One morning, coming from the tavern I heard a voice which said: Come, joyous drinkers, youthful fools, arise, and fil with me a cup of wine, ere Fate shall come to fill the cup of our existence.
O Thou who in the universe a ret the object chosen of my heart! Thou who art more dear than the soul which gives me life, than the eyes which give me light! O Idol, though in life there be no thing more precious than this life, Thou art indeed a hundred times more precious than that life.
Who led thee here this night, thus given up to wine? Who, indeed, raising the veil which hid thee, has been able to lead thee here? Who, finally, brought thee as rapidly as the wind which fans the fire that still burned in thy absence?
We meet but chagrin and misfortune in this world, which serves us as a tent for the time. Alas! No problem of creation has been solved for us, and behold! we leave it with hearts full of regret at knowing naught about it.
O Khadja, give us lawfully a single one of our desires; reserve thy breath and lead us into the way of God. Surely we walk aright; it is thou that seest crosswise; heal, then, thine eyes and leave us here in peace.
Come, come, arise, and, for the healing of my heart, one problem solve for me: yet quickly bring me a pitcher of wine, and let us drink before they make pitchers out of our own dust.
When I am dead, wash me with the juice of the vine; in place of prayer, sing above my tomb the praise of the cup and the wine; and, if you would find me again at the day of doom, seek me in the dust of the tavern floor.
Since no one has ever been able to answer thee from one day to the next, hasten to glad thy heart filled with sadness. Drink, O adorable Moon! drink from thy silver cup, for long shalt thou turn in the firmament without finding us here again.
Would that the lover (the true believer) were intoxicated the whole year, mad, absorbed with wine, covered with dishonor! For, when we have sound reason, chagrin assails us on all sides; but when we are in wine, well, let come what will!
In Heaven's name! with what hope does the sage attach his heart to the illusory treasures of this palace of misfortune? Oh! that the One who gave me the name of drunkard would recant his error, for how can he see the tavern's sign from his exalted abode.
The Koran, which is but a name for The Sublime Word, is, however, read only from time to time and not with constancy; while ever on the brim of the cup is found a verse full of light which one can read always and everywhere.
Thou that drinkest not wine shouldst not for this reason blame the drunkard, for I am ready to renounce God, myself, should He order me to renounce wine. Thou glorifies thyself for not drinking wine, but such glory but ill befits those who commit acts a hundredfold more reprehensible than drunkenness.
Though my body be beautiful, and the perfume it exhales agreeable, though the color of my face rival that of the tulip, and my figure be supple as the cypress, it has not been demonstrated why my celestial author placed me upon this earth.
I would drink so much wine that the odor should come out of the earth when I have been returned to it, and that drinkers who wish to visit my tomb may fall senseless from the sole effect of this odor.
In the region of hope, form as many friends as you can; in the time of existence, bind yourself to a perfect friend, for, know well that a hundred Kaabas, made of earth and water, are not worth one heart. Leave, then, they Kaabas and rather seek a heart.
When I take in my hand a cup of wine and, in the joy of my soul, become intoxicate, then, in that state of fire which devours me, I see a hundred miracles grow real, and words, clear as the most limpid water, come to explain the mystery of all things.
Since the duration of a day is only two stages, make haste to drink wine, the limpid wine; for know well that you near the end of your vanishing existence. And, since you know that this world drags all to decay, be wise, and, also, day and night be drenched in wine.
We who give ourselves up to the will of wine offer with joy our souls in holocaust to the laughing lips of the juice divine. Oh! rapturous sight! Our cup-bearer holds in one hand the neck of the flask and in the other the cup overflowing, as if inviting us to receive the purest of the blood!
Yes, we, seated in the midst of this treasure in ruins, surrounded by wine and dancers, have put in pawn all that we possess: soul, heart, goods -- everything but the cup. We are thus freed from hope of pardon and fear of punishment. We are beyond the air, the earth, and fire and water.
The distance which separates incredulity from faith is but a breath -- that which separates doubt from certainty is equally but a breath. Let us, then, pass this precious space of a breath gaily, for our life also is only separated from death by the space of a breath.
O Wheel of Destiny! destruction comes of thy implacable hate. Tyranny for thee is an act of predilection which thou hast committed from the commencement of centuries; and thou, also, O Earth, if one search in thy bosom, what inappreciable treasures will he not find there!
My turn of existence has slipped around in a few days. It has passed as passes the wind over the desert. Then, while remains to me a breath of life, two days shall be for which I never need be troubled, the day which has not come and that which has now passed.
This priceless ruby comes from a mine of its own, this rare pearl is pregnant with a character its own; our different dogmas on this matter are erroneous, since the enigma of perfect love is explained in a language of its own.
Since to-day is my turn for youth, I intend to pass it in drinking wine, for that is my pleasure. Begin not to talk of its bitterness, to speak ill of this delicious juice, for it is agreeable, and is only bitter because it enforces the bitterness of my life.
O my poor heart! Since thy lot is to be bruised to death by chagrin, since nature wills that thou be wounded each day with some new torment, tell me, O my soul, why stay you in my body, since you must finally leave it some day?
Thou canst not count to-day on seeing the day after to-morrow; even to think of this to-morrow would be the part of folly; if thy heart is awakened, lose not in inaction this instant of life which remains to thee and for the duration of which I see no warranty.
It is not necessary to knock at every door unless there be a reason for it. It is better to accommodate oneself to the good and the bad here below, for hereafter we can only enjoy the number of moves which destiny presents upon the chessboard of this terrestrial ball.
This earthen jug has been, like me, a loving and unhappy creature; it has sighed for a lock of some young beauty's hair; this handle that you see attached to its neck was an amorous arm passed about the neck of some girl.
Before your time or mine, there were many twilights, many dawns, and it is not without reason that the movement of rotation is enforced upon the heavens. Be careful as you place your foot upon this dust, for it has, without doubt, formed the eyes of someone young and fair.
The temple of idols and the Kaaba are places of adoration; the chime of the bells is but a hymn chanted to the praise of the All-Powerful. The Mohammedan pulpit, the church, the chapel, the cross are, in truth, but different stations for rendering homage to the Deity.
Existing things were already predestined upon the tablet of creation. The brush of the universe did not paint good and bad. With destiny God imprinted whatever should be so imprinted, and the efforts that we make in these directions are wholly lost.
I can but vaguely tell my secret to the bad or to the good. I cannot elaborate or explain my thought, which is essentially brief. I see a place of which I can only trace a description; I possess a secret which I cannot unveil.
False money is not current among us. The broom has rid our joyous dwelling of it completely. An old man, returning from the tavern, said to me: Drink wine, my friend, for other lives shall follow yours in your long sleep.
In the face of the decrees of Providence, nothing avails but resignation. Among men nothing avails but seeming and hypocrisy. I have employed every ruse, the strongest that the human mind can invent but destiny has always overturned my projects.
If a stranger shows you fidelity, consider him as a kinsman; but if a kinsman endeavors to betray you, regard him as an enemy. If poison cures you, consider it an antidote, and if the antidote does not agree with you, regard it as a poison.
Except Thy absence there is nothing of worth that can bruise to the quick; he cannot be acute who is not taken with Thy subtle charms, and, although there exist in Thy mind no care for any one, there is none who may not be preoccupied with Thee.
As long as I am not drunk, my happiness is incomplete. When I am overcome with wine, ignorance replaces my reason. But there exists an intermediary state between drunkenness and sound reason. Oh! with what happiness do I enslave myself to such a state, since in it there is life!
