That ruby bears a stamp thou canst not see
The tale of love some other tongue must tell
All our conjectures are mere phantasy


XXVIII
Now with its joyful prime my age is rife
I quaff enchanting wine, and list to fife
Chide not at wine for all its bitter taste
Its bitterness sorts well with human life


XXIX
O soul! whose lot it is to bleed with pain
And daily change of fortune to sustain
Into this body wherefore didst thou come
Seeing thou must at last go forth again?


XXX
Today is thine to spend, but not tomorrow
Counting on morrows breedeth naught but sorrow
Oh! squander not this breath that heaven hath lent thee
Nor make too sure another breath to borrow


XXXI
'Tis labour lost thus to all doors to crawl
Take thy good fortune, and thy bad withal
Know for a surety each must play his game
As from heaven's dice-box fate's dice chance to fall


XXXII
This jug did once, like me, love's sorrows taste
And bonds of beauty's tresses once embraced
This handle, which you see upon its side
Has many a time twined round a slender waist


XXXIII
Days changed to nights, ere you were born, or I
And on its business ever rolled the sky
See you tread gently on this dust, perchance
'Twas once the apple of some beauty's eye


XXXIV
Pagodas, just as mosques, are homes of prayer
'Tis prayer that church-bells chime unto the air
Yea, Church and Ka'ba, Rosary and Cross
Are all but divers tongues of world-wide prayer


XXXV
'Twas writ at first, whatever was to be
By pen, unheeding bliss or misery
Yea, writ upon the tablet once for all
To murmer or resist is vanity


XXXVI
There is a mystery I know full well
Which to all, good and bad, I cannot tell
My words are dark, but I cannot unfold
The secrets of the station where I dwell


XXXVII
No base or light-weight coins pass current here
Of such a broom has swept our dwelling clear
Forth from the tavern comes a sage and cries
"Drink! for ye all must sleep through ages drear"


XXXVIII
With outward seeming we can cheat mankind
But to God's will we can but be resigned
The deepest wiles my cunning e'er devised
To balk resistless fate no way could find


XXXIX
Is a friend faithless? Spurn him as a foe
Upon trustworthy foes respect bestow
Hold healing poison for an antidote
And baneful sweets for deadly eisel know


XL
No heart is there but bleeds when torn from Thee
No sight so clear but craves Thy face to see
And though perchance Thou carest not for them
No soul is there but pines with care for Thee


XLI
Sobriety doth dry up all delight
And drunkenness doth drown my sense outright
There is a middle state, it is my life
Not altogether drunk, nor sober quite


XLII
Behold these cups! Can He who deigned to make them
In wanton freak let ruin overtake them
So many shapely feet and hands and heads
What love drives Him to make, what wrath to break them?


XLIII
Death's terrors spring from baseless phantasy
Death yields the tree of immortality
Since 'Isa breathed new life into my soul
Eternal death has washed its hands of me


XLIV
Like tulips in the Spring your cups lift up
And, with a tulip-cheeked companion, sup
With joy your wine, or e'er this azure wheel
With some unlooked for blast upset your cup


XLV
Facts will not change to humour man's caprice
So vaunt not human powers, but hold your peace
Here must we stay, weighed down with grief for this
That we were born so late, so soon decease


XLVI
Khayyam! why weep you that your life is bad?
What boots it thus to mourn? Rather be glad
He that sins can make no claim to mercy
Mercy was made for sinners, be not sad


XLVII
All mortal ken is bounded by the veil
To see beyond man's sight is all too frail
Yea! earth's dark bosom is his only home
Alas! 'twere long to tell the doleful tale


XLVIII
This faithless world, my home, I have surveyed
Yea, and with all my wit deep question made
But found no moon with face so bright as thine
No cypress in such stateliness arrayed


XLIX
In synagogue and cloister, mosque and school
Hell's terrors and heaven's lures men's bosoms rule
But they who master Allah's mysteries
Sow not this empty chaff their hearts to fool


L
You see the world, but all you see is naught
And all you say, and all you hear is naught
Naught the four quarters of the mighty earth
The secrets treasured in your chamber naught


LI
I dreamt a sage said, "Wherefore life consume
In sleep? Can sleep make pleasure's roses bloom?
For gather not with death's twin-brother sleep
Thou wilt have sleep enough within thy tomb!"


LII
If the heart knew life's secrets here below
At death 'twould know God's secrets too, I trow
But, if you know naught here, while still yourself
Tomorrow, stripped of self, what can you know?


LIII
On that dread day, when wrath shall rend the sky
And darkness dim the bright stars' galaxy
I'll seize the Loved One by His skirt, and cry
"Why hast Thou doomed these guiltless ones to die?"


LIV
To knaves Thy secret we must not confide
To comprehend it is to fools denied
See then to what hard case Thou doomest men
Our hopes from one and all perforce we hide


LV
Cupbearer! what though fate's blows here betide us
And a safe resting-place be here denied us
So long as the bright wine-cup stands between us
We have the very Truth at hand to guide us


LVI
Long time in wine and rose I took delight
But then my business never went aright
Since wine could not accoomplish my desire
I have abandoned and forsworn it quite


LVII
Bring wine! my heart with dancing spirits teems
Wake! fortune's waking is as fleeting dreams
Quicksilver-like our days are swift of foot
And youthful fire subsides as torrent streams


LVIII
Love's devotees, not Moslems here you see
Not Solomons, but ants of low degree
Here are but faces wan and tattered rags
No store of Cairene cloth or silk have we


LIX
My law it is in pleasure's paths to stray
My creed to shun the theologic fray
I wedded Luck, and offered her a dower
She said, "I want none, so thy heart be gay"


LX
From mosque an outcast, and to church a foe
Allah! of what clay didst thou form me so?
Like sceptic monk, or ugly courtesan
No hopes have I above, no joys below


LXI
Men's lusts, like house-dogs, still the house distress
With clamour, barking for mere wantonness
Foxes are they, and sleep the sleep of hares
Crafty as wolves, as tigers pitiless


LXII
Yon turf, fringing the margent of the stream
As down upon a cherub's lip might seem
Or growth from dust of buried tulip cheeks
Tread not that turf with scorn, or light esteem


LXIII
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


LXIV
One draught of wine outweighs the realm of Tus
Throne of Kobad and crown of Kai Kawus
Sweeter are sighs that lovers heave at morn
Than all the groanings zealot breasts produce


LXV
Though Moslems for my sins condemn and chide me
Like heathens to my idol I confide me
Yea, when I perish of a drunken bout
I'll call on wine, whatever doom betide me


LXVI
In drinking thus it is not my design
To riot, or transgress the law divine
No! to attain unconsciousness of self
Is the sole cause I drink me drunk with wine


LXVII
Drunkards are doomed to hell, so men declare
Believe it not, 'tis but a foolish scare
Heaven will be empty as this hand of mine
If none who love good drink find entrance there


LXVIII
'Tis wrong, according to the strict Koran
To drink in Rajah, likewise in Sha'ban
God and the Prophet claim those months as theirs
Was Ramazan then made for thirsty man?


LXIX
Now Ramazan is come, no wine must flow
Our simple pastimes we must now forego
The wine we have in store we must not drink
Nor on our mistresses one kiss bestow


LXX
What is the world? A caravanserai
A pied pavilion of night and day
A feast whereat a thousand Jamshids sat
A couch whereon a thousand Bahrams lay


LXXI
Now that your roses bloom with flowers of bliss
To grasp your goblets be not so remiss
Drink while you may! Time is a treacherous foe
You may not see another day like this


LXXII
Here in this palace, where Bahram held sway
The wild roes drop their young, and tigers stray
And that great hunter king, ah! well-a-day
Now to the hunter death is fallen a prey


LXXIII
Down fall the tears from skies enwrapt in gloom
Without this drink, the flowers could never bloom
As now these flowerets yield delight to me
So shall my dust yield flowers, God knows for whom


LXXIV
Today is Friday, as the Moslem says
Drink then from bowls served up in quick relays
Suppose on common days you drink one bowl
Today drink two, for 'tis the prince of days


LXXV
The very wine a myriad forms sustains
And to take shapes of plants and creatures deigns
But deem not that its essence ever dies
Its forms may perish, but its self remains


LXXVI
'Tis naught but smoke this people's fire doth bear
For my well-being not a soul doth care
With hands fate makes me lift up in despair
I grasp men's skirts, but find no succour there


LXXVII
This 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 flee


LXXVIII
O foolish one! this moulded earth is naught
This particoloured vault of heaven is naught
Our sojourn in this seat of life and death
Is but one breath, and what is that but naught?


LXXIX
Some wine, a Houri (if Houris there be)
A green bank by a stream, with minstrelsy
Toil not to find a better Paradise
If other Paradise indeed there be


LXXX
To the wine-house I saw the sage repair
Bearing a wine-cup, and a mat for prayer
I said, "O Shaikh, what does this conduct mean?"
Said he, "Go drink! the world is naught but air"


LXXXI
The Bulbul to the garden winged his way
Viewed lily cups, and roses smiling gay
Cried in ecstatic notes, "O live your life
You never will relive this fleeting day"


LXXXII
Thy body is a tent, where harbourage
The Sultan spirit takes for one brief age
When he departs, comes the tent-pitcher death
Strikes it, and onward moves, another stage


LXXXIII
Khayyam, who long time stitched the tents of learning
Has fallen into a furnace, and lies burning
Death's shears have cut his thread of life asunder
Fate's brokers sell him off with scorn and spurning


LXXXIV
In the sweet spring a grassy bank I sought
And thither wine, and a fair Houri brought
And, though the people called me graceless dog
Gave not to Paradise another thought


LXXXV
Sweet is rose-ruddy wine in goblets gay
And sweet are lute and harp and roundelay
But for the zealot who ignores the cup
'Tis sweet when he is twenty leagues away


LXXXVI
Life, void of wine, and minstrels with their lutes
And the soft murmers of Irakian flutes
Were nothing worth, I scan the world and see
Save pleasure, life yields only bitter fruits


LXXXVII
Make haste! soon must you quit this life below
And pass the veil, and Allah's secrets know
Make haste to take your pleasure while you may
You wot not whence you come, nor whither go


LXXXVIII
Depart we must! what boots it then to be
To walk in vain desires continually?
Nay, but if heaven vouchsafe no place of rest
What power to cease our wanderings have we?


