From Earth to Earth a solemn word I brought
A little life of Common Clay I sought
With all the dubious wiles of Hand and Thought
See what a world of Worthless Clay I wrought!

Out of the Void, alone, you moved along
From Absolute Silence you made a song
Be happy if you are allowed to go
Back whence you came, right or forgiven wrong

Three sextons making ready for their Guest
Plied mattocks readily with song and jest
Said one: "How many Princes of the Blood
Must we dig up to give one beggar rest?"

Pharaoh, who built the mighty Pyramid
Of old age or of death could not be rid
Though Kings and Kingdoms at his bidding fell
Laid low was Pharaoh, by strict Death outbid

The powdered dust that on the leaves you see
Might be a clue to some lost Family
And when a wind sweeps raging through the house
It leaves a speck of one long dead on me

The Universe rejoiced, its anguish shed
When Jug towards the eager Cup was led
"I am the Clay" said Jug, "that Bahram was"
"I am the Clay" said Cup, "that Bahram wed"

Too prone to Evil, both when young and old
For one small Golden Coin ourselves we sold
O all our thoughts and all our words and deeds
Centre upon that tiny piece of gold

So hear, my friends, the Greetings I have brought
Back from the Sun, the Wisdom he has taught
See! from the Wind and maddening Heat he sent
The Flower's Grace, the Ruby's Gleam we sought

That Vase that in the potter's fire was turned
Contains the Knight for whom your heart once burned
And all around, by Garden, Stream and Wood
Whirls dust, once men that maidens loved or spurned

The Soil reminds us how, from Nothing born
We die, behind us leaving plenty's horn
One day of Life is worth the ages spent
Beneath Oblivion's shade, of sunlight shorn

A little Life came, with the Wind it went
What was it, then, and by whom was it sent?
At work and play distracting me awhile
I never knew what its short visit meant

Not many hours shall fill your Future Days
No other Spring will charm you with its Blaze
Be gay, though. Heaven that took your Kai to heart
Will give you back a hundred thousand Kais

Of Name and Wealth what smallest need have I?
For them what man would choose to live and die?
Haroon and Charoon, unto dust returned
Not for a Shahi would one wish to buy

Fate cast me, helpless, blind, into a cage
Weak object of a ravening wolf-pack's rage
Long ere my birth by Fate was I pursued
Yes, but who guides the Brute, the Perfect Sage

Time fixed Itself the spans of Day and Night
One with the Sun, one with the Moon for light
Strange that in those well-ordered intervals
Time hides and keeps Itself well out of sight

The Past's a World without a Sun or Moon
Whose Folk, some great and wealthy as Haroon
Have travelled far beyond the Bourn of Time
And never shall return nor late nor soon

In Heaven the august angels break and cry
For Men on Earth who suffer, sicken, die
The good earth feeds them, lets them live but lo!
The same good Earth in time devours them: why?

How many Mystic heights I left unscaled
How many tombs I viewed but none unveiled
They did not show the Way by which they went
They left no trace upon the Sea they sailed

The Sun this message sends with each Gold Ray
"Those draughts that all the Pains of Life allay
Flow from the Hell, which forged this Paradise
To Earth, with Homage from the Lord of Day"

By our own Labour we acquire our skill
Our own Way follow then for good or ill
And, both Worlds seizing from the owner, we
Raise our own Paradises where we will

Creation's ancient beard being cased in Rime
I Earth-wards sped to serve my given Time
Yet, after all my long rehearsal, see
How ill I play in Life's brief Pantomime

You who equally for both worlds fear
Bedecked with Rings on Finger, Neck and Ear
O how ungrateful, how unjust your gloom
When Paradise is yours both There and Here

Thousands of Sorrows come with no relief
Our Hours of Youth are robbed, and who's the Thief?
I'm haunted by the fate of Cyrus, where
Lies Cyrus now who held the World in fief?

Time, at whose table we are called to sup
Poisons our wine before we drink it up
And Caesars by the score and Tamerlanes
Fall at one sip of his envenomed cup

Only a little way have I to go
Few goods to call my own have I to show
Maker! art thou and all who work for Thee
Right, then, or Wrong? That would I wish to know

In a Sweet Dream, an Angel came to me
She said, "Glad Tidings I have brought you: see
Weary and lame you came into the World
And when you leave, no worse off shall you be"

Within a Box you lay when first you came
And, leaving, in a Box you lie. For shame!
Are you so proud and do you boast because
Nameless you come and vanish with a name?