Who will believe that He who fashioned the cup could think of destroying it? All these beautiful heads, all these beautiful arms, all these dainty hands, are by what love created and by what hate destroyed?
It is the effect of thy ignorance which makes thee fear death and abhor annihilation, for it is evident that from this annihilation shoots up a branch of immortality. Since my soul has been revived by the breath of Jesus, eternal death has fled far from me.
Imitate the tulip which flowers at New-year's; take, like her, a cup in thy hand and, if the occasion presents itself, drink, drink of wine in happiness with some fair girl whose cheeks are tinted with the color of this flower, for this blue dome, like a breath of wind, can suddenly overturn thee.
Since things are not allowed to come to pass as we desire, to what purpose are our designs and our efforts? We are constantly tormenting ourselves, speaking to ourselves with signs of regret. Ah! we have arrived too late; too soon will it be necessary for us to depart!
Since the celestial wheel and that of destiny have never been favorable, what matters it whether we are able to count seven heavens or believe that there are eight? There are I repeat two days for which I need not care; the day which has not come and that which now is gone.
O Khayyam! why so much sorrow for a sin committed? What comfort more or less do you find in this self-torment? He who has not sinned cannot enjoy the sweetness of pardon. It is for sin that pardon must exist; in that event why entertain a fear?
No one has access to the secrets of God behind the mysterious curtain; no one even in mind can penetrate there; we have no other dwelling than the earthly mind. Oh, regret! for this also is an enigma not less difficult to comprehend.
Long time have I delved in this inconstant world, this momentary shelter; and in my searches have employed all faculties with which I am endowed. Ah, well! and I have found the moon to pale before the light of Thy visage, that the cypress is deformed beside Thy beauteous form.
In the mosque, in the medresseh, in the church, and in the synagogue, they have a horror of Hell and seek for Paradise; but the seed of such disquiet never germinates in the hearts of those who penetrate the secrets of the All-Powerful.
You have traveled over the world! Ah, well! all that you have seen is nothing; all that you have seen and all that you have heard are equally nothing. You have gone from one end of the universe to the other, all that is nothing; you have summed it all up in one corner of your room, all that is nothing, still nothing.
One night I saw in thought a sage who said to me: Sleep, O my friend, has never caused the rose of happiness to bloom for anyone; why lend yourself to aught so similar to death? Rather drink wine, for you will sleep enough when buried in the earth.
Had the human heart an exact knowledge of the secrets of life, it would also know, at the point of death, the secrets of God. If to-day, when you are with yourself, you know nothing, what will you know to-morrow when you shall be separated from yourself?
The day when the heavens shall be confounded, when the stars shall be obscured, I will stop Thee upon Thy way, O Idol! and, taking Thee by the hem of Thy robe, will ask of Thee why Thou hast robbed me of life after giving it to me.
We should tell no secrets to the vilely indiscreet; from the nightingale, even, should we conceal them. Consider, then, the torment you inflict on human souls by forcing them to disrobe thus before the gaze of all.
O Cupbearer! since time is here, ready to break down you and me, this world for neither you nor me can be a place of permanence. But, equally, be well convinced that while this jug of wine is here 'twixt you and me, our God is in our hands.
Long time, index, with cup in hand, I walked among the flowers; nevertheless none of my projects has been realized in this world. But, although wine has not led me to the goal of my desires, I will not stray from its path, for when one follows a road he cannot retrogress.
Put a cup of wine in my hand, for my heart is inflamed, and my life slips away as quicksilver. Arise, then, for the favors of fortune are only a dream; arise, for the fire of thy youth is running away like the water of a torrent.
We are the idolaters of love, but the Musulman differs from us; we are like the pitiful ant, but Solomon is our foe. Our visages should aye be paled with love, and our apparel in rags, and yet the mart for silken stuffs is here below.
To drink wine and rejoice is my gospel of life. To be as indifferent to heresy as to religion is my creed. I asked the bride of the human race what her dowry was, and she answered: My dowry consists in the joy of my heart.
I am worthy neither of Hell nor a celestial abode; God knows from what clay he has moulded me. Heretical as a dervish and foul as a lost woman, I have neither wealth, nor fortune, nor hope of paradise.
Thy passion, man resembles in all things a house dog which never leaves his kennel. It has the slyness of the fox, it lies low like a hare, and to the rage of the tiger adds the voracity of a wolf.
How beautiful they are, these different greens which mingle on the edge of a brook! One thinks they must have had their birth upon the lips of one divinely fair. Place not thy foot upon them with disdain; they spring from dust which, once a face, was tinted with the colors of a rose.
Each heart that God illumines with the light of love, as it frequents the mosque or synagogue, inscribes its name upon the book of love, and is set free from fear of Hell while it awaits the joys of paradise.
A cup of wine is better than the kingdom of Kawous, and preferable to Kobad's throne or to the realm of Thous. The sighs to which, at dawn, a lover is the prey are sweeter than the groans of praying hypocrites.
Though sin hath made me ugly and forlorn, not without hope am I like some idolater relying on his temple gods. So, on the morn I die of yesternight's carouse, give me some wine and call the one Beloved, for Hell and Paradise are one to me.
If I drink wine 'tis not for mere desire; nor for the rousing of the mob or insult to the Faith. No, 'tis for a passing knowledge of relief from self. No other motive could enwreath the cup.
Men claim fore-knowledge, predicating Hell or Heaven. How plain their fault. How asinine their faith! For know that if all lovers of the fair and of the cup deserve a Hell, then Paradise will be a void.
In Cheeban I must not embrace the vine; in Redjeb I am consecrate to HIm. By right these sixty suns to Allah and his Prophet are assigned: let Ramazan in mercy bring the cooling cup again.
Now Ramazan has come, the vintage passed, and pledging of the cup and simple customs are afar. Yet full the wine pots are, and still untouched, and houris wait for us in fond suspense.
This rolling hostelry we call the world, where light and darkness alternate, is but the ruin of a Jamshid's entertainment of a hundred Kings, or e'en a faint memento of a host of hunters like to Bahram's self.
To-day when fortune's rose is burgeoning, fill high the cup. Drink deep, O friend, drink deep, for time is not thy friend or ever willingly repeats a day like this.
This palace where great Bahram loved to drink now herds the young gazelle, and in it lions sleep. Where Bahram snared the swift wild ass, the snare of Time has in its turn snared him.
The clouds expand and weep upon the earth. No longer can we live without the amaranthine cup. The tender green glads weary eyes to-day, but oh! that emerald verdure growing from our dust, whose sight will it rejoice?
To-day, which we call Adine, leave the tiny cup and drink wine from a bowl. If other days you drank but one fair bowl, to-day drink two, for Adine ranks its fellow days, save one.
O heart! since this world makes you sad, since souls so pure must leave the tenement of clay, go, sit upon the verdure of the field sometimes, ere verdure springs in turn from your own dust.
This wine, which by its nature hath a multitude of forms, which now is animal and now is plant, can never cease to be, for its imperishable self ordains a lasting life though forms may disappear.
No smoke ascends above my holocaust of crime: could man ask more? This hand, which man's injustice raises to my head, no comfort brings, even though it touch the hem of saintly robes.
The one on whom you surely most rely, will be your enemy, if but you cleanse the eyes that are within. Far better, for the short time which remains, to count but little on our friends. The talk of men to-day is but a broken reed.
O heedless man! this veil of flesh is naught; this nine-fold vault of brilliant heaven is naught. Then give thyself to joy in this disordered place, for life is but an instant wed to it, and that is equally naught.