LXXXIX
To chant wine's praises is my daily task
I live encompassed by cup, bowl and flask
Zealot! if reason be thy guide, then know
That guide of me doth ofttimes guidance ask


XC
O men of morals, why do you defame
And thus misjudge me? I am not to blame
Save weakness for the grape, and female charms
What sins of mine can any of ye name?


XCI
Who treads in passion's footsteps here below
A helpless pauper will depart, I trow
Remember who you are, and whence you come
Consider what you do, and whither go


XCII
Skies like a zone our weary lives enclose
And from our tear-stained eyes a Jihun flows
Hell is a fire enkindled of our griefs
Heaven but a moment's peace, stolen from our woes


XCIII
I drown in sin, show me Thy clemency
My soul is dark, make me Thy light to see
A heaven that must be earned by painful works
I call a wage, not a gift fair and free


XCIV
Did He who made me fashion me for hell
Or destine me for heaven? I cannot tell
Yet will I not renounce cup, lute and love
Nor earthly cash for heavenly credit sell


XCV
From right and left the censors came and stood
Saying, "Renounce this wine, this foe of good"
But if wine be the foe of holy faith
By Allah, right it is to drink its blood


XCVI
The good and evil with man's 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


XCVII
Against death's arrows what are buckles worth?
What all the pomps and riches of the earth?
When I survey the world, I see no good
But goodness, all beside is nothing worth


XCVIII
Weak souls, who from the world cannot refrain
Hold life-long fellowship with rule and pain
Hearts free from worldly cares have store of bliss
All others seeds of bitter woe contain


XCIX
He, in whose bosom wisdom's seed is sown
To waste a single day was never known
Either he strives to work great Allah's will
Or else exalts the cup, and works his own


C
When Allah mixed my clay, He knew full well
My future acts, and could each one foretell
Without His will no act of mine was wrought
Is it then just to punish me in hell?


CI
Ye, who cease not to drink on common days
Do not on Friday quit your drinking ways
Adopt my creed, and count all days the same
Be worshippers of God, and not of days


CII
If grace be grace, and Allah gracious be
Adam from Paradise why banished He?
Grace to poor sinners shown is grace indeed
In grace hard earned by works no grace I see


CIII
Dame Fortune's smiles are full of guile, beware
Her scimitar is sharp to smite, take care
If e'er she drop a sweetmeat in thy mouth
'Tis poisonous, to swallow it forbear


CIV
Where'er you see a rose or tulip bed
Know that a mighty monarch's blood was shed
And where the violet rears her purple tuft
Be sure a black-moled girl hath laid her head


CV
Wine is a melting ruby, cup its mine
Cup is the body, and the soul is wine
These crystal goblets smile with ruddy wine
Like tears, that blood of wounded hearts enshrine


CVI
Drink wine! 'tis life etern, and travail's meed
Fruitage of youth, and balm of age's need
'Tis the glad time of roses, wine and friends
Rejoice thy spirit, that is life indeed


CVII
Drink wine! long must you sleep within the tomb
Without a friend, or wife to cheer your gloom
Hear what I say, and tell it not again
"Never again can withered tulips bloom"


CVIII
They preach how sweet those Houri brides will be
But I say wine is sweeter, taste and see
Hold fast this cash, and let that credit go
And shun the din of empty drums like me


CIX
Once and again my soul did me implore
To teach her, if I might, the heavenly lore
I bade her learn the Alif well by heart
Who knows that letter well need learn no more


CX
I came not hither of my own free will
And go against my wish, a puppet still
Cupbearer! gird thy loins, and fetch some wine
To purge the world's despite, my goblet fill


CXI
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


CXII
Sweet is the breath of Spring to rose's face
And thy sweet face adds charm to this fair place
Today is sweet, but yesterday is sad
And sad all mention of its parted grace


CXIII
Tonight pour wine, and sing a dulcet air
And I upon thy lips will hang, O fair
Yea, pour some wine as rosy as thy cheeks
My mind is troubled like thy ruffled hair


CXIV
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"


CXV
The fruit of certitude he cannot pluck
The path that leads thereto who never struck
Nor ever shook the bough with strenuous hand
Today is lost, hope for tomorrow's luck


CXVI
Now spring-tide showers its foison on the land
And lively hearts wend forth, a joyous band
For 'Isa's breath wakes the dead earth to life
And trees gleam white with flowers, like Musa's hand


CXVII
Alas for that cold heart, which never glows
With love, nor e'er that charming madness knows
The days misspent with no redeeming love
No days are wasted half as much as those


CXVIII
The zephyrs waft thy fragrance, and it takes
My heart, and me, his master, he forsakes
Careless of me he pants and leaps to thee
And thee his pattern and ensample makes


CXIX
Drink wine! and then as Mahmud thou wilt reign
And hear a music passing David's strain
Think not of past or future, seize today
Then all thy life will not be lived in vain


CXX
Ten Powers, and nine spheres, eight heavens made He
And planets seven, of six sides, as we see
Five senses, and four elements, three souls
Two worlds, but only one, O man, like thee


CXXI
Jewry hath seen a thousand prophets die
Sinai a thousand Musas mount the sky
How many Caesars Rome's proud forum crossed
'Neath Kasra's dome whow many monarchs lie


CXXII
Gold breeds not wit, but to wit lacking bread
Earth's flowery carpet seems a dungeon bed
'Tis his full purse that makes the rose to smile
While empty-handed violets hang the head


CXXIII
Heaven's wheel has made full many a heart to moan
And many a budding rose to earth has thrown
Plume thee not on thy youth and lusty strength
Full many a bud is blasted ere 'tis blown


CXXIV
What lord is fit to rule but "Turth"? Not one
What beings disobey His rule? Not one
All things that are, are such as He decrees
And naught is there beside beneath the sun


CXXV
That azure coloured vault and golden tray
Have turned, and will turn yet for many a day
And just so we, impelled by turns of fate
Come here but for a while, then pass away


CXXVI
The Master did himself these vessels frame
Why should he cast them out to scorn and shame?
If he has made them well, why should he break them?
Yea, though he marred them, they are not to blame


CXXVII
Kindness to friends and foes 'tis well to show
No kindly heart can prove unkind, I trow
Harshness will alienate a bosom friend
And kindness reconcile a deadly foe


CXXVIII
To lovers true, what matters dark or fair?
Or if the loved one silk or sackcloth wear
Or lie on down or dust, or rise to heaven?
Yea, though she sink to hell, he'll seek her there


CXXIX
Full many a hill and vale I journeyed o'er
Yea, journeyed through the world's wide quarters four
But never heard of pilgrim who returned
When once they go, they go to come no more


CXXX
Wine-houses flourish through this thirst of mine
Loads of remorse weigh down this back of mine
Yet, if I sinned not, what would mercy do?
Mercy depends upon these sins of mine


CXXXI
Thy being is the being of Another
Thy passion is the passion of Another
Cover thy head, and think, and thou wilt see
Thy hand is but the cover of Another


CXXXII
From learning to the cup your bridle turn
All lore of world to come, save Kausar, spurn
Your turban pawn for wine, or keep a shred
To bind your brow, and all the remnant burn


CXXXIII
See, from the world what profit have I gained?
What fruitage of my life in hand retained?
What use is Jamshid's goblet once 'tis crushed?
What pleasure's torch, when once its light has waned?


CXXXIV
When life is spent, what's Balkh or Nishapore?
What sweet or bitter, when the cup runs o'er?
Come drink! full many a moon will wax and wane
In times to come, when we are here no more


CXXXV
O fair! whose cheeks checkmate red eglantine
And draw the game with those fair maids of Chin
You played one glance against the king of Babil
And took his pawns and knights, and rooks and queen


CXXXVI
Life's caravan is hastening on its way
Brood not on troubles of the coming day
But fill the wine-cup, ere sweet night be gone
And snatch a pleasant moment, while you may


CXXXVII
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


CXXXVIII
Be not beguiled by world's insidious wiles
O foolish ones, ye know her tricks and guiles
Your precious life-time cast not to the winds
Haste to seek wine, and court a sweetheart's smile


CXXXIX
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


CXL
When Allah yoked the courses 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?


CXLI
Ah! seasoned wine oft falls to rawest fools
And clumsiest workmen own the finest tools
And Turki maids, fit to delight men's hearts
Lavish their smiles on beardless boys in school


CXLII
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


CXLIII
They who of prayer-mats make such great display
Are fools to bear hypocrisy's hard sway
Strange! under cover of this saintly show
They live like heathen, and their faith betray


CXLIV
To him who would his sins extenuate
Let pious men this verse reiterate
"To call God's prescience the cause of sin
In wisdom's purview is but folly's prate"


CXLV
He brought me hither, and I felt surprise
From life I gather but a dark surmise
I go against my will, thus, why I come
Why live, why go, are all dark mysteries


CXLVI
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


CXLVII
They at whose lore the whole world stands amazed
Whose high thoughts, like Borak, to heaven are raised
Strive to know Thee in vain, and like heaven's wheel
Their heads are turning, and their brains are dazed


CXLVIII
Allah hath promised wine in Paradise
Why then should wine on earth be deemed a vice?
An Arab in his cups cut Hamzah's girths
For that sole cause was drink declared a vice


CXLIX
Now of old joys naught but the name is left
Of all old friends but wine we are bereft
And that wine new, but still cleave to the cup
For save the cup, what single joy is left?