All things pass through those Portals open wide
In many Tombs forgiven sinners hide
Fear not the Judgment Day, for where Hell is
Be sure that Heaven lies closely by its side

How brief a moment in the World we stay
How late we come, how soon we go away
But be content, for those unborn lived not
In Dark their Being, to Light they found no way

Here are enough of Koussar and of Hoor
To make a multitude of Edens sure
An everlasting journey faces Man
To Hell or Heaven while asleep in Goor

Pale Sanctimony's Veil tear from thy face
And wash off, too, Ambition's cankered Trace
Once gone, you never shall return until
You fall as Dust upon some Desert Place

He who called up our Being out of clay
With ghouls and jinns besets our gloomy way
And as the Music soars, the Vintage flows
They change to fairies in a Shadow Play

A Man I met saving his well-earned Grain
"From all dead men" I said, "you reap this gain
Thy Plough has mingled older Clay with new
As, yard by yard, it moved across the plain

The New Moon chuckled there behind a cloud
"I'm blorn while you grow old" she cried aloud
Full many a King I saw but see no more
Thy end, like theirs, draws nigh: be gay, be proud"

That Friend who left, his last desire untold
Whose Countenance our Eyes no more behold
Required receipts for even that smallest loan
Without demure, he left a store of Gold

Hark! Izrail from the Tower of Naught has cried:
"Silence the Music at the Altar side
For see, behind the Door my Horsemen wait
Back home with you, o lovely ones, to ride"

We strolled together by the moonlit rill
Wine flowing warmly through our veins, until
Love's Angel took us, raised us gently up
Above all Sins and Pain, O, higher still!

First in a Box they bear you to the Show
Then in a carriage you are drawn and lo
Swiftly upon the Stage a Curtain falls
And, by the Door you entered, out you go

The years, wind-blown and wave-tossed, buffet me
A stricken Bark upon Life's violent sea
At last I reach the Anchorage and find
No Sailor, Ship, no Ocean and no Quay

I dreamed of one who to Earth never came
"Why should I come" said he, "the End's the same"
O subtle Man, who lived not, yet at last
In the Void joins us free of Sin and Shame

Nor Past nor Future on this heartless Sphere
Upon our Grave will shed a parting tear
See, now that I am palsied, old and frail
Time nods impatient towards my waiting Bier

Why worry over any Mortal Thing?
Break into pieces Time's dishevelled Wing
One draught of Wine puts Memory to sleep
Why then seek Care in vain Remembering?

On Judgment Day shall I be cast in Hell
Or ushered into Heaven if all go well?
What matters it to me? For all I seek
Is some secluded spot to buy and sell

He who knows spells that all the secrets hold
And all the Wisdom buried in the Mould
Knows too who was the Pot you bought so dear
And Who the Cup so cheap to me they sold

Count: one and two and three and four and five
You Children of Old Time to Earth I drive
Once planted, even by the loveliest Hand
WHo knows if you again shall ever thrive?

The Sun in Light the Dark World now enfolds
And soon the Heat of Morning routs the Cold
And we arise and walk and work and talk
The while the Sun and we grow tired and old

Out in the Fields and Verdant Vales where flow
The shining streams, sons reap what fathers sow
Coming unknown they wish to become known
They stay a while to show themselves and go

Oh come with me and sit and sing and drink
Tomorrows pass, and so from Sorrow shrink
The Stars come out at Night for you and me
And for us blooms the Red Rose at the Brink

Come out and see how lovely are the Days
Though Winter ancient grudges now repays
Oh, grieve not on the flowerless River Bank
For Spring revives whatever Winter slays

My life is bound by Threads of foolish Need
And Fear and Hope inspire my righteous Deed
Alone upon the battle-field of Life
Often the brutal Tyrant shall succeed

How many times the Chords of Music sighed
And on each Stem what Flowers bloomed and died
The sighs from those who midst the Blossoms loll
The Flowers from those who 'neath the Blossoms bide

Tomorrow, when the Soul from Body flies
No more in bondage, swiftly she will rise
To fly unbridled out beyond all Time
Beyond all Danger, where she never dies

Into the World a while I came to stay
With friends and family to work and play
But how unuust, to come unread and young
Then, wise and learned, to be snatched away

A dead man came to me, unseen, and told
How, gathered once within the New World's fold
And drowned in one Eternal Sea, we lose
All care for things that can be bought and sold

Then I myself found Paradise at last
Before my Vision lovely Angels passed
And, while I watched, I saw that Angels too
Like us, in Love's mould were with Passion cast

Look how the Soul, by Body overthrown
Without demur into the Dark has flown
And Body, to his Native Home returned
Feels safe again though silent and alone

Again the Stars are scattered in the Sky
How good to see Old Friends before we die
Ah, Little Ones, in that next skyless World
I shall not see you, O, dear Friends, good-bye!