Now bring me dancers, wine, and a houri with charming, ravishing features -- if houris there be. Or find a beautiful brook within a green ravine, if such there be. Ask nothing better; think no more of Hell's hot penalties, for, verily, none is, nor any Paradise more fair than that I sing, if Paradise there be.
Came an old man from out the tavern drunk, his prayer-rug on his shoulders and a bowl of wine in hand. I said to him: Aged man! what meaneth this? He answered me: Drink wine, my friend, for this world is naught but wind.
A nightingale, inebriate with love of the rose, within a garden saw the roses laughing with a cup of wine. To me he came and whispered in my ear, in tones appropriate to the circumstance: Be on thy guard, my friend; one cannot hold the life that slips away.
Naught is thy body but a tent, Khayyam: thy soul is its inhabitant, and its last, long home annihilation is. When thy soul leaves the tent, the slaves arise and strike it ere they pitch it for the oncoming soul.
Khayyam, who sewed the tents of philosophic lore, is suddenly engulfed within the crucible of grief, and there is burned. The shears of Fate have cut the thread of his existence; the Auctioneer of Life has sold him for a song.
In springtime let me sit upon the edge of a broad field with one fair girl, and wine in plenty if wine is at hand. Though this may culpable be thought, I should be worse than any dog did I not dream of Paradise.
Rose-colored wine in crystal cups delights. It charms when sipped to lutes' melodious airs or to the plaintive throbbing of the harp. The devotee who knows not of the joy that is in wine is charming to himself or when a thousand miles between us yawn.
The time we pass in this world has no worth without the wine-cup and the wine. It also needs the swelling sound of Irak's flute. Incessant watching of things here below has told me that in pleasure and in joy alone are worth: the rest is naught.
Be on thy guard, my friend, for soon thou wilt be separate from thy soul; thou then shalt go behind the curtain of God's secrecy. Drink, for thou knowest not whence thou here hast come; make haste, for thou art ignorant where thou shalt go.
Since we must die, why do we live? Why agonize to reach a problematic bliss? Since, for some unknown cause, we may not here remain, why not concern ourselves about the future pilgrimage? Why disregard our fate?
Occasion makes me sing the praise of wine when I surround myself with men and things I love. O Devotee! canst thou be happy here below knowing that wisdom is your Lord? Then know, at least, that wisdom is my slave.
The world will ever count me as depraved. Natheless I am not guilty, Men of Holiness! Look on yourselves and question what you are. Ye say I contravene the Koran's law. Yet I have only known the sins of drunkenness, debauchery and leasing.
Free yourselves from your own passions and insatiate greed and lo! you shall go out poor as a mendicant. Look, rather, unto what you are, whence you have come, and learn what you are doing and where bound.
The universe is but a point in our poor round of life; the Oxus but a feeble trace of tears and blood; Hell but a spark of useless worry which we give ourselves, and Paradise an instant of repose, which here below we rarely catch.
A slave in dire revolt am I: where is Thy will? Black with all sin my heart: where is Thy light and Thy control? If Thou giv'st Paradise to our obedience alone to Thy laws, it is a debt of which Thou quit'st Thyself and in such case we need Thy pity and benevolence.
I know not at all whether He who created me belongs to a delicious Paradise or a detestable Hell. But I do know that a cup of wine, a charming girl and a zither at the edge of a green field are three things which I enjoy at present, and that you will find them in the promise that is made you of a future Paradise.
I drink wine, and those who are opposed to it come from the left and from the right to ask me to abstain from it, because, say they, wine is an enemy of religion. But, for that very resin I would drink it, now that I hold myself an adversary of faith, because we are permitted by God to drink the blood of an enemy.
The light of the moon has cut the black robe of night: drink then of wine, for one finds not often moments so precious. Yes, abandon thyself to joy, for this same moon will shine over the surface of the earth a long time after our day.
Imput not to the wheel of the heavens all the good and all the bad which are in man, all the joys and sorrows which come to us by destiny; for this wheel, friend, is a thousand times more embarrassed than thou, in the path of love.
There is no shield which is proof against an arrow hurled by Destiny. Grandeur, money, gold all go for nothing. The more I consider the things of this world, the more I see that the only good is good; all else is nothing.
A heart which does not contain in itself complete abstinence from the things here below is to be pitied, for it is at all times the prey of regret. It is only the heart free from care that can be joyous; all that exists beyond this is but a subject of torment.
He who has had the intelligence to sow joy in his heart has not lost a single day in sorrow; he has employed his faculties in seeking the will of God, or has procured repose for his soul by taking a cup of wine.
When God fashioned the clay of my body, he knew what would be the result of my acts. It is not without His orders that I have committed the sins of which I am guilty; in that case, why should I burn in hell-fire at the last day?
If thou hast drunk wine every consecutive day of the week, take care not to deprive thyself of it on Wednesday, for, according to our religion, there is no difference between this day and Saturday. Be an adorer of the All-Powerful and not an adorer of days.
O my God! Thou art merciful, and mercy is kindness. Why then has the first sinner been thrown out of the terrestrial Paradise? If Thou pardonest me when I obey Thee, it is not mercy. Mercy is present only when Thou pardonest me as the sinner that I am.
Leave knowledge and take the cup in thy hand. Disturb thyself not about Paradise or Hell, but seek rather the Keocer [celestial river of wine]. Sell thy silken turban to buy wine and have no more fear. Rid thyself of that head-dress and envelop thy head in a simple woolen band [emblem of Sufism].
Tell me, friend, have I acquired riches in this world? No. Have I given myself up to time as it was slipping away? No. I am the torch of joy; but that torch once extinguished, I am nothing. I am the cup of Djem [the Royal cup], but that cup once broken, I am no longer anything.
Where are the dancers? Where is the wine? Quick! that I may do honor to the gourd! Happy the heart who remembers his morning cup! Oh! there are three things in this world which are dear to me: a head lost in wine, an amorous girl, and the noise of the dawn.
Since life so soon alps away, what matters it whether it be sweet or bitter? Since the soul must pass through the lips, what matters whether it be at Nishapur or at Balkh? Drink then of wine, for after thee and me, the moon will long pass on from its last quarter to its first, and from the first to last.
This caravan of life passes in curious guise! Be on thy guard, my friend, for it is joy that thus escapes! Disturb not thyself with the sorrow which to-morrow waits our friends, and bring me my cup quickly, for the night fast slips away.
He who has made the foundations of the world, the wheel of the heavens, how He has crucified the heart of man with affliction! How many ruby-colored lips has He buried in this little globe of earth! How many locks of hair perfumed with musk has He hidden in the bosom of the dust!
O careless men! be not duped by this world, since you know its pursuits. Throw not to the wind your precious lives; hasten to seek a friend [God], and quickly drink of wine.
O my companions! pour me some wine and thus change my face, from yellow as amber, to the color of the ruby. When I am dead, lave me in wine, and of the wood of the vine make my coffin and bier.
The day when the celestial war-horse of the golden stars was saddled, when the planet Jupiter and the Pleiades were created, from that day the Divan [Chief Justice] of destiny fixed our lot. In what respect, then, are we guilty, since such is the part that was made for us?
Oh! what damage may the vessels filled to flowing do, and how incomplete are they who possess riches! The eyes of beautiful Turkish women are a feast to the heart, yet they are simple learners from the slaves who own them.
It is necessary that our existence be effaced from the book of life, that we expire in the arms of death. O charming cupbearer, go, gaily bring me wine since my poor earth to earth must come.