CL
The 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


CLI
The sages who have compassed sea and land
Their secret to search out, and understand
My mind misgives me if they ever solve
The scheme on which this universe is planned


CLII
Ah! wealth takes wings, and leaves our hands all bare
And death's rough hands delight our hearts to tear
And from the nether world none e'er escapes
To bring us news of the poor pilgrims there


CLIII
'Tis passing strange, those titled noblemen
Find their own lives a burden sore, but when
They meet with poorer men, not slaves to sense
They scarcely deign to reckon them as men


CLIV
The wheel on high, still busied with despite
Will ne'er unloose a wretch from his sad plight
But when it lights upon a smitten heart
Straightway essays another blow to smite


CLV
Now is the volume of my youth outworn
And all my spring-tide blossoms rent and torn
Ah, bird of youth! I marked not when you came
Nor when you fled, and left me thus forlorn


CLVI
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


CLVII
Still be the wine-house thronged with its glad choir
And Pharisaic skirts burnt up with fire
Still be those tattered frocks and azure robes
Trod under feet of revellers in the mire


CLVIII
Why toil ye to ensure illusions vain
And good or evil of the world attain?
Ye rise like Zamzam, or the fount of life
And, like them, in earth's bosom sink again


CLIX
Till the Friend pours his wine to glad my heart
No kisses to my face will heaven impart
They say, "Repent in time" but how repent
Ere Allah's grace hath softened my hard heart?


CLX
When I am dead, take me and grind me small
So that I be a caution unto all
And knead me into clay with wine, and then
Use me to stop the wine-jar's mouth withal


CLXI
What though the sky with its blue canopy
Doth close us in so that we cannot see
In the etern Cupbearer's wine methinks
There float a myriad bubbles like to me


CLXII
Take heart! Long in the weary tomb you'll lie
While stars keep countless watches in the sky
And see your ashes moulded into bricks
To build another's house and turrets high


CLXIII
Glad hearts, who seek not notoriety
Nor flaunt in gold and silken bravery
Haunt not this ruined earth like gloomy owls
But wing their way, Simurgh-like, to the sky


CLXIV
Wine's power is known to wine-bibbers alone
To narrow heads and hearts 'tis never shown
I blame not them who never felt its force
For, till they feel it, how can it be known


CLXV
Needs must the tavern-hunter bathe in wine
For none can make a tarnished name to shine
Go! bring me wine, for none can now restore
Its pristine sheen to this soiled veil of mine


CLXVI
I wasted life in hope, yet gathered not
In all my life of happiness one jot
Now my fear is that life may not endure
Till I have taken vengeance on my lot


CLXVII
Be very wary in the soul's domain
And on the world's affairs your lips refrain
Be, as it were, sans tongue, sans ear, sans eye
While tongue, and ears, and eyes you still retain


CLXVIII
Let him rejoice who has a loaf of bread
A little nest wherein to lay his head
Is slave to none, and no man slaves for him
In truth his lot is wondrous well bested


CLXIX
What add my service to Thy majesty?
Or how can sin of mine dishonour Thee?
O pardon, then, and punish not, I know
Thou'rt slow to wrath, and prone to clemency


CLXX
Hands, such as mine, that handle bowls of wine
'Twere shame to book and pulpit to confine
Zealot! thou'rt dry, and I am moist with drink
Yea, far too moist to catch that fire of thine!


CLXXI
Whoso aspires to gain a rose-cheeked fair
Sharp pricks from fortune's thorns must learn to bear
See! till this comb was cleft by cruel cuts
It never dared to touch my lady's hair


CLXXII
For ever may my hands on wine be stayed
And my heart pant for some fair Houri maid
They say, "May Allah aid thee to repent!"
Repent I could not, e'en with Allah's aid


CLXXIII
Soon shall I go, by time and fate deplored
Of all my precious pearls not one is bored
Alas, there die with me a thousand truths
To which these fools fit audience ne'er accord


CLXXIV
Today how sweetly breathes the temperate air
The rains have newly laved the parched parterre
And Bulbuls cry in notes of ecstacy
"Thou too, O pallid rose, our wine must share"


CLXXV
Ere you succumb to shocks of mortal pain
The rosy grape juice from your winecup drain
You are not gold, that, hidden in the Earth
Your friends should care to dig you up again


CLXXVI
My coming brought no profit to the sky
Nor does my going swell its majesty
Coming and going put me to a stand
Ear never heard their wherefore nor their why


CLXXVII
The heavenly Sage, whose wit exceeds compare
Counteth each vein, and numbereth every hair
Men you may cheat by hypocritic arts
But how cheat Him to whom all hearts are bare?


CLXXVIII
Ah, wine lends wings to many a weary wight
And beauty spots to ladies' faces bright
All Ramazan I have not drunk a drop
Thrice welcome, then, O Bairam's blessed night


CLXXIX
All night in deep bewilderment I fret
With tear-drops big as pearls my breast is wet
I cannot fill my cranium with wine
How can it hold wine, when 'tis thus upset?


CLXXX
To prayer and fasting when my heart inclined
All my desire I surely hoped to find
Alas, my purity is stained with wine
My prayers are wasted like a breath of wind


CLXXXI
I worship rose-red cheeks with heart and soul
I suffer not my hand to quit the bowl
I make each part of me his function do
Or e'er my parts be swallowed in the whole


CLXXXII
This worldly love of yours is counterfeit
And, like a half-spent blaze, lacks light and heat
True love is his, who for days, months and years
Rests not, nor sleeps, nor craves for drink or meat


CLXXXIII
Why spend life in vainglorious essay
All Being and Not-being to survey?
Since Death is ever pressing at your heels
'Tis best to drink or dream your life away


CLXXXIV
Some hanker after that vain phantasy
Of Houris, feigned in Paradise to be
But, when the veil is lifted, they will find
How far they are from Thee, how far from Thee


CLXXXV
In Paradise, they tell us, Houris dwell
And fountains run with wine and oxymel
If these be lawful in the world to come
Surely 'tis right to love them here as well


CLXXXVI
A draught of wine would make a mountain dance
Base is the churl who looks at wine askance
Wine is a soul our bodies to inspire
A truce to this vain talk of temperance


CLXXXVII
Oft doth my soul her prisoned state bemoan
Her earth-born co-mate she would fain disown
And quit, did not the stirrup of the law
Upbear her foot from dashing on the stone


CLXXXVIII
The moon of Ramazan is risen, see
Alas, our wine must henceforth banished be
Well, on Sha'ban's last day I'll drink enough
To keep me drunk till Bairam's jubilee


CLXXXIX
From life we draw now wine, now dregs to drink
Now flaunt in silk, and now in tatters shrink
Such changes wisdom holds of slight account
To those who stand on death's appalling brink


CXC
What sage the eternal tangle e'er unravelled
Or one short step beyond his nature travelled?
From pupils to the masters turn your eyes
And see, each mother's son alike is gravelled


CXCI
Crave not of worldly sweets to take your fill
Nor wait on turns of fortune, good or ill
Be of light heart, as are the skies above
They roll a round or two, and then lie still


CXCII
What eye can pierce the veil of God's decrees
Or read the riddle of earth's destinies?
Pondered have I for years threescore and ten
But still am baffled by these mysteries


CXCIII
They say, when the last trump shall sound its knell
Our Friend will sternly judge, and doom to hell
Can aught but good from perfect goodness come?
Compose your trembling hearts, 'twill all be well


CXCIV
Drink wine to root up metaphysic weeds
And tangle of the two-and-seventy creeds
Do not forswear that wondrous alchemy
'Twill turn to gold, and cure a thousand needs


CXCV
Though drink is wrong, take care with whom you drink
And who you are that drink, and what you drink
And drink at will, for, these three points observed
Who but the very wise can ever drink?


CXCVI
To drain a gallon beaker I design
Yea, two great beakers, brimmed with richest wine
Old faith and reason thrice will I divorce
Then take to wife the daughter of the vine


CXCVII
True I drink wine, like every man of sense
For I know Allah will not take offence
Before time was, He knew that I should drink
And who am I to thwart His prescience?


CXCVIII
Rich men, who take to drink, the world defy
With shameless riot, and as beggars die
Place in my ruby pipe some emerald hemp
'Twill do as well to blind care's serpent eye


CXCIX
These fools have never burnt the midnight oil
In deep research, nor do they ever toil
To step beyond themselves, but dress them fine
And plot of credit others to despoil


CC
When false dawn streaks the east with cold, grey line
Pour in your cups the pure blood of the vine
The truth, they say, tastes bitter in the mouth
This is a token that the "Truth" is wine


CCI
Now is the time earth decks her greenest bowers
And trees, like Musa's hand, grow white with flowers
As 'twere at 'Isa's breath the plants revive
While clouds brim o'er, like tearful eyes, with showers


CCII
O burden not thyself with drudgery
Lord of white silver and red gold to be
But feast with friends, ere this warm breath of thine
Be chilled in death, and earthworms feast on thee


CCIII
The showers of grape juice, which cupbearers pour
Quench fires of grief in many a sad heart's core
Praise be to Allah, who hath sent this balm
To heal sore hearts, and spirits' health restore


CCIV
Can alien Pharisees Thy kindness tell
Like us, Thy intimates, who nigh Thee dwell?
Thou say'st, "All sinners will I burn with fire"
Say that to strangers, we know Thee too well


CCV
O comrades dear, when hither ye repair
In times to come, communion sweet to share
While the cupbearer pours your old Magh wine
Call poor Khayyam to mind, and breathe a prayer


CCVI
For me heaven's sphere no music ever made
Nor yet with soothing voice my fears allayed
If e'er I found brief respite from my woes
Back to woe's thrall I was at once betrayed


CCVII
Sooner with half a loaf contented be
And water from a broken crock, like me
Than lord it over one poor fellow-man
Or to another bow the vassal knee


CCVIII
While Moon and Venus in the sky shall dwell
None shall see aught red grape juice to excel
O foolish publicans, what can you buy
One half so precious as the goods you sell?