The Sun has sought the Mountains of the West
The bells toll loudly summoning the Guest
Hasten! Already Dusk is near at hand
The Hostess gone, the Guests retire to rest

So Time, who moulds our Pleasures and our Woes
Who builds our Future here or there, who knows?
Is nothing but a selfish bitter Ghost
Who comes from Nowhere and to Nowhere goes

Oft I broke Vessels I could not repair
And Portals passed but could not enter there
I drank from Streams whose source I never knew
And, heedless whence it came, I breathed the air

Always I loved the bright Sun in the sky
And often in my dreams I tried to fly
Beyond the realms of the Moon and Stars
And in my arms to press Her, chaste and shy

Why do you look so sad, my Love, and cry
Spending your days in fruitless brooding, why?
Sit blossom-fresh upon the Branch and then
As care-free as the Blossoms, fall and die

Man comes from mystery, goes to mist, cold
While myriad tales of where he goes are told
Seek not Fate's Secret, many a tyrant's clay
Fashioned as pots to the poor slaves are sold

The little Bird, who but a while ago
From one high Branch jumped to the other, lo
His borrowed Body by the River lies
Uncaring of the water's ceaseless flow

Why brood upon Mysterious Sky and Sea
Where nothing belongs to me nor yet to thee?
Wine-giving Grapes and fragrant Roses that
In Gardens grow exist for you and me

The Stars pursue their ancient ageless Flight
The Earth turns endlessly through Day and Night
Misers ever for their Shahis work
Drink up, be gay! Enjoy the comic sight

Deep in the Garden's Labyrinth has grown
A lovely Flower, blossoming alone
Perhaps it springs from that sweet Roman girl
Whose dust lies there, once flesh, once sturdy bone

To Earth the Lord of All Life's pattern sends
On Heaven's Golden Ray in peace descends
The Holy Ghost, to bring us peace of Mind
And that Eternal Joy our God intends

Entangled in a narrow Net of Sin
And threatened with a Dagger sharp and thin
As Punishment, I know that in the end
There's not a chance that You and I can win

Alas, the Day and all its Brightness done
And our swift Journey through the Night begun
Tomorrow when the Day shall break again
Who will be here? And who will be gone, my Son?

Look yonder over by the Cottage Door
How lovely looks the Girl I did adore
Her drunken Memory blots out the Past
Endeavouring to think of me no more

Fill up the Cup and close the Gateways all
We don't desire the Worlds beyond the Wall
Ambition takes the Roads to battlefields
Where only men without Ambition fall

Your Time is up, the Bells high in the Tower
Ring curtly now, abandon all your Power
Listen, O Fool! The Bells unceasing toll
As end your days that shorten hour by hour

How good to have the Magic Power of thought
The Grape whose brimming Wine in Cup is caught
Heaven replete with Houris kind and sweet
And Earth with thee, the Red Rose I have sought

Man is the Riddle on the Stage of Time
His whole Life plays as in a pantomime
Casting the Parts, he struts each passing Act
And for each Song writes melody and rhyme

Behold, a Caravan is on its Way
To Hell or HEaven who, alas, can say?
It chants the songs of Eram it has lost
And songs of Deeds it must to Man repay

Part sleeping, part awake, a while we stay
Part sleeping, part awake, we go away
To add one mere Word to Man's chronicle
More than a million men must Cold Time slay

Then Life rejected him and back he came
To Dust, and with him all his hard-won Fame
Without Ambition, born in innocence
Sinful he left and guilty. What a shame

Today is short, tomorrow has no end
Earth makes us, breaks us, what does this perpend?
A Bird is given wings to fly away
Fate's maelstrom makes her to its Passion bend

Awake! The phantom Izrail passed away
Today is here and gone is Yesterday
The Muezzin from the Minaret once more
Asks that our Debts to God and Man we pay

Let not Affliction catch thee with a start
For Griefs in plenty will their blows impart
Be gay, my dear, one Cup of Wine alone
Will wash both Past and Future from thy Heart

Suppose we should return to Earth again
A hundred thousand times or so? But, then
What is the use, if all remains the same?
To come, to stay, to go, and all in vain