At this moment, when my heart is not yet deprived of life, it seems to me that there are few problems that I have not solved. However, when I call intelligence to my aid, when I examine myself with care, I perceive that my existence has slipped away and that I have still defined nothing.
Those who adore the seddjadeh [prayer-rug] are asses, since they throw themselves, with full consent, into the charge of devotees and hypocrites. What is most singular about them is that they, under a mantle of piety, preach Islamism and are, in reality, worse than idolaters.
When the tree of my existence shall be cut down, when my members shall be dispersed, let them make pitchers of my dust and fill these pitchers with wine; then shall my dust be revived [through the wine contained in them].
O Thou, God, before whom sin is without consequence, tell him who possesses intelligence to proclaim this important point: that in the eyes of a philosopher it is an absolute absurdity to make divine fore-knowledge in league with sin.
In the first lace, my being was given me without my consent, which makes my own existence a lasting problem to me. Then, we leave this world with regret, and without having accomplished the aim of our coming, of our stay, at our departure.
When my sins come back to mind, the fire which then burned in my heart makes my boldness stream forth; for everywhere is it established that when a slave repents, a generous master pardons him.
These potters who constantly plunge their fingers into the clay, who employ all their mind, all their intelligence, all their faculties to mould it, even to the crushing of it with their feet and striking with their hands, of what think they? It is the same clay as the human body that they are treating thus.
Those who, through knowledge, are the cream of the world; who, with intelligence scan the heights of the heavens, they also, like the firmament, have their heads turned in their search for divine knowledge, and are taken with vertigo and dimness of sight.
God has promised us wine in Paradise. In that case why should He prohibit it in this world? One day an Arab in a state of drunkenness cut the hams of Hamzah's camel with his sword. It is only for him that our Prophet makes wine illicit.
Since at this moment there only remains to you the memory of pleasure passed away; since for a perfect friend you have only a cup of wine; finally, since that is all you own, rejoice at least in this possession and let the cup not slip from your hands.
Oh! for the time when we shall be no more and the world shall still be here! There will remain no fame or trace of us. The world was not unfinished when we came; naught will be changed when we have gone from it.
Those whose feet have trodden the world, who have run over it for the sake of appropriating the riches of the two hemispheres to themselves, they are not the ones, I believe, who have ever been able to explain the true state, the real situation of things here below.
O regret! The capital [of life] has slipped from our hands. Alas! many hearts have been through death drowned in blood, and no one returns from the other world that I may ask him news of the travelers who have gone.
These numerous great lords, so proud of their titles, are so gnawed by cares and sorrows that existence to them is a burden. And most ridiculous it is that they deign not to call by the name of men those who, unlike to them, are not slaves to their passions.
This lofty Wheel, whose trade it is to tyrannize, has never loosed for man the knot of any difficult. Wherever it has seen an ulcerated heart, there has it come to add wound unto wound.
Alas! the period of adolescence reaches home. The springtime of our pleasures slips away! That bird of gaiety which is called youth, alas! I know not when it came nor when it flew away!
In the midst of this whirlpool of the world, hasten to gather some fruit. Seat thyself upon the throne of gaiety and bring the cup to thy lips. God is indifferent both to creed and sin; enjoy then here below, what pleases thee.
Do you see those two or three imbeciles who hold the world in their hands, and who, in their candid ignorance, believe themselves the wisest in the universe? Do not disturb yourself for, in their high content, they deem all heretics who are not asses [like themselves].
Would that the tavern could always be animated by the presence of drinkers, that fire would reach the hem of the holy robe of devotees, that their monk's frock might be torn to tatters and their blue woolen garment be trampled under the feet of the drinkers.
How long wilt thou be a dupe to colors and perfumes? When wilt thou cease to seek out good and bad? Thou mightest be the source of Zemzem, thou mightest even be the water of life since thou wouldst not know how to escape entering the bosom of the earth.
Renounce not the drinking of wine if you have any, for a hundred repentances follow one such resolution. The roses scatter their blossoms, the nightingales fill the air with their song, and would it be reasonable to renounce drinking in a moment like this?
As long as the friend [God] will pour for me the wine which rejoices my soul, as long as the heavens have not deposited a hundred kisses upon my head and feet, whatever they may do, when the moment comes, to induce me to renounce drinking, how can I renounce it, God not having ordered me to?
Whoever has constancy will not renounce drinking wine, for wine has within itself the virtue of the water of life. If any one renounce it during the month of Ramazan, let him at least abstain from engagement in prayer.
When I am dead, smooth to the level of the soil the dust of my tomb, that I may thus be an example to other men. Then, mix with wine the earth of my body and make of it -- a cover for a wine-jar.
O Khayyam! although the Wheel of the Heavens has, in setting up his tent, closed the door to discussions, [it is evident, nevertheless,] that the cupbearer of eternity [God] has produced, in the form of globules of wine in the cup of creation, a thousand other Khayyams like thee.
Give thyself to gaiety, for sorrow will be infinite. The stars will continue movement in the firmament, and the bricks which will be made of thy body will serve to construct palaces for others.
Pass joyously thy life, for many other travelers will file through this world; the soul will cry after the body from which it will be separated, and the head, the seat of the passions, will be trampled under the potter's feet.
Happy the heart of him who has passed unknown, who has not been clothed in a robe of ceremony, nor in luxurious garments, nor in stuffs of great price, who, like the simourg, is lifted into the skies to the place of his delight as the owl sits among the ruins of this world.
Drinkers alone know how to appreciate the language of the roses and of wine, and not the feeble in heart or the poor in spirit. Those who have no idea of what is occult, to them ignorance is pardonable, for drunkards alone can understand what belongs to such an order of things.
Once in the tavern, one can make his ablutions only with wine. There, when a name is oiled, it cannot be restored. Bring, then, some wine, since the veil of our shame is torn in such a manner that it cannot be repaired.
Pierced with a vain hope, I have thrown to the wind a part of my existence, and that without having known here below a day of happiness. That which I fear now is that time will prevent me from seizing the opportunity to make amends for the past.
Alas! my heart has not been able to find any remedy [for its grief]; my soul has arrived at the edge of my lips [death], without having attained the object of its love. Alas! my life has passed in ignorance, and the enigma of this love has not been explained.
In the regions of the soul, it is necessary to walk with discernment; upon the things of this world, it is well to be silent. While we have our eyes, our tongues, and our ears, we should be without eyes, without tongues, and without ears.
In this world, he who commands a loaf of bread and who can cover his body with any garment whatsoever, he who is neither master nor servant, tell him to live content, for he has a sweet existence.
One should not plant in his heart the tree of sadness. On the contrary, he should ever peruse the book of joy. One should drink wine, and follow the trend of his own heart, for behold, the length of time remaining to you in this world is quickly measured.
Has Thy empire gained in splendor by my obeisance, O God? Or have my sins retrenched in any degree Thy immensity? Pardon, O God, and do not punish, for I know well that Thou punishest late and pardonest early.
It would be troublesome if my hand, accustomed to seize the cup, took the Koran and depended upon Mohammedan diet. With you it is different; you are a dry devotee, while I am a depraved one, moist [through drink], and the only fire I know is kindled by wine.
Upon earth, no one presses to his heart a charmer with cheeks of the tints of a rose without the time comes that he feels the sting of the thorn. See the comb: before it could caress the perfumed hair of the beauty, it had to be cut into many teeth.
Would that I had constantly in my hand the juice of the vine! Would that my love for these beautiful idols, that are like houris, might never leave my heart! They say to me: God has ordered you to renounce these things. Oh! should He give me such a command, I would not obey it. Far be the thought!