CCIX
They who by genius, and by power of brain
The rank of man's enlighteners attain
Not even they emerge from this dark's night
But tell their dreams, and fall asleep again


CCX
At dawn, when dews bedeck the tulip's face
And violets their heavy heads abase
I love to see the roses' folded buds
With petals closed against the wind's disgrace


CCXI
Like as the skies rain down sweet jessamine
And sprinkle all the meads with eglantine
Right so, from out this jug of violet hue
I pour in lily cups this rosy wine


CCXII
Ah, thou has snared this head, though white as snow
Which oft has vowed the wine-cup to forego
And wrecked the mansion long resolve did build
And rent the vesture penitence did sew


CCXIII
I am not one whom Death doth much dismay
Life's terrors all Death's terrors far outweigh
This life, that Heaven hath lent me for a while
I will pay back, when it is time to pay


CCXIV
The stars, who dewell on heaven's exalted stage
Baffle the wise diviners of our age
Take heed, hold fast the rope of mother wit
These augurs all distrust their own presage


CCXV
The people who the heavenly world adorn
Who come each night, and go away each morn
Now on Heaven's skirt, and now in earth's deep pouch
While Allah lives, shall aye anew be born


CCXVI
Slaves of vain wisdom and philosophy
Who toil at Being and Nonentity
Parching your brains till they are like dry grapes
Be wise in time, and drink grape juice, like me


CCXVII
Sense, seeking happiness, bids us pursue
All present joys, and present griefs eschew
She says, we are not as the meadow grass
Which, when they mow it down, springs up anew


CCXVIII
Now Ramazan is past, Shawwal comes back
And feast and song and joy no more we lack
The wine-skinn carriers throng the streets and cry
"Here comes the porter with his precious pack"


CCXIX
My comrades all are gone, Death, deadly foe
Has caught them one by one, and trampled low
They shared life's feast, and drank its wine with me
But lost their heads, and dropped a while ago


CCXX
Those hypocrites, all know so well, who lurk
In streets to beg their bread, and will not work
Claim to be saints, like Shibli and Junaid
No Shiblis are they, though well known in Karkh


CCXXI
When the great Founder moulded me of old
He mixed much baser metal with my gold
Better or fairer I can never be
Than I first issued from his heavenly mould


CCXXII
The joyous souls who quaff potations deep
And saints who in the mosques sad vigils keep
Are lost at sea alike, and find no shore
One only wakes, all others are asleep


CCXXIII
Not-being's water served to mix my clay
And on my heart grief's fire doth ever pray
And blown am i like wind about the world
And last my crumbling earth is swept away


CCXXIV
Small gains to learning on this earth accrue
They pluck life's fruitage, learning who eschew
Take pattern by the fools who learning shun
And then perchance shall fortune smile on you


CCXXV
When the fiar soul this mansion doth vacate
Each element assumes its primal state
And all the silken furniture of life
Is then dismantled by the blows of fate


CCXXVI
These people string their beads of learned lumber
And tell of Allah stories without number
Yet never solve the riddle of the skies
But wag the chin, and get them back to slumber


CCXXVII
These folk are asses, laden with conceit
And glittering drums, that empty sounds repeat
And humble slaves are they of name and fame
Acquire a name, and, lo! they kiss thy feet


CCXXVIII
On the dread day of final scrutiny
Thou wilt be rated by thy quality
Get wisdom and fair qualities today
For, as thou art, requited wilt thou be


CCXXIX
Many fine heads, like bowls, the Brazier made
And thus his own similtude portrayed
He set one upside down above our heads
Which keeps us all continually afraid


CCXXX
My true condition I may thus explain
In two short verses which the whole contain
"From love to Thee I now lay down my life
In hope Thy love will raise me up again"


CCXXXI
The heart, like tapers, takes at beauty's eyes
A flame, and lives by that whereby it dies
And beauty is a flame where hearts, like moths
Offer themselves a burning sacrifice


CCXXXII
To please the righteous life itself I sell
And, though they tread me down, never rebel
Men say, "Inform us what and where is hell?"
Ill company will make this earth a hell


CCXXXIII
The sun doth smite the roofs with Orient ray
And, Khosrau like, his wine-red sheen display
Arise and drink, the herald of the dawn
Uplifts his voice, and cries, "Oh, drink today!"


CCXXXIV
Comrades! when e'er you meet together here
Recall your friend to mind, and drop a tear
And when the circling wine-cups reach his seat
Pray turn one upside down his dust to cheer


CCXXXV
That grace and favour at the first, what meant it?
That lavishing of joy and peace, what meant it?
But now thy purpose is to grieve my heart
What did I do to cause this change? What meant it?


CCXXXVI
These hypocrites who build on saintly show
Treating the body as the spirit's foe
If they will shut their mouths with lime, like jars
My jar of grape juice I will then forego


CCXXXVII
Many have come, and run their eager race
Striving for pleasure, luxuries or place
And quaffed their wine, and now all silent lie
Enfolded in their parent earth's embrace


CCXXXVIII
Then, when the good reap fruits of labours past
My hapless lot with drunkards will be cast
If good, may I be numbered with the first
If bad, find grace and mercy with the last


CCXXXIX
Of happy turns of fortune take your fill
Seek pleasure's couch, or wine-cup, as you will
Allah regards not if you sin, or saint it
So take your pleasure, be it good or ill


CCXL
Heaven multiplies our sorrows day by day
And grants no joys it does not take away
If those unborn could know the ills we bear
What think you, would they rather come or stay?


CCXLI
Why ponder thus the future to foresee
And jade thy brain to vain perplexity?
Cast off thy care, leave Allah's plans to him
He formed them all without consulting thee


The tenants of the tombs to dust decay
Nescient of self, and all beside are they
Their sundered atoms float about the world
Like mirage clouds, until the judgment day



CCXLIII
O soul! lay up all earthly goods in store
Thy mead with pleasure's flowerets spangle o'er
And know 'tis all as dew, that decks the flowers
For one short night, and then is seen no more


CCXLIV
Heed not the Sunna, nor the law divine
If to the poor his portion you assign
And never injure one, nor yet abuse
I guarantee you heaven, and now some wine


CCXLV
Vexed by this wheel of things, that pets the base
My sorrow-laden life drags on apace
Like rosebud, from the storm I wrap me close
And blood-spots on my heart, like tulip, trace


CCXLVI
Youth is the time to pay court to the vine
To quaff the cup, with revellers to recline
A flood of water once laid waste the earth
Hence learn to lay you waste with floods of wine


CCXLVII
The world is baffled in its search for Thee
Wealth cannot find Thee, no, nor poverty
Thou'rt very near us, but our ears are deaf
Our eyes blinded that we may not see


CCXLVIII
Take care you never hold a drinking bout
With an ill-tempered, ill-conditioned lout
He'll make a vile disturbance all night long
And vile apologies next day, no doubt


CCXLIX
The starry aspects are not all benign
Why toil then after vain desires, and pine
To lade thyself with load of fortune's boons
Only to drop it with this life of thine?


CCL
O comrades, here is filtered wine, come drink
Pledge all your charming sweethearts as you drink
'Tis the grape's blood, and this is what it says
"To you I dedicate my life blood. Drink!"


CCLI
Are you depressed? Then take of bhang one grain
Of rosy grape juice take one pint or twain
Sufis, you say, must not take this or that
Then go and eat the pebbles off the plain


CCLII
I saw a busy potter by the way
Kneading with might and main a lump of clay
And, lo! the clay cried, "Use me gently, pray
I was a man myself but yesterday"


CCLIII
Oh! wine is richer than the realm of Jam
More fragrant than the food of Miriam
Sweeter are sighs that drunkards heave at morn
Than strains of Bu Sa'id and Bin Adham


CCLIV
Deep in the rondure of the heavenly blue
There is a cup, concealed from mortals' view
Which all must drink in turn, Oh, sigh not then
But drink it boldly, when it comes to you


CCLV
Though you should live to four, or forty score
Go hence you must, as all have gone before
Then, be you king, or beggar of the streets
They'll rate you all the same, no less, no more


CCLVI
If you seek Him, abandon child and wife
Arise, and sever all these ties to life
All these are bonds to check you on your course
Arise, and cut these bonds, as with a knife


CCLVII
O heart, this world is but a fleeting show
Why should its empty griefs distress thee so?
Bow down, and bear thy fate, the eternal pen
Will not unwrite its roll for thee, I trow


CCLVIII
Who e'er returned of all that went before
To tell of that long road they travel o'er?
Leave naught undone of what you have to do
For when you go, you will return no more


CCLIX
Dark wheel, how many lovers hast thou slain
Like Mahmud and Ayaz, O inhumane
Come, let us drink, thou grantest not two lives
When one is spent, we find it not again


CCLX
Illustrious Prophet, whom all kings obey
When is our darkness lightened by wine's ray
On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Friday, and Saturday, both night and day


CCLXI
O turn away those roguish eyes of thine
Be still, seek not my peace to undermine
Thou say'st, "Look not" I might as well assay
To slant my goblet and not spill my wine


CCLXII
In taverns better far commune with Thee
Than pray in mosques, and fail Thy face to see
O first and last of all Thy creatures Thou
'Tis thine to burn, and Thine to cherish me


CCLXIII
To wise and worthy men your life devote
But from the worthless keep your walk remote
Dare to take poison from a sage's hand
But from a fool refuse and antidote


CCLXIV
I flew here, as a bird from the wild, in aim
Up to a higher nest my course to frame
But, finding here no guide who knows the way
Fly out by the same door where through I came


CCLXVI
They go away, and none is seen returning
To teach that other world's recondite learning
'Twill not be shown for dull mechanic prayers
For prayer is naught without true heartfelt yearning


CCLXVII
Go to! Cast dust on those deaf skies, who spurn
Thy orisons and bootless prayers, and learn
To quaff the cup, and hover round the fair
Of all who go, did ever one return?


CCLXVIII
Though Khayyam strings no pearls of righteous deeds
Nor sweeps from off his soul sin's noisome weeds
Yet will he not despair of heavenly grace
Seeing that one as two he ne'er misreads


CCLXIX
Again to tavern haunts do we repair
And say "adieu" to the five hours of prayer
Where'er we see a long-necked flask of wine
We elongate our necks that wine to share


CCLXX
We are but chessmen, destined, it is plain
That great chess-player, Heaven, to entertain
It moves us on life's chess-board to and fro
And then in death's dark box shuts up again


CCLXXI
You ask what is this life so frail, so vain
'Tis long to tell, yet will I make it plain
'Tis but a breath blown from the vasty
And then blown back to those same deeps


CCLXXII
Today to heights of rapture have I soared
Yea, and with drunken Maghs pure wine adored
I am become beside myself, and rest
In that pure temple, "Am I not your Lord?"