No godly Man bribes Heaven with garnered Gold
Nor yet, in Life, permits his Honour sold
The homeless Dervish lives among the Tombs
That he may feel at home when turned to Mould

No knot of mine has ever been untied
Not one returned of millions who have died
The Bell of Doom was tolled but none gave heed
I knocked at every Tomb, but none replied

No Book or Pen disturbs our blessed Inn
No pruning hooks to cut the Flowers begin
On foot come Holy Soldiers, gallant, brave
And none brings weapon, banner, trumpet in

All men must the same Journey undergo
To come with pain and then depart in Woe
The Dervish with his house upon his back
Comes like a Shah and like a Shah will go

I see the Cosmos in my cup of Wine
Where Man's strange life is cast without Design
On valleys, plains and deserts everywhere
I see red Lips, dark Lashes, sweet and fine

O fill the Cup and let me drink it all
Forgetting woes brought on by Man's great Fall
Let fragrant Wine abolish all sad thoughts
That fill my mind, too prone on them to call

I'm not bewildered puzzling out Mankind
Nor am I stupid, but I'm drunk, you'll find
But stay, no wise Man knows as much than I
For Wisdom is to live beyond the mind

Bedeck my tiny Room with Flowers now
Bring candles, sweets, a Jug of Wine, and Thou
Then, with the music, dancing, song and Wine
Shalt keep all brutal reasons from my brow

We prisoners of Hope and Fear in turn
Are tired of futile reason, our concern
Will find us plotting now and fighting next
And Reason tells us we shall never learn

"If man were not fore-doomed to sin" some say
"There'd be no Hell, nothing at all to pay"
"If Man were not fore-doomed to sin" more claim
"There'd be no gift, no grace on Judgment Day"

Those who are fast Asleep and Wake no more
Impervious are to plague, oppression, war
Alas, that after the last Judgment Day
Wine cups are empty that were filled before

The Gardener of Time who sowed by Fate
Implanted in my Soul sharp Thorns of hate
To occupy my mind and heart, while he
Killed off the Flowers I wished to cultivate

All who were needy, all who went astray
And those with Fame and Honour in their day
When they were garnered by the Reaper Death
Alike they could but weep and fade away

Who slept the Sleep that has no more awaking
Did well, for none, his outward Journey taking
Is sweet as they, but who in this sad world
Can live untouched by grief, its huge Thirst slaking?

Each brick that goes to build your Dwelling here
Bears messages from men and many a tear
The sticky Mud that off your feet you wash
Was once a royal Prince or a haughty Peer

What lovely moonlight on this vernal night
Alas, no moon in Heaven shows its light
Heaven's our home, on Earth we pilgrims are
And back we're bid to Heaven's Eternal Light

Beloved, let us celebrate Today
And light its Darkness with sweet joy's bright Ray
Be quick, a song, a kiss, a cup of wine
Defeat advancing Age with sport and play

The Stars that stand up in the midnight sky
Twinkle with tears of grief, you hear them sigh
Sobbing, they tell us of our Plight of woe
That Time and Age, their black bonds round us tie

That Clay the Potter's gnarled hand presses down
A General was, of fame and great renown
And that Brick there, designed to fit the Jar
Was once the Prince's head that wore the crown

No place so sweet is, as where blooms the Rose
If thou art with me and the sweet wine flows
Doctors and drugs their uses have for sure
But Wine's the cure for all our Human woes

The Pillars of my Body bend and sway
Tired of this Earth, I'd like to fly away
Beloved, fill the Cup, be quick I pray
No better time for drinking than Today!

Our bodies that in common Clay entwine
Ne'er met in Life, for one was rough, one fine
No matter now, or then, both thee and me
The same God fashioned to His deep Design

Note by successive Note we move along
From phrase to phrase in Time's unceasing Song
From womb to cot, to coffin and to tomb
Then onwards always, both the weak and strong

Uncounted Secrets lie beyond today
Uncounted dead are quiet beneath the Clay
The soil that brings forth all those lovely Flowers
Slays them in time and casts them far away

One evening, a thief with all his loot
Was robbed himself by some more powerful brute
The Falcon, proud to seize upon its prey
Knows not that Fate is hot in its pursuit

The Potter for his work, takes Dust, once Thee
And mixes it with older Dust, one Me
That Clay you saw within the litle Mould
Are wrecks of those who held the World in fee

Confined to cribs soon after we are born
Consigned to Tombs in haste some fatal morn
How proud we are, how greatly self-esteeming
Who come so humbly, who depart forlorn

Thy ship through boundless oceans onwards drives
Determinedly, for Treasure ever strives
But soon thy Ship runs foul upon the Rocks
Beneath the Waves with all thy Cargo dives

In each Man's life some Fate lies unrevealed
Great Wealth may in his destiny be concealed
Quite often an old ugly Hunchback's fate
Holds better luck than in elegance is sealed

From the same grey dust both Wine and I came
So quickly Wine can set my heart aflame
Both Thou and I in life need Love untold
So drink, my treasure! What is Wealth or Fame?