Behold, I must go, and life is saddened by my going; for, out of a hundred precious pearls but one have I pierced. Alas! thanks to the ignorance of men, a hundred thousand things of deepest import yet remain unheard.
To-day the season smiles; 'tis neither hot nor cold. The clouds have washed away the dust which dimmed the roses; and nightingales seem whispering to the yellow flowers that wine is balm for all.
The day when I shall know myself no more, and when they will speak of me as of a fable, then I desire [do I dare say it?] that my clay be made into a jar for wine and destined to service at the tavern.
Drink thou of wine before thy name shall vanish from this world, for, when this nectar enters thy heart, sorrow disappears. Unbind strand by strand the hair of thy charming idol, before the jointure of thy frame itself is loosed.
O idol! ere sorrow comes to assail thee, order rose-colored wine. Thou art not gold, O imbecile! to believe that after burial in the earth, you can be drawn from it again.
This world has not derived any advantage from my coming here below. Its glory and its dignity are equally unaffected by my departure. My two ears have never heard any one say why I have come, or why I am forced to go again.
All thy secrets are known to the wisdom of Heaven [God]; He knows them hair by hair and vein by vein. I admit that by power of hypocrisy you may be able to deceive men, but what will you do before Him who knows your misdeeds one by one in every detail?
Wine gives wings to those attacked by melancholy; wine is a mole of beauty upon the cheek of intelligence; we have not drunk of it during the Ramazan which has passed, but now the eve of [the month of] Burak hath arrived and we shall make amends.
Live in joy, for the time is coming when all the creatures that you see will disappear under the earth; drink, drink of wine, and never abandon yourself to the sorrow of this world. Those who come after you only too soon become a prey to it.
There is not a night when my mind is not in a state of stupefaction. There is not one when my breast is not inundated with pearls that flow from my eyes. The disquiet which possesses me keeps the bowl of my head from filling itself with wine; can a bowl overturned ever by filled?
When my nature has seemed disposed to fasting and prayer, I have a moment's hope that I am going to attain the aim of my desires; but alas! a breath of wind has sufficed to destroy the efficacy of my ablutions, and a mouthful of wine has annihilated my fast.
All my being is attracted by the sight of beautiful, rose-colored faces; my hand is aye ready to seize a cup of wine. Oh, I wish to enjoy for its part what belongs to each of my members, ere these same members are lost in the Whole.
A worldly love knows not how to produce reflection. It is like a fire half extinguished which no longer gives heat. A true love should know neither tranquility, nor repose, nor nourishment, nor sleep for months and years, day nor night.
How long wilt thou pass thy life in adoring thyself, and seeking the cause of annihilation of thy being? Drink wine, for a life that is followed by death is better spent in sleep or drunkenness.
To-morrow I shall have surmounted the mountain which separates us, and with indescribable happiness take the cup in my hand. My mistress longs for me, the day is bright; if I do not hasten to enjoy myself in such a moment, when shall I find enjoyment?
There are people who through outrageous presumption are sunk in pride; and others who abandon themselves to the houris of celestial palaces. When the curtain is raised, we shall see that they have fallen far, far, far, from Thee [O God]!
We are assured that there is a Paradise for us peopled with houris, and that we shall find there limpid wine and honey. It must then be permitted us to love women and wine here below, for is not this our end and aim?
They pretend that there exists a Paradise where there are houris, where the Koocer flows, where there is limpid wine, honey and sugar. Oh! fill quickly a cup of wine and put it in my hand, for one present joy is worth more than a thousand promised for the future.
Even a mountain would dance for joy if you soaked it in wine. Poor is the fool who scorns the cup. You dare order me to renounce the juice of the vine! Know then that wine is a soul which helps to bring man to perfection.
From time to time my heart finds itself much straitened in its cage. Shameful is it to be mixed with water and clay. I have often thought of destroying this prison, but my foot would come in contact with a stone and slip on the stirrup of the Koran's law.
They say that the moon of Ramazan [month of fasting] is about to appear and that wine must no longer be thought of. It is well; but let me during the remainder of Cheeban [the month preceding] drink such a quantity of it that I may remain drunk up to the day of the fast.
Cease, if ye are my friends, all vain discourse, and, to relieve my mental pains pour out the wine. And when to dust my frame returns, the self-same dust collect and make it brick to stop some crevice in the tavern wall.
The beverage of our existence is sometimes limpid, sometimes muddy. Our garments are at one time of coarse wool, at another of finest fabric. All this is insignificant to a clear mind; but is it insignificant to die?
No one has penetrated the secrets of the Principle [First Cause]. No one has taken a step outside himself. I look about and see only insufficiency from pupil to master, insufficiency in all that the mother brings forth.
Restrain thy envy of the things of this world if thou wishest to be happy; break the bonds which enchain thee to the good and the bad here below; live contented, for the periodic movement of the heavens takes its course, and this life will not be of long duration.
No one has had access behind the curtain of destiny; no one has knowledge of the secrets of Providence. For seventy-two years I have reflected day and night, I have learned nothing anywhere, and the enigma remains unexplained.
They say that at the last day there will be judgments, and that our dear Friend [God] will be in anger. But from pure goodness only goodness emanates. Be then without fear, for finally you will see that He is full of gentleness.
Drink wine, since it is that which will put an end to the disquiet of thy heart; it will deliver thee from thy meditations upon the seventy-two sects of the globe. Do not abstain from this alchemy for, if thou drinkest but a men [measure] of it, it will destroy for thee a thousand infirmities.
Wine has been prohibited, perhaps, but it is only prohibited according to the person who drinks it, according to the quantity drunk, and according to the individual with whom we drink it. These points once observed, who would drink it if not the wise?
For myself, I should pour some wine into cup that would contain a pint. I should be content with two cups; but first I should divorce myself thrice from religion and reason, and then espouse the daughter of the vine.
Yes, I drink wine, and whoever like me is far-seeing will find that this act is insignificant in the eyes of the Divinity. From all eternity God has known that I would drink wine. If I did not drink it, His prescience would be pure ignorance.
The drinker, if he is rich, ruins himself. The disorder of his drunkenness provokes scandal in the world. For this I should put an emerald in the bowl of my ruby pipe, effectually to blind the serpent of my grief.
There are some ignorant beings who have never passed a night in quest of truth, who have never taken a step outside themselves, who show themselves clothed in the garments of great lords and who are pleased to slander those whose conduct is irreproachable.
When the azure of dawn shows itself, have the sparkling cup in thine hand. They say that truth is bitter in the mouth of mortals. That is a plausible reason for wine being truth itself.
This is the moment when the verdure begins to ornament the world, when, like the hand of Moses, the buds begin to show themselves upon the branches; when, revivified, as if by the breath of Jesus, the plants spring forth from the earth; when finally the clouds begin to ope their eyes and weep.
Keep from the trouble and vexation of aiming to acquire white silver or yellow gold. Eat with thy friend, ere thy warm breath be cooled, for after thee come enemies who will eat thee.
Each mouthful of wine which the cupbearer pours into the cup helps to extinguish the fire of anger in thy burning eyes. Has it not ben said, O great God, that wine is an elixir which drives from the heart a hundred sorrows that oppress it?
When the violet has tinted her cheeks, when the zephyr has made the roses bloom, then he who is wise in company with the fact will drink wine until he can dash the cup against a stone [showing emptiness].
The devotee knows not how to appreciate as well as we Thy divine pity. A stranger can never know Thee as perfectly as a friend. [They pretend] that Thou hast said: If you commit sin, I will send you into Hell. Go now -- tell that to one who knows Thee not.
A cup of wine is worth the empire of the universe; the brick which covers the jar is worth a thousand lives. The napkin with which one wipes lips moistened with wine is indeed worth a thousand turbans.
O Friends! meet together [after my death]. Once reunited, rejoice in being together and, when, the cupbearer takes in his hand a cup of old wine, remember poor Khayyam and drink to his memory.
Not a single time has the Wheel of Heaven been propitious to me, never for one instant has it allowed me to hear a sweet voice, not a day has it given me a second of happiness but that very day it has plunged me into an abyss of grief.
A cup of wine is worth a hundred hearts, a hundred creeds; a mouthful of this juice divine is worth the Empire of China. What is there, truly, on the earth preferable to wine? It is a bitter that is a hundred times sweeter than life.
The Wheel of Heaven only multiplies our griefs! It places nothing here below that it does not soon bear away. Oh! if those who have not yet come knew the suffering this world inflicts, they would guard themselves well from coming here.
Drink, drink this wine which gives eternal life; drink, for it is the source of youthful joy: it burns like fire, but, like life's essence, drives away your care. Then drink!
O Friend, to what good art thou preoccupied with being? Why trouble thus thy heart, thy soul with idle thoughts? Live happily, pass thy time joyously, for you were not asked your opinion about the making of things as they are.
The inhabitants of the tomb are returned to earth in dust; the atoms [of which they are composed] are scattered here and there, separated one from the other. Alas! what is this drink in which the human race is soaked and which holds it thus in dizzy ignorance of all things, even to the day of doom?
O heart! act as if all the good things of this world belonged to you; imagine that this house is provided with everything, that it is richly furnished, and live joyously in this domain of disorder. Realize that thou restest here for two or three days, and that thereafter thou shalt rise and go away.
The dogmas of religion admit only that which places you under obligation to the Divinity. That morsel of bread that you have, refuse not to others; keep from speaking evil; render evil to no one, and it is I who promise you a future life: bring wine.
Dragged through the rapid course of time, which accords its favors only to the least worthy, my life is passed in a gulf of grief and sorrow. In this garden of being, my heart is hard as is the green bud of a rose; and like a tulip, it is dipped in blood.
What belongs to youth is wine, the limpid juice of the vine and the society of beauty; and since water once brought ruin to this world by annihilating it, it is our part to drown ourselves in wine, to pass our life in drunkenness complete.
Bring wine from this ruby vessel and pour it into a simple crystal cup; bring that thing habitual and dear to every noble man. Since you know that all beings are but dust, and that a two-day tempest makes them disappear, bring wine.
O Thou, the quest of whom holds all in dizziness and distress, the dervish and the rich are equally void of means of reaching Thee. Thy name is in the speech of all, but all are deaf; Thou art present to the eyes of all, but all are blind.
In company with one dear friend, how pleasing to me is a cup of wine. When I become the prey of care, it is fitting that my eyes should be filled with tears. Oh! this abject world has nothing lasting for us, and best it is to dwell inebriate.
Keep thyself from drinking wine in the company of a boorish, violent character, having no mind or self-control, for such a man knows only how to cause unpleasantness. For the time, thou wouldst have to undergo the disorder of his drunkenness, his vociferations, his folly. And the next day, his prayers for excuse and pardon would come to weary thy head.
Since you only possess what God has given you, torment not yourself to obtain the object of your covetousness. Keep from burdening the heart too much, for the final drama consists in leaving all and passing beyond.
O my soul! drink this limpid nectar which has not been stirred; drink it in memory of the charming idols which ravish the heart. Wine is the blood of the vine, my friend, and the vine says to thee: Drink of me, since I render it lawful to you.
In the season of flowers, drink rose-colored wine; drink to the plaintive sounds of the lute, to the melodious noise of the harp. As for me, I drink and rejoice in it; may it be salutary to me! If you do not drink, why not be willing that I should? Go, then, and eat pebbles!
Art thou sad? Take a piece of hasheesh as large as a grain of barley, or drink a small measure of rose-colored wine. Then you will become a Sufi. But, if you will not drink of this or partake of that, nothing remains for you but to eat pebbles; go, eat some pebbles.
But yesterday, I saw a potter in a bazaar treading most vigorously the clay he was molding. The clay seemed to say to him: I also have been like thee; treat me, then, with less harshness.
If thou drinkest wine, drink it with intelligent people, drink it in company with thy ravishing idols, with smiles upon their lips and their cheeks tinted with the colors of the tulip. Drink not too much or speak boastingly of it; make it not a refrain, but drink a little from time to time in quietude.
Wine should be drunk in the company of slender creatures who ravish the heart with the color of their cheeks. Art thou bitten by the serpent of grief, friend -- drink, then, of this antidote. I myself drink of it and plume myself on the strength of it; would that it might be propitious! If you drink it not, why not be willing that I should? Go, eat some earth.
Here is the Dawn; arise, O beardless youth, and quickly fill this crystal cup with ruby wine, for [later], you could seek long time ere finding such a moment of existence as is lent us in this world of nothingness.
'Twixt wine and Jemshid's throne, give me the wine; the bouquet of the cup is sweeter than the Virgin's heaven-sent fruits. The morning sigh of one inebriate the bygone night is more melodious than the longdrawn lamentations of Adhem or Bou-Said.
O my heart! since the foundation, even, of the things of this world is only a fiction, why do you venture thus in an infinite gulf of sorrow? Trust yourself to destiny, endure the evil, for the lot which the heavenly brush has traced for you will not be effaced.
Of all those who have taken the long road, who is there now returned of whom I may ask news? O friend! beware of putting any hope whatever in this sordid world, for, know well that thou here shalt ne'er return.
Since each of these nights and each of these days cuts off a part of thy existence, allow not the nights or the days to cover thee with dust. Pass them gaily, for how long, alas! shalt thou be absent, while the nights and days will still be here!
This wheel of heaven which tells its secrets to no man, has killed a thousand Mahmouds [Sultans] and a thousand Ayaz [favorites]; drink wine, for the life of none shall ever be restored. Alas! not one of all those who left the world can again return!
O Thou who rulest the whole universe! knowest Thou what are the days when wine rejoices the soul? They are: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all day long.
O Being, exquisite in thy enticing and coquettish charm! be seated: rise no more and thus appease the fire of a thousand torments. Thou enjoinest me not to look upon Thee; but it is as if Thou shouldst order me to incline the cup and forbid me spilling its contents.
Better to be with Thee in the tavern, and there tell Thee my secret thoughts, than to go without Thee and make a prayer in the mosque. Yea, O Creator of all that was and all that is! such is my faith, whether Thou burnest me, or accordest me Thy favor.
Consort with honest and intelligent men. Flee a thousand miles away from the ignorant. If a man of mind give thee poison, drink it; if an ignorant one present thee an antidote, pour it upon the ground.
The clouds are still spread out above the roses and seem to cover them as with a veil. The desire for wine is not yet satiated in my heart. THen go not to rest, it is not yet the hour. O my soul, drink of the wine; drink, for the sun is still upon the horizon.
Like unto a sparrow-hawk, I am flying away from this world of mysteries, hoping to lift myself to a higher world; but, fallen, here below, and finding no one worthy to share my secret thoughts, I go out through the door by which I entered.
Thou hast put in us an irresistible passion [which is equivalent to an order from Thee], and, on the other hand, forbiddest us to give way to it. Poor human beings are in extreme embarrassment between this order and this prohibition, for it is as if Thou commandest me to upset the cup but refrain from spilling the contents.
They are gone, these transients, and no one of them has returned to tell the secrets concealed behind the curtain. O devotee! it is by humility that spiritual affairs take favorable turn and not by prayer, for, what is prayer without sincerity and humility.
Throw dust upon the vault of heaven and drink some wine; seek out the fair, for where see you a subject for pardon, a subject for prayer, since, of all those who have gone away, no one has returned?
Although on my necklace of duty I have never strung the pearl of submission, as is Thy due, although never in my heart have I swept the dust from Thy steps, I have never despaired reaching the sill of Thy throne of pity, for never have I importuned Thee with my troubles.
Let us recommence the course of our pleasures and say the tekbir [farewell] to the five prayers. Everywhere, where the flask is present, you will see, like the neck of the flask itself, our necks stretching out towards the cup.
Here below, we are only the puppets with which the Wheel of Heaven is amused. This is a truth and not a metaphor. We are in fact the playthings upon this human checkerboard, which finally we leave to enter one by one the coffin of annihilation.
You ask me what is this phantasmagoria of things here below. To tell you the whole truth regarding it would be too long: it is a fantastic image which comes out of a vast sea, and which re-enters, later, the same vast sea.
To-day we are lost in love, we are in deep distress, and finally inebriate, within the temple of our idols render to the cult of wine its due. To-day, entirely separate from our being, we shall have attained the step of the eternal throne.
My well-beloved [would that her life might last as long as my sorrows!] has commenced to be amiable to me again. She cast in my eyes a sweet and furtive look and disappeared, saying without doubt to herself: Do good and cast it on the waters.
Here is the Dawn! Rise Thou, O Source of all Delight! Drink sweetly of the wine and let us listen to the harmonies of the harp, for the life of those who sleep will not be long, and of those who are no more, not one will e'er return.
O Thou, who knowest the secrets hidden most deeply at the bottom of the heart of each, Thou who raisest with Thy hand all those who fall in distress, give me the power of renunciation and accept my excuses, O God! -- Thou who givest this power to all, who acceptest the excuses of all!
I saw on the walls of the city of Thous a bird hovering before the skull of Kai-Kawous. The bird said to the skull: Alas! what has become of the noise of thy glory and the sound of the clarion?
Raise no question of the vicissitudes of this world, nor of affairs of the future. Consider what a prize we have in the present moment, and disturb not thyself with the past or question me about the future.
Let not the fear of future things make thee tremble with fright; rejoice, in this world of annihilation, at the portion of pleasure which comes to you, and wait not for that which the kindness of heaven may withhold.
If you will listen to me, I will give you some advice: For the love of God put not on the mantle of hypocrisy. Eternity is for all time, and this world is but an instant. Then sell not for an instant the empire of eternity.
How long can I hold you by my ignorance? My own annihilation oppresses my heart. Straightway I gird my loins with the ephod of the priests. Do you know why? Because it is the fashion of the Musulman, and I am one.
O Khayyam! when intoxicate, be happy; when seated near a beauty, joyous be. Since the end of things in this world is annihilation, pretend that you are not, but since you are, give yourself up to pleasure.
Yesterday, I visited the workshop of a potter; there I saw two thousand pitchers, some speaking, others silent. Each one of these seemed to say to me: Where is the potter? Where is the buyer of pitchers? Where the seller?
Yesterday, while passing drunk before an inn, I met an old man overcome with wine and carrying a gourd of wine upon his back. I said to him: O aged man! have you no fear of God? He answered me: Pity comes from Him; go, drink some wine.
How long will lack of success in thy enterprises grieve thee? Torment is the portion of those who think of the future. Live then, in joy, grieve not thy heart with the cares of this world, and know that wine increases not at all the bitterness of pain.
Wine, which the wise man knows how to appreciate, is for me the water of life and I its prophet am. It is balm for the heart, an elixir which fortifies the foul. Has God Himself not said: The benefits of the human race are found in wine.
Although wine be prohibited, drink it without ceasing, drink it in the evening and in the morning, drink it to the noise of songs and to the sound of the harp. When you can, procure that which sparkles like the ruby, throw a drop on the earth and drink all the rest.
Diversity of creed divides the human race into about seventy-two sects. Amongst all these dogmas, I have chosen that of Thy love. What signify these words: Impiety, Islamism, creed, sin? My true aim is to seek Thee. Far be from me all these vain, indifferent pretexts.
Enumerate my good qualities one by one; my faults, pass by in tens. Pardon each sin committed for the love of God. Fan not the fire of hatred by the breath of passion; pardon, rather, in memory of the tomb of the Prophet of God [Mohammed].
In truth, wine is a limpid spirit in the cup; in the body of the flask, it is a transparent soul. No annoying person is worthy of my society. It is only the cup of wine which can figure there, for that is at once a solid and a diaphanous body.
O Wheel of Heaven! Thou art complete in Thy ingratitude. Thou keepest me constantly bare [naked] like a fish. The weaver's loom weaves clothes for human beings; more charitable is it than Thou, O Wheel of Heaven!
O Khayyam! Time is ashamed of him who allows his heart to be saddened by vicissitudes below; drink, then, to the sound of the harp, drink some wine from the crystal, before the crystal broken be upon a stone.
If the rose is not our portion, do not the thorns remain? If light divine does not reach us, is there not the fire [of hell]? If we have not the clerical mantle, or that of the temple, or the pontifical, do not the bells, the church, and the ephod remain to us?
If the Wheel of Heaven refuses me peace, am I not ready for war? If I have not an honorable reputation, have I not shame for myself? Here is the cup full of wine the color of rubies; he who will not drink of it, has he not his head and a stone?
See Dawn appears. Already has it rent the veil of night. Arise, then, and empty the morning cup. Why this sadness? Drink, O my heart! drink, for these dawns will succeed each other with face turned towards us, when we shall have ours turned towards the earth.
All that this world contains are but images and flourishes of fiction. Ill-advised is he who does not comprehend his place in the number of these images. Repose, thou, friend, drink a cup of wine, give thyself up to joy and thus be delivered from all these vain figures, from these impossible reflections [which come to assail thy mind].
When you are in the company of a beauty with cypress-like figure and a color fresher than the newly-culled rose, put not far from thee the flowers of the field, nor let the cup escape from thy hand; [do this] before the north-wind of death, like a gale which disperses the leaves of the roses, tears in tatters the envelope of thy being.
How long these cries, these groans against the things of this world? Rise, rather, and pass gaily every instant. When the universe shall be re-dressed in green from end to end, drink wine in a ruby cup, full to the brim.
Give not vain thoughts free access to thy mind. Drink wine throughout the year, and always cups filled to the brim. Pursue the daughter of the vine and aye rejoice, for it is better to enjoy the daughter without leave of law than know the mother with her full consent.
My love is at the apogee of its flame. The beauty of the one who captivates my soul [the Divinity] is complete. My heart speaks, but my tongue remains mute, refusing to express my sentiments. Great God! Has one ever seen aught more strange? I am devoured by thirst, and before me flows a fresh and limpid draught!
Take a cup of wine in thy hand, then mingle thy voice with that of the nightingale, for, if it were meet to drink this juice of the vine without accompaniment of harmonious sound, the wine itself would make no noise in slipping out of the flask.
Guard thyself from ever despairing for a crime committed, and be mindful of the clemency of thy Creator, the pity of the Master; for, should'st thou die to-day, in a state of complete drunkenness, to-morrow he would pardon thy decaying dust for all.
O Wheel of Heaven, thy circular course does not satisfy me. Deliver me from it, for I am unworthy of thy chain. If thy good pleasure consists in according thy favors only to the poor in mind, to idiots, I am neither intelligent enough or wise enough [to be confounded by it].
O mufti [grand judge] of the city! I am more a worker than art thou. Drunk as I am, I own more intelligence than thou; for thou, thou drinkest the blood of human beings and I that of the vine. Be just and tell me which is the more sanguinary of the two?
That which is wisest is to seek joy in our hearts in a cup of wine; and not preoccupy ourselves too much with the present or the past; and, finally, were it only for an instant, to free from the shackles of reason that soul which has been loaned us and which groans in its prison.
The moment I shall fly from death, when, like the dry leaves, the particles of my body shall detach themselves from the centers of life, o, then! with what joy shall I pass across the universe, as through a sieve, before the mason comes to sift my own dust.
That vault of heaven, under which we reel, we might, in thought, liken to a lantern. The universe is the lantern. The sun represents the light, and we, like the images with which the lantern is ornamented, dwell there in stupefaction.
Thou hast formed me of earth and of water, what can I do? Whether I be wool or silk, it is Thou that hast woven, and what can I do? The good that I do, the evil that I am guilty of, were alike predestined by Thee; what can I do?
O friend, come to me, and let us take no thought of to-day nor to-morrow, but consider our short instant of existence as spoils. To-morrow, when we shall have abandoned this old tent [the world], we shall be the companions of those who left it seven thousand years ago!
Never for a moment be deprived of wine, for it is wine that gives reflection to intelligence, to the heart of man and to religion. If the devil had tasted it for one instant he would have adored Adam and have made before him thousands of genuflections.
Arise, dance, and we shall clap our hands. Drink to the presence of beauties with the languorous eyes of the narcissus. Happiness is not very great when one has emptied but a score of cups; it is strangely complete when one arrives at the sixtieth.
I have shut upon myself the door of avarice, and am thus free from obligation to those who are men and those who do not merit the name. Since there exists but one friend [God] toward whom I can extend my hand, I am what I am, and that concerns only Him and me.
I am constantly saddened by the motion of this Wheel of the Heavens. I am in revolt against my vile nature. I have neither enough knowledge to hide myself and not return to the world, nor intelligence enough to live there without preoccupying myself with it.
How many people that I see upon the surface of the earth are plunged in sleep [superstition]! How many I perceive that are already buried in its depths! When I throw my eyes over this desert of Not-being, how many people I see who have not yet come -- how many who have already departed!
Thy pity being promised me, I have no fear of sin. With the provision that Thou possessest, I have no disquiet about the journey. Thy benevolence renders my visage white and of the black book I have no fear.
Be not led to believe that I fear the world, or that I have fear of dying, or of seeing my soul go its way. Death being a truth, I have no fear of it. What I fear is that I have not lived well.
How long shall we be slaves to reason and to every day? What matters it whether we remain a hundred years in this world, or whether we dwell here but a day? Go, bring some wine in a bowl before we are transformed into pitchers in the workshop of some potter.
How long will you blame us, O ignorant man of God! We are the patrons of the tavern, we are constantly overcome with wine. You are given up entirely to your chaplet, to your hypocrisy, and your infernal machinations. We, cup in hand and always near the object of our love, live in accordance with our desires.
Let us sell the diadem of Khan, the crown of Kai, let us sell it and buy the sound of a flute, let us sell the turban and the silken cassock, yea, for a cup of wine let us sell the chaplet which in itself contains naught but hypocrisy.
That day when the juice of the vine does not ferment in my head, the universe could offer me an antidote which would be a poison to me. Yea, sorrow over the things of this world is a poison, and its antidote is wine. I will take the antidote then that I may have no fear of the poison.
How long shall we blush at the injustice of others? How long shall we burn in the fire of this insipid world? Arise, banish from thee the sorrow of the world, if thou art a man; to-day is a feast; come, drink rose-colored wine.
I am in continual war with my passions, but what can I do? The memory of my deeds causes me a thousand regrets, but what can I do? I admit that in Thy clemency Thou mayest pardon my faults, but the shame of knowing that Thou mayest pardon my faults, but the shame of knowing that Thou knowest what I have done, that shame will remain, and what can I do?
O my soul! we two form together the parallel of a compass. Although we have two points, we make but one body. Actually, we turn upon the same point and describe a circle, but the day will come finally, when these two points shall be united.
Since this world is not a place of permanent sojourn for us, it would be an enormous error to deprive ourselves of wine and abstain from the favors of our well-beloved. Oh, peaceable man! how long these discussions upon the creation or upon the eternity of the world? When I no longer am, what will it matter to me whether it be ancient or modern.
Although it may be through duty that I present myself at the mosque, it certainly is not for the purpose of making a prayer. One day I stole a sedjaddeh [prayer-rug]. The sedjaddeh is worn out; I have returned again and still again.
Be not cast down by the troubles which we call vicissitudes here below. Let us occupy ourselves only in drinking pure wine, limpid wine, the color of a rose. Wine, friend, is the blood of the world. The world is our murderer; how shall we resist drinking the blood of the heart of him who spills ours?
For the love which I bring thee, I am ready to undergo all sorts of blame, and if I violate my vow, I submit to the penalty. Oh! had I to endure until the last day the torment that thou causest me, that space of time would still seem too short.
We have arrived too late in this circle of being, and have descended below human dignity. Oh! since life is not passed in accordance with or vows, ti is better that it should be finished, for we are glutted with it!
Since the world is perishable, I would devise some scheme for it; I would think only of joy, or only of the limpid wine. They say to me: Would God might make thee renounce it! Nay, would that He might not give such command, for if He gave it, I would not obey!
When, with bowed head, I have fallen at the feet of death; when this destroying angel shall have made me like a bird robbed of its plumage, then of my dust make nothing other than a flask, for the perfume of the wine that it contains might revive me for an instant.
When I examine closely the things of this world, what I see is that human beings in general appropriate to themselves, without merit on their part, the good it contains. As for me, O God All-Powerful! I meet only the reverse of my desires in all that falls under my eyes!
It is I who am the chief of habitual patrons of the tavern; it is I who am plunged in rebellion against the law, it is I who, during the long nights, soaked in pure wine, cry out to God the griefs of my heart imbrued with blood.
How grow the nights without which we could not close our eyes, and before which a cruel fate comes first to sadden us! Arise, and let us breathe an instant ere the breath of the morning stirs, for, very long, alas! will this Dawn breathe when we no longer breathe!
Come, see the Dawn, and, with a full cup of rose-colored wine in hand, let us breathe for an instant. As for honor, reputation, that fragile crystal, let us break it against a stone. Renounce insatiable desires, and stroke the silken tresses of the fair and list the harmonies of the harp.
In this world, where each breath we breathe leads to a new sorrow, it is better never to breathe an instant without a cup of wine in hand. When the breath of Aurora makes itself felt, arise and, time after time, empty the cup, for [as I have told you] this Dawn will breathe for long, long years when we no longer breathe.
Should I commit all the sins of the universe, still Thy pity, I dare believe, would extend its hand to me. Hast Thou not promised to put off the day when I should be a prey to my infirmities? [Accomplish Thy promise and for that] exact not a state more frightful than that in which Thou seest me at this moment.
If I am drunk with old wine, ah, well! I am. If I am an infidel, fire worshipper or idolater, ah, well! that I am. Each group of individuals forms some idea on my account. But what matters it? I belong to myself and I am what I am.
From the time since I am, I have not been for an instant without