CCLXXIII
My queen (long may she live to vex her slave!)
Today a token of affection gave
Darting a kind glance from her eyes, she passed
And said, "Do good and cast it on the wave!"


CCLXXIV
I put my lips to the cup, for I did yearn
The hidden cause of length of days to learn
He leaned his lip to mine, and whispered low
"Drink! for, once gone, you never will return"


CCLXXV
We lay in the cloak of Naught, asleep and still
Thou said'st "Awake! taste the world's good and ill"
Here we are puzzled by Thy strange command
From slanted jars no single drop to spill


CCLXXVI
O Thou! who know'st the secret thoughts of all
In time of sorest need who aidest all
Grant me repentance, and accept my plea
O Thou who dost accept the pleas of all


CCLXXVII
I saw a bird perched on the walls of Tus
Before him lay the skull of Kai Kawus
And thus he made his moan, "Alas, poor king
Thy drums are hushed, thy 'larums have rung truce"


CCLXXVIII
Ask not the chance of time to be
And for the past, 'tis vanished, as you see
This ready money breath set down as gain
Future and past concern not you or me


CCLXXIX
What launched that golden orb his course to run
What wrecks his firm foundations, when 'tis done
No man of science ever weighed with scales
Nor made assay with touchstone, no, not one


CCLXXX
I pray thee to my counsel lend thine ear
Cast off this false hypocrisy's veneer
This life a moment is, the next all time
Sell not eternity for earthly gear


CCLXXXI
Ofttimes I plead my foolishness to Thee
My heart contracted with perplexity
I gird me with the Magian zone, and why?
For shame so poor a Musulman to be


CCLXXXII
Khayyam, rejoice that wine you still can pour
Of cups in converse did I chance to see
And lo, one lifted up his voice, and cried
"Who made, who sells, who buys this crockery?"


CCLXXXIV
Last night, as I reeled from the tavern door
I saw a sage, who a great wine-jug bore
I said, "O Shaikh, have you no shame?" Said he
"Allah hath boundless mercy in his store"


CCLXXXV
Life's fount is wine, Khizir its guardian
I, like Elias, find it where I can
'Tis sustenance for heart and spirit too
Allah himself calls wine "a boon to man"


CCLXXXVI
Though wine is banned, yet drink, for ever drink!
By day and night, with strains of music drink
Where'er though lightest on a cup of wine
Spill just one drop, and take the rest and drink


CCLXXXVII
Although the creeds number some seventy-three
I hold with none but that of loving Thee
What matter faith, unfaith, obedience, sin?
Thou'rt all we need, the rest is vanity


CCLXXXVIII
Tell one by one my scanty virtues o'er
As for my sins, forgive them by the score
Let not my faults kindle Thy wrath to flame
By blest Muhammad's tomb, forgive once more


CCLXXXIX
Grieve not at coming ill, you can't defeat it
And what far-sighted person goes to meet it?
Cheer up, bear not about a world of grief
Your fate is fixed, and grieving will not cheat it


CCXC
There is a chalice made with wit profound
With tokens of the Maker's favour crowned
Yet the world's Potter takes his masterpiece
And dashes it to pieces on the ground


CCXCI
In truth wine is a spirit thin as air
A limpid soul in the cup's earthen ware
No dull, dense person shall be friend of mine
Save wine cups, which are dense and also rare


CCXCII
O wheel of heaven, no ties of bread you feel
No ties of salt, you flay me like an eel
A woman's wheel spins clothes for man and wife
It does more good than you, O heavenly wheel


CCXCIII
Did no fair rose my paradise adorn
I would make shift to deck it with a thorn
And if I lacked my prayer mats, beads and Shaikh
Those Christian bells and stoles I would not scorn


CCXCIV
"If heaven deny me peace and fame" I said
"Let it be open war and shame instead
The man who scorns bright wine had best beware
I'll arm me with a stone, and break his head"


CCXCV
See, the dawn breaks, and rends night's canopy
Arise! and drain a morning draught with me
Away with gloom! full many a dawn will break
Looking for us, and we not here to see


CCXCVI
O you who tremble not at fires of hell
Nor wash in water of remorse's well
When winds of death shall quench your vital torch
Beware lest earth your guilty dust expel


CCXCVII
This world a hollow pageant you should deem
All wise men know things are not what they seem
Be of good cheer, and drink, and so shake off
This vain illusion of a baseless dream


CCXCVIII
With maids stately as cypresses, and fair
As roses newly plucked, your wine cups share
Or e'er Death's blasts shall rend your robe of flesh
Like yonder rose leaves, lying scattered there


CCXCIX
Cast off dull care, O melancholy brother
Woo the sweet daughter of the grape, no other
The daughter is forbidden, it is true
But she is nicer than her lawful mother


CCC
My love shone forth, and I was overcome
My heart was speaking, but my tongue was dumb
Beside the water brooks I died of thirst
Was ever known so strange a martyrdom?


CCCI
Give me my cup in hand, and sing in glee
In concert with the bulbul's symphony
Wine would not gurgle as it leaves the flask
If drinking mute were right for thee and me


CCCII
The "Truth" will not be shown to lofty thought
Nor yet with lavished gold may it be bought
But, if you yield your life for fifty years
From words to "states" you may perchance be brought


CCCIII
I solved all problems, down from Saturn's wreath
Unto this lowly sphere of earth beneath
And leapt out free from bonds of fraud and lies
Yea, every knot was loosed, save that of death


CCCIV
Peace! the eternal "Has been" and "To be"
Pass man's experience, and man's theory
In joyful seasons naught can vie with wine
To all these riddles wine supplies the key


CCCV
Allah, our Lord, is merciful, though just
Sinner despair not, but His mercy trust
For though today you perish in your sins
Tomorrow He'll absolve your crumbling dust


CCCVI
Your course annoys me, O ye wheeling skies
Unloose me from your chain of tyrannies
If none but fools your favours may enjoy
Then favour me, I am not very wise


CCCVII
O City Mufti, you go more astray
Than I do, though to wine I do give way
I drink the blood of grapes, you that of men
Which of us is the more bloodthirsty, pray?


CCCVIII
'Tis well to drink, and leave anxiety
For what is past, and what is yet to be
Our prisoned spirits, lent us for a day
A while from season's bondage shall go free


CCCIX
When Khayyam quittance at Death's hand receives
And sheds his outworn life, as trees their leaves
Full gladly will he sift this world away
Ere dustmen sift his ashes in their sieves


CCCX
This wheel of heaven, which makes us all afraid
I liken to a lamp's revolving shade
The sun the candlestick, the earth the shade
And men the trembling forms thereon portrayed


CCCXI
Who wa it that did mix my clay? Not I
Who spun my web of silk and wool? Not I
Who wrote upon my forehead all my good
And all my evil deeds? In truth not I


CCCXII
O let us not forecast tomorrow's fears
But count today as gain my brave compeers
Tomorrow we shall quit this inn and march
With comrades who have marched seven thousand years


CCCXIII
Ne'er for one moment leave your cup unused
Wine keeps heart, faith and reason too, amused
Had Iblis swallowed but a single drop
To worship Adam he had ne'er refused


CCCXIV
Come, dance! while we applaud thee, and adore
They sweet Narcissus eyes, and grape-juice pour
A score of cups is no such great affair
But 'tis enchanting when we reach three score


CCCXV
I close the door of hope in my own face
Nor sue for favours from good men, or base
I have but One to lend a helping hand
He knows, as well as I, my sorry case


CCCXVI
Ah by these heavens, that ever circling run
And by my own base lusts I am undone
Without the wit to abandon worldly hopes
And wanting sense the world's allures to shun


CCCXVII
On earth's green carpet many sleepers lie
And hid beneath it others I descry
And others, not yet come, or passed away
People the desert of Nonentity


CCCXVIII
Sure of Thy grace, for sins why need I fear?
How can the pilgrim faint whilst Thou are near?
On the last day Thy grace will wash me white
And make my black record to disappear


CCCXIX
Think no I dread from out the world to hie
And see my disembodied spirit fly
I tremble not at death, for death is true
'Tis my ill life that makes me fear to die


CCCXX
Let us shake off dull reason's incubus
Our tale of days or years cease to discuss
And take our jugs and plenish them with wine
Or e'er grim potters make their jugs of us


CCCXXI
How much more wilt thou chide, O raw divine
For that I drink, and am a libertine?
Thou hast thy weary beads, and saintly show
Leave me my cheerful sweetheart, and my wine


CCCXXII
Against my lusts I ever war, in vain
I think on my ill deeds with shame and pain
I trust Thou wilt assoil me of my sins
But even so, my shame must still remain


CCCXXIII
In these twin compasses, O Love, you see
One body with two heads, like you and me
Which wander round one centre, circlewise
But at the last in one same point agree


CCCXXIV
We shall not stay here long, but while we do
'Tis folly wine and sweethearts to eschew
Why ask if earth etern or transient be?
Since you must go, it matters not to you


CCCXXV
In reverent sort to mosque I wend my way
But, by great Allah, it is not to pray
No, but to steal a prayer-mat. When 'tis worn
I go again, another to purvey


CCCXXVI
No more let fate's annoys our peace consume
But let us rather rosy wine consume
The world our murderer is, and wine its blood
Shall we not then that murderer's blood consume?


CCCXXVII
For Thee I vow to cast repute away
And, if I shrink, the penalty to pay
Though life might satisfy Thy cruelty
'Twere naught, I'll bear it till the judgment day


CCCXXVIII
In Being's rondure do we stray belated
Our pride of manhood humbled and abated
Would we were gone. Long since have we been wearied
With this world's griefs, and with its pleasures sated


CCCXXIX
The world is false, so I'll be false as well
And with bright wine, and gladness ever dwell
They say, "May Allah grant thee penitence!"
He grants it not, and, did he, I'd rebel


CCCXXX
When Death shall tread me down upon the plain
And pluck my feathers, and my life blood drain
Then mould me to a cup, and fill with wine
Haply its scent will make me breathe again


CCCXXXI
So far as this world's dealings I have traced
I find its favours shamefully misplaced
Allah be praised, I see myself debarred
From all its boons, and wrongfully disgraced


CCCXXXII
'Tis dawn. My heart with wine I will recruit
And dash to bits the glass of good repute
My long-extending hopes I will renounce
And grasp long tresses, and the charming lute


CCCXXXIII
Though I had sinned the sins of all mankind
I know Thou would'st to mercy be inclined
Thou sayest, "I will help in time of need"
One needier than I where wilt Thou find?


CCCXXXIV
Am I a wine-bibber? What if I am?
Gueber or infidel? Suppose I am?
Each sect miscalls me, but I heed them not
I am my own, and, what I am, I am


CCCXXXV
All my life long from drink I have not ceased
And drink I will tonight on Kadr's feast
And throw my arms about the wine jar's neck
And kiss its lip, and clasp it to my breast


CCCXXXVI
I know what is, and what is not, I know
The lore of things above, and things below
But all this lore will cheerfully renounce
If one a higher grade than drink can show


CCCXXXVII
Though I drink wine, I am no libertine
Nor am I grasping, save of cups of wine
I scruple to adore myself, like you
For this cause to wine worship I incline


CCCXXXVIII
To confidants like you I dare to say
What mankind really are, moulded of clay
Affliction's clay, and kneaded in distress
They taste the world awhile, then pass away


CCCXXXIX
We make the wine jar's lip our place of prayer
And drink in lessons of true manhood there
And pass our lives in taverns, if perchance
The time misspent in mosques we may repair


CCCXL
Man is the whole creation's summary,
The precious apple of great wisdom's eye
The circle of existence is a ring
Whereof the signet is humanity


CCCXLI
With fancies, as with wine, our heads we turn
Aspire to heaven, and earth's low trammels spurn
But, when we drop this fleshly clog, 'tis seen
From dust we came, and back to dust return


CCCXLII
If so it be that I did break the fast
Think not I meant it; no! I thought 'twas past
That day more weary than a sleepless night
And blessed breakfast-time had come at last


CCCXLIII
I never drank of joy's sweet cordial
But grief's fell hand infused a drop of gall
Nor dipped my bread in pleasure's piquant salt
But briny sorrow made me smart withal


CCCXLIV
At dawn to tavern haunts I wend my way
And with distraught Kalendars pass the day
O Thou! who know'st things secret, and things known
Grant me Thy grace, that I may learn to pray


CCCXLV
The world's annoys I rate not at one grain
So I eat once a day I don't complain
And, since earth's kitchen yields no solid food
I pester no man with petitions vain


CCCXLVI
Never fro worldly toils have I been free
Never for one short moment glad to be
I served a long apprenticeship to fate
But yet of fortune gained no mastery


CCCXLVII
One hand with Koran, one with wine-cup dight
I half incline to wrong, and half to right
The azure-marbled sky looks down on me
A sorry Moslem, yet not heathen quite


CCCXLVIII
Khayyam's respects to Mustafa convey
And with due reverence ask him to say
Why it has pleased him to forbid pure wine
When he allows his people acid whey?


CCCXLIX
Tell Khayyam, for a master of the schools
He strangely misinterprets my plain rules
Where have I said that wine is wrong for all?
'Tis lawful for the wise, but not for fools


CCCL
My critics call me a philosopher
But Allah knows full well they greatly err
I know not even what I am, much less
Why on this earth I am a sojourner


CCCLI
The more I die to self, I live the more
The more abase myself, the higher soar
And, strange! the more I drink of Being's wine
More sane I grow and sober than before


CCCLII
Quoth rose, "I am the Yusuf flower, I swear
For in my mouth rich golden gems I bear."
I said, "Show me another proof." Quoth she,
"Behold this blood-stained vesture that I wear!"


CCCLIII
I studied with the masters long ago
And long ago did master all they know
Here now the end and issue of it all
From earth I came, and like the wind I go!


CCCLIV
Death finds us soiled, though we were pure at birth
With grief we go, although we came with mirth
Watered with tears, and burned with fires of woe
And, casting life to winds, we rest in earth!


CCCLV
To find great Jamshid's world-reflecting bowl
I compassed sea and land, and viewed the whole
But, when I asked the wary sage, I learned
That bowl was my own body, and my soul!


CCCLVI
Me, cruel Queen! you love to captivate
And from a knight to a poor pawn translate
You marshal all your force to tire me out
You take my rooks with yours, and then checkmate!


CCCLVII
If Allah wills me not to will aright
How can I frame my will to will aright?
Each single act I will must needs be wrong
Since none but He has power to will aright


CCCLVIII
"For once, while roses are in bloom," I said
"I'll break the law, and please myself instead
With blooming youths, and maidens' tulip cheeks
The plain shall blossom like a tulip-bed"


CCCLIX
Think not I am existent of myself
Or walk this blood-stained pathway of myself
This being is not I, it is of Him
Pray what, and where, and whence is this "myself"?


CCCLX
Endure this world without my wine I cannot!
Drag on life's load without my cups I cannot!
I am the slave of that sweet moment, when
They say, "Take one more goblet" and I cannot


CCCLXI
You, who both day and night the world pursue
And thoughts of that dread day of doom eschew
Bethink you of your latter end; be sure
As time has treated others, so 'twill you!


CCCLXII
O man, who art creation's summary
Getting and spending too much trouble thee!
Arise, and quaff the Etern Cupbearer's wine
And so from troubles of both worlds be free!


CCCLXIII
In this eternally revolving zone
Two lucky species of men are known
One knows all good and ill that are on earth
One neither earth's affairs, nor yet his own


CCCLXIV
Make light to me the world's oppressive weight
And hide my failings from the people's hate
And grant me peace to-day, and on the morrow
Deal with me as Thy mercy may dictate!


CCCLXV
Souls that are well informed of this world's state
Its weal and woe with equal mind await
For, be it weal we meet, or be it woe
The weal doth pass, and woe too hath its date


CCCLXVI
Lament not fortune's want of constancy
But up! and seize her favors ere they flee
If fortune always cleaved to other men
How could a turn of luck have come to thee?


CCCLXVII
Chief of old friends! Hearken to what I say
Let not heaven's treacherous wheel your heart dismay
But rest contended in your humble nook
And watch the games that wheel is wont to play


CCCLXVIII
Hear now Khayyam's advice, and bear in mind
Consort with revelers, though they may be maligned
Cast down the gates of abstinence and prayer
Yea, drink, and even rob, but oh! be kind!


CCCLXIX
This world a body is, and God its soul
And angels are its senses, who control
Its limbs -- the creatures, elements, and spheres
The One is the sole basis of the whole


CCCLXX
Last night that idol who enchants my heart
With true desire to elevate my heart
Gave me his cup to drink; when I refused
He said, "Oh, drink to gratify my heart!"


CCCLXXI
Would'st thou have fortune bow her neck to thee
Make it thy care to feed thy soul with glee
And hold a creed like mine, which is to drain
The cup of wine, not that of misery


CCCLXXII
Though you survey O my enlightened friend
This world of vanity from end to end
You will discover there no other good
Than wine and rosy cheeks, you may depend


CCCLXXIII
Last night upon the river bank we lay
I with my wine-cup, and a maiden gay
So bright it shone, like pearl within its shell
The watchman cried, "Behold the break of day!"


CCCLXXIV
Have you no shame for all the sins you do
Sins of omission and commission too?
Suppose you gain the world, you can but leave it
You cannot carry it away with you


CCCLXXV
In a lone waste I saw a debauchee
He had no home, no faith, no heresy
No God, no truth, no law, no certitude
Where in this world is man so bold as he?


CCCLXXVI
Some look for truth in creeds, and forms, and rules
Some grope for doubts or dogmas in the schools
But from behind the veil a voice proclaims
"Your road lies neither here nor there, O fools."


CCCLXXVII
In heaven is seen the bull, we name Parwin
Beneath the earth another lurks unseen
And thus to wisdom's eyes mankind appear
A drove of asses, two great bulls between


CCCLXXVIII
The people say, "Why not drink somewhat less?
What reasons have you for such great excess?"
First, my Love's face, second, my morning draught
Can there be clearer reasons, now confess?


CCCLXXIX
Had I the power great Allah to advise
I'd bid him sweep away this earth and skies
And build a better, where, unclogged and free
The clear soul might achieve her high emprise


CCCLXXX
This silly sorrow-laden heart of mine
Is ever pining for that Love of mine
When the Cupbearer poured the wine of love
With my heart's blood he filled this cup of mine


CCCLXXXI
To drain the cup, to hover round the fair
Can hypo critic arts with these compare?
If all who love and drink are going wrong
There's many a wight of heaven may well despair


CCCLXXXII
'Tis wrong with gloomy thoughts your mirth to drown
To let grief's millstone weigh your spirits down
Since none can tell what is to be, 'tis best
With wine and love your heart's desires to crown


CCCLXXXIII
'Tis well in reputation to abide
'Tis shameful against heaven to rail and chide
Still, head had better ache with over drink
Than be puffed up with Pharisaic pride


CCCLXXXIV
O Lord! pity this prisoned heart, I pray
Pity this bosom stricken with dismay!
Pardon these hands that ever grasp the cup
These feet that to the tavern ever stray


CCCLXXXV
O Lord! from self-conceit deliver me
Sever from self, and occupy with Thee!
This self is captive to earth's good and ill
Make me beside myself, and set me free


CCCLXXXVI
Behold the tricks this wheeling dome doth play
And earth laid bare of old friends torn away
O live this present moment, which is thine
Seek not a morrow, mourn not yesterday


CCCLXXXVII
Since all man's business in this world of we
Is sorrow's pangs to feel, and grief to know
Happy are they that never come at all
And they that, having come, the soonest go


CCCLXXXVIII
By reason's dictates it is right to live
But of ourselves we know not how to live
So Fortune, like a master, rod in hand
Raps our pates well to teach us how to live


CCCLXXXIX
Nor you nor I can read the stern decree
To that enigma we can find no key
They talk of you and me behind the veil
But, if that veil be lifted, where are we?


CCCXC
O Love, for ever doth heaven's wheel design
To take away thy precious life, and mine
Sit we upon this turf, 'twill not be long
Ere turf shall grow upon my dust, and thine


CCCXCI
When life has fled, and we rest in the tomb
They'll place a pair of bricks to mark our tomb
And, a while after, mould our dust to bricks
To furnish forth some other person's tomb


CCCXCII
Yon palace, towering to the welkin blue
Where kings did bow them down, and homage do
I saw a ringdove on its arches perched
And thus she made complaint, "Coo, coo, coo, coo"


CCCXCIII
We come and go, but for the gain, where is it?
And spin life's woof, but for the warp, where is it?
And many a righteous man has burned to dust
In heaven's blue rondure, but their smoke, where is it?


CCCXCIV
Life's well-spring lurks within that lip of thine
Let not the cup's lip touch that lip of thine
Beshrew me, if I fail to drink his blood
For who is he, to touch that lip of thine?


CCCXCV
Such as I am, Thy power created me
Thy care hath kept me for a century
Through all these years I make experiment
If my sins or Thy mercy greater be


CCCXCVI
"Take up thy cup and goblet, Love" I said
"Haunt purling river bank, and grassy glade
Full many a moon-like form has heaven's weel
Oft into cup, oft into goblet, made"


CCCXCVII
We buy new wine and old, our cups to fill
And sell for two grains this world's good and ill
Know you where you will go to after death?
Set wine before me, and go where you will


CCCXCVIII
Was e'er man born who never went astray?
Did ever mortal pass a sinless day?
If I do ill, do not requite with ill
Evil for evil how can'st Thou repay?


CCCXCIX
Bring forth that ruby gem of Badakhshan
That heart's delight, that balm of Turkistan
They say 'tis wrong for Musulmen to drink
But ah! where can we find a Musulman?


CCCC
My body's life and strength proceed from Thee
My soul within and spirit are of Thee
My being is of Thee, and Thou art mine
And I am Thine, since I am lost in Thee


CCCCI
Man, like a ball, hither and thither goes
As fate's resistless bat directs the blows
But He, who gives thee up to this rude sport
He knows what drives thee, yea, He knows, He knows


CCCCII
O Thou who gives sight to emmet's eyes
And strength to puny limbs of feeble flies
To Thee we will ascribe Almighty power
And not base, unbecoming qualities


CCCCIII
Let not base avarice enslave thy mind
Nor vain ambition in its trammels bind
Be sharp as fire, as running water swift
Not, like earth's dust, the sport of every wind


CCCCIV
'Tis best all other blessings to forego
For wine, that charming Turki maids bestow
Kalendars' raptures pass all things that are
From moon on high down into fish below


CCCCV
Friend! trouble not yourself about your lot
Let futile care and sorrow be forgot
Since this life's vesture crumbles into dust
What matters strain of word or deed, or blot?


CCCCVI
O thou who hast done ill, and ill alone
And thinkest to find mercy at the throne
Hope not for mercy! for good left undone
Cannot be done, nor evil done undone


CCCCVII
Count not to live beyond your sixtieth year
To walk in jovial courses persevere
And ere your skull be turned into a cup
Let wine-cups ever to your hand adhere


CCCCVIII
These heavens resemble an inverted cup
Whereto the wise with aw keep gazing up
So stoops the bottle o'er his love, the cup
Feigning to kiss, and gives her blood to sup


CCCCIX
I sweep the tavern threshold with my hair
For both world's good and ill I take no care
Should the two worlds roll to my house, like balls
When drunk, for one small coin I'd sell the pair


CCCCX
The drop wept for his severance from the sea
But the sea smiled, for "I am all," said he
"The Truth is all, nothing exists beside
That one point circling apes plurality"


CCCCXI
Shall I sigh for what I have not got
Or try with cheerfulness to bear my lot?
Fill up my cup! I know not if the breath
I now am drawing is my last, or not


CCCCXII
Yield not to grief, though fortune prove unkind
Nor call sad thoughts of parted friends to mind
Devote thy heart to sugary lips, and wine
Cast not thy precious life unto the wind


CCCCXIII
Of mosque and prayer and fast preach not to me
Rather go drink, were it on charity
Yea, drink, Khayyam, your dust will soon be made
A jug, or pitcher, or a cup, may be


CCCCXIV
Bulbuls, doting on roses, oft complain
How froward breezes rend their veils in twain
Sit we beneath this rose, which many a time
Has sunk to earth, and sprung from earth again


CCCCXV
Suppose the world goes well with you, what then?
When life's last page is read and turned, what then?
Suppose you live a hundred years of bliss
Yea, and a hundred years besides, what then?


CCCCXVI
How is it that of all the leafy tribe
Cypress and lily men as "free" describe?
This has a dozen tongues, yet holds her peace
That has a hundred hands which take no bribe


CCCCXVII
Cupbearer, bring my wine-cup, let me grasp it
Bring that delicious darling, let me grasp it
That pleasing chain which tangles in its coils
Wise men and fools together, let me grasp it


CCCCXVIII
Alas! my wasted life has gone to wrack
What with forbidden meats, and lusts, alack!
And leaving undone what 'twas right to do
And doing wrong, my face is very black


CCCCXIX
I could repent of all, but of wine, never!
I could dispense with all, but with wine, never!
If so be I became a Musulman
Could I abjure my Magian wine? no, never!


CCCCXX
We rest our hopes on Thy free grace alone
Nor seek by merits for our sins to atone
Mercy drops where it lists, and estimates
Ill done as undone, good undone as done


CCCCXXI
This is the form Thou gavest me of old
Wherein Thou workest marvels manifold
Can I aspire to be a better man
Or other than I issued from Thy mould


CCCCXXII
O Lord! to Thee all creatures worship pay
To Thee both small and great for ever pray
Thou tamest woe away, and gives weal
Give then, or, if it please Thee, take away


CCCCXXIII
With going to and fro in this sad vale
Thou art grown double, and thy credit stale
Thy nails are thickened like a horse's hoof
Thy beard is ragged as an ass's tail


CCCCXXIV
O unenlightened race of humankind
Ye are a nothing, built on empty wind
Yea, a mere nothing, hovering in the abyss
A void before you, and a void behind


CCCCXXV
Each morn I say, "To-night I will repent
Of wine, and tavern haunts no more frequent"
But while 'tis spring, and roses are in bloom
To loose me from my promise, O consent!


CCCCXXVI
Vain study of philosophy eschew!
Rather let tangled curls attract your view
And shed the bottle's life-blood in your cup
Or e'er death shed your blood, and feast on you


CCCCXXVII
O heart! can'st thou the darksome riddle read
Where wisest men have failed, wilt thou succeed?
Quaff wine, and make thy heaven here below
Who knows if heaven above will be thy meed?


CCCCXXVIII
They that have passed away, and gone before
Sleep to delusion's dust for evermore
Go, boy, and fetch some wine, this is the truth
Their dogmas were but air, and wind their lore


CCCCXXIX
O heart! when on the Loved One's sweets you feed
You loose yourself, but find your Self indeed
And, when you drink of His entrancing cup
You hasten your escape from quick and dead


CCCCXXX
Though I am wont a wine-bibber to be
Why should the people rail and chide at me?
Would that all evil actions made men drunk
For then no sober people should I see


CCCCXXXI
Child of four elements and sevenfold heaven
Who fume and sweat because of these eleven
Drink! I have told you seventy times and seven
Once gone, nor hell will send you back, nor heaven


CCCCXXXII
With many a snare Thou dost beset my way
And threatenest, if I fall therein, to slay
Thy rule resistless sways the world, yet Thou
Imputest sin, when I do but obey


CCCCXXXIII
To Thee, whose essence baffles human thought
Our sins and righteous deeds alike seem naught
May Thy grace sober me, though drunk with sins
And pardon all the ill that I have wrought


CCCCXXXIV
If this life were indeed an empty play
Each day would be an 'lid of festal day
And men might conquer all their hearts' desire
Fearless of after penalties to pay


CCCCXXXV
O wheel of heaven, you thwart my heart's desire
And rend to shreds my scanty joy's attire
The water that I drink you foul with earth
And turn the very air I breath to fire


CCCCXXXVI
O soul! could you but doff this flesh and bone
You'd soar a sprite about the heavenly throne
Had you no shame to leave your starry home
And dwell an alien on this earthly zone?


CCCCXXXVII
Ah, potter, stay thine hand! with ruthless art
Put not such base use man's mortal part
See, thou art mangling on thy cruel wheel
Faridun's fingers, and Kai Khosrau's heart


CCCCXXXVIII
O rose! all beauties' charms thou dost excel
As wine excels the pearl within its shell
O fortune! thou dost ever show thyself
More strange, although I seem to know thee well


CCCCXXXIX
From this world's kitchen crave not to obtain
Those dainties, seeming real, but really vain
Which greedy worldlings gorge to their own loss
Renounce that loss, so loss shall prove thy gain


CCCCXL
Plot not of nights, thy fellows' peace to blight
So that they cry to God the live-long night
Nor plume thee on thy wealth and might, which thieves
May steal by night, or death, or fortune's might


CCCCXLI
This soul of mine was once Thy cherished bride
What caused Thee to divorce her from Thy side?
Thou didst not sue to treat her thus of yore
Why then now doom her in the world to abide?


CCCCXLII
Ah! would there were a place of rest from pain
Which we, poor pilgrims, might at last attain
And after many thousand wintry years
Renew our life, like flowers, and bloom again


CCCCXLIII
While in love's book I sought an augury
An ardent youth cried out in ecstasy
"Who owns a sweetheart beauteous as the moon
Might wish his moments long as years to be!"


CCCCXLIV
Winter is past, and spring-tide has begun
Soon will the pages of life's book be done
Well saith the sage, "Life is a poison rank
And antidote, save grape-juice, there is none"


CCCCXLV
Beloved, if thou a reverend Molla be
Quit saintly show, and feigned austerity
And quaff the wine that Murtza purveys
And sport with Houris 'neath some shady tree


CCCCXLVI
Last night I dashed my cup against a stone
In a mad drunken freak, as I must own
And lo! the cup cries out in agony
"You too, like me, shall soon be overthrown"


CCCCXLVII
My heart is weary of hypocrisy
Cupbearer, bring some wine, I beg of thee
This hooded cowl and prayer-mat pawn for wine
Then will I boast me in security


CCCCXLVIII
Audit yourself, your truce account to frame
See! you go empty, as you empty came
You say, "I will not drink and peril life"
But, drink or no, you must die all the same


CCCCXLIX
Open the door! O entrance who procurest
And guide the way, O Thou of guides the surest
Directors born of men shall not direct me
Their counsel comes to naught, but Thou endurest


CCCCL
In slandering and reviling you persist
Calling me infidel and atheist
My errors I will not deny, but yet
Does foul abuse become a moralist?


CCCCLI
To find a remedy, put up with pain
Chafe not at woe, and healing thou wilt gain
Though poor, be ever of a thankful mind
'Tis the sure method riches to obtain


CCCCLII
Give me a skin of wine, a crust of bread
A pittance bare, a book of verse to read
With thee, O love, to share my lowly roof
I would not take the Sultan's realm instead


CCCCLIII
Reason not of the five, nor of the four
Be their dark problems one, or many score
We are but earth, go, minstrel, bring the lute
We are but air, bring wine, I ask no more


CCCCLIV
Why argue on Yasin and on Barat?
Write me the draft for wine they call Barat
The day my weariness is drowned in wine
Will seem to me as the great night Barat


CCCCLV
Whilst thou dost wear this fleshy livery
Step not beyond the bounds of destiny
Bear up, though very Rustums be thy foes
And crave no boon from friends like Hatim Tai


CCCCLVI
These ruby lips, and wine, and minstrel boys
And lute, and harp, your dearly cherished toys
Are mere redundancies, and you are naught
Till you renounce the world's delusive joys


CCCCLVII
Bow down, heaven's tyranny to undergo
Quaff wine to face the world, and all its woe
Your origin and end are both in earth
But now you are above earth, not below


CCCCLVIII
You know all secrets of this earthly sphere
Why then remain a prey to empty fear?
You cannot bend things to your will, but yet
Cheer up for the few moments you are here


CCCCLIX
Behold, where'er we turn our ravished eyes
Sweet verdure springs, and crystal Kausars rise
And plains, once bare as hell, now smile as heaven
Enjoy this heaven with maids of Paradise


CCCCLX
Never in this false world on friends rely
I give this counsel confidentially
Put up with pain, and seek no antidote
Endure your grief, and ask no sympathy


CCCCLXI
Of wisdom's dictates two are principal
Surpassing all your lore traditional
Better to fast than eat of every meat
Better to live alone than mate with all


CCCCLXII
Why unripe grapes are sharp, prithee explain
And then grow sweet, while wine is sharp again?
When one has carved a block into a lute
Can he from that same block a pipe obtain?


CCCCLXIII
When dawn doth silver the dark firmament
Why shrills the bird of dawning his lament?
It is to show in dawn's bright looking-glass
How of thy careless life a night is spent


CCCCLXIV
Cupbearer, come! from thy full-throated ewer
Pour blood-red wine, the world's despite to cure
Where can I find another friend like wine
So genuine, so solacing, so pure?


CCCCLXV
Though you should sit in sage Aristo's room
Or rival Caesar on his throne of Rum
Drain Jemshid's goblet, for your end's the tomb
Yea, were you Bahram's self, your end's the tomb


CCCCLXVI
It chanced into a potter's shop I strayed
He turned his wheel and deftly plied his trade
And out of monarchs' heads, and beggars' feet
Fair heads and handles for his pitchers made


CCCCLXVII
If you have sense, true senselessness attain
And the Etern Cupbearer's goblet drain
If not, true senselessness is not for you
Not every fool true senselessness can gain


CCCCLXVIII
O Love! before you pass death's portal through
And potters make their jugs of me and you
Pour from this jug some wine, of headache void
And fill your cup, and fill my goblet too


CCCCLXIX
O Love! while yet you can, with tender art
Lift sorrow's burden from your lover's heart
Your wealth of graces will not always last
But slip from your possession, and depart


CCCCLXX
Bestir thee, ere death's cup for thee shall flow
And blows of ruthless fortune lay thee low
Acquire some substance here, there is none there
For those who thither empty-handed go


CCCCLXXI
Who framed the lots of quick and dead but Thou?
Who turns the troublous wheel of heaven but Thou?
Though we are sinful slaves, is it for Thee
To blame us? Who created us but Thou?


CCCCLXXII
O wine, most limpid, pure, and crystalline
Would I could drench this silly frame of mine
With thee, that passers by might think 'twas thou
And cry, "Whence comest thou, fair master wine?"


CCCCLXXIII
A Shaikh beheld a harlot, and quoth he
"You seem a slave to drink and lechery"
And she made answer, "What I seem I am
But, Master, are you all you seem to be?"


CCCCLXXIV
If, like a ball, earth to my house were borne
When drunk, I'd rate it at a barley-corn
Last night they offered me in pawn for wine
But the rude vintner laughed that pledge to scorn


CCCCLXXV
Now in thick clouds Thy face Thou dost immerse
And now display it in this universe
Thou the spectator, Thou the spectacle
Sole to Thyself Thy glories dost rehearse


CCCCLXXVI
Better to make one soul rejoice with glee
Than plant a desert with a colony
Rather one freeman bind with chains of love
Than set a thousand prisoned captives free


CCCCLXXVII
O thou who for thy pleasure dost impart
A pang of sorrow to thy fellow's heart
Go! mourn thy perished wit and peace of mind
Thyself hast slain them, like the fool thou art


CCCCLXXVIII
Wherever you can get two maunds of wine
Set to, and drink it like a libertine
Whoso acts thus will set his spirit free
From saintly airs like yours, and grief like mine


CCCCLXXIX
So long as I possess two maunds of wine
Bread of the flower of wheat, and mutton chine
And you, O Tulip cheek, to share my hut
Not every Sultan's lot can vie with mine


CCCCLXXX
They call you wicked, if to fame you're known
And an intriguer, if you live alone
Trust me, though you were Khizr or Elias
'Tis best to know none, and of none be known


CCCCLXXXI
Yes! here am I with wine and frees again
I did repent, but, ah! 'twas all in vain
Preach not to me of Noah and his flood
But pour a flood of wine to drown my pain


CCCCLXXXII
For union with my love I sigh in vain
The pangs of absence I can scarce sustain
My grief I dare not tell to any friend
O trouble strange, sweet passion, bitter pain


CCCCLXXXIII
'Tis dawn! I hear the loud Muezzin's call
And here am I before the vintner's hall
This is no time of piety. Be still
And drop your talk and airs devotional


CCCCLXXXIV
Angel of joyful foot! the dawn is night
Pour wine, and lift your tuneful voice on high
Sing how Jemshids and Khosraus bit the dust
Whelmed by the rolling months, from Tir to Dai


CCCCLXXXV
Frown not at revelers, I beg of thee
For all thou keenest righteous company
But drink, for, drink or no, 'tis all the same
If doomed to hell, no heaven thou'lt ever see


CCCCLXXXVI
I wish that Allah would rebuild these skies
And earth, and that at once, before my eyes
And either raze my name from off his roll
Or else relieve my dire necessities


CCCCLXXXVII
Lord! make thy bounty's cup for me to flow
And bread unbegged for day by day bestow
Yea, with thy wine make me beside myself
No more to feel the headache of my woe


CCCCLXXXVIII
Omar! of burning heart, perchance to burn
In hell, and feed its bale-fires in thy turn
Presume not to teach Allah clemency
For who art thou to teach, or He to learn?


CCCCLXXXXIX
Cheer up! your lot was settled yesterday
Heedless of all that you might do or say
Without so much as "By your leave" they fixed
Your lot for all the morrows yesterday


CDXC
I never would have come, had I been asked
I would as lief not go, if I were asked
And, to be short, I would annihilate
All coming, being, going, were I asked


CDXCI
Man is a cup, his soul the wine therein
Flesh is a pipe, spirit the voice within
O Khayyam, have you fathomed what man is?
A magic lantern with a light therein


CDXCII
On skyey wheel, all base men you supply
With baths, mills and canals that run not dry
While good men have to pawn their goods for bread
Pray, who would give a fig for such a sky?


CDXCIII
A potter at his work I chanced to see
Pounding some earth and shreds of pottery
I looked with eyes of insight, and methought
'Twas Adam's dust with which he made so free


CDXCIV
The Saki knows my genus properly
To all woe's species he holds a key
Whene'er my mood is sad, he brings me wine
And that makes all the difference to me


CDXCV
Dame Fortune! all your acts and deeds confess
That you are foul oppression's votaries
You cherish bad men, and annoy the good
Is this from dotage, or sheer foolishness?


CDXCVI
You, who in carnal lusts your time employ
Wearing your precious spirit with annoy
Know that these things you set your heart upon
Sooner or later must the soul destroy


CDXCVII
Hear from the spirit world this mystery
Creation is summed up, O man, in thee
Angel and demon, man and beast art thou
Yes, thou art all thou dost appear to be


CDXCVIII
If popularity you would ensue
Speak well of Moslem, Christian, and Jew
So shall you be esteemed of great and small
And none will venture to speak ill of you


CDXCIX
O wheel of heaven, what have I done to you
That you should thus annoy me? Tell me true
To get a drink I have to cringe and stoop
And for my bread you make me beg and sue


D
No longer hug your grief and vain despair
But in this unjust world be just and fair
And since the issue of the world is naught
Think you are naught, and so shake off dull care