Shot from the bow, the Target all unknown
Awhile through air of Earth we glide, alone
Be happy though, some million decades hence
The Mark we'll strike to which we were first thrown

Why mourn, my Friend, the faulty things you've done?
Why rule the Chance you chose erstwhile to shun?
Be glad that Life, so far, has safely passed
It will be ended much as it was begun

To Sufi's Quarter you may go perchance
And touch the raven locks of those who dance
Thus you will know what Paradise is like
How there with Houris you will be entranced

O Saki, hasten! Danger's drawing near
Enjoy these last few moments left us here
From Time's wide stock of goods, our destined lot
Is but a Grave in which we disappear

Why looks so sad, so weary and depressed
Deploring what you Lacked and what Possessed?
The Sun, commanded to supply your Bread
From Jam's Dust and from Kai's provides the best

Proud Pharaoh and his Pyramid. Behold
With what contempt the ghoul of Death took hold
Of all that Glory, see where now he lies
Just Dust beneath where once his Cohorts rolled

Upon the Grass, the moon its silver mail
Spreads, and no more my troubles I bewail
For now I'm old, be gay tonight with me
No more I dread this world or Life's dark vale

Betray no sweetheart nor a garden Rose
Forget not music and the Wine that flows
Let not the Year pass by with jars unfilled
As Death draws near drink Wine in sweet repose

What's hidden in the Earth eludes the Eye
A thousand Tales are still untold, so why
Lament? For many Men like you, like me
Lie in the Earth, whom you don't know nor I

By doing wrong, what can you gain of Worth?
How enrich yourself where there is only dearth?
Who has the whole of Earth has Nothing since
One's self is but a handful of that Earth

Old friends and foes to Dust alike will turn
Kilns will claim them and in flames they'll burn
Be sure in Time to come that they will make
Of thee, perhaps, a Jug, of me, an Urn

O Saki, fill the cup in haste, I pray
And let your sweet Smile cheer this wintry Day
Heaven, remember, that took out Jam and Kai
Will give us many others such as they

No sooner from the Prison of the womb
Than I was caught, chained to a stronger Doom
No sooner seemd I Master of myself
Than I was handed over to the Tomb

That Candle, which all through the Garden sends
Its lovely light, at last to Naught descends
The greedy Miser hoards his garnered Gold
But see how finally, in grief, he ends

In a sweet Dream, I saw beyond the Sky
Where Paradise entranced my searching Eye
On looking round, I saw all Creatures there
Constrained by Love, no less than You and I

Behold where mighty Caesar lived in state
See where he lies today, friend. Meditate
Inspect those piles of Dust, but which is King
Which Slave, no sign this day can indicate

On wings of Love, my soul to Heaven flew
My Loved One's wings aloft did bear her too
With music and with song and wine and dance
We felt like Angels and were born anew

On Time we come, and right on Time we go
Alone we come, we leave with Friend and Foe
Outside the Tent, it's darker than within
All's veiled, without, within, above, below

The Field of Battle, see the hosts of Stars
Time's ghould has bound them well behind its Bars
The Universe: Earth, Ocean, Sky and all
Awaits with patience Time's most certain Scars

My Life's replete with every Fraud and Sin
A rash and boorish, selfish, wicked jinn
How dreadful if tomorrow my vile Dust
Should swell that poisoned Seed that lies within

How sweetly blooms my own, my lovely Rose
As on her cheek the Shining raindrop flows
This Flower that from the start was my Beloved
Now waits till I upon her Couch repose

Beloved, fill my Cup, your hand employ
To grant me Wine, in nothing else is joy
What good the Sleep that weariness brings on?
Drink Wine if heavenly Sleep you would enjoy

No one has found the road to Heaven, to Hell
Gold ne'er saved the many Men who fell
Be happy, for the gallant ghoul of Death
Both Tamerlane's and Genghis' hordes did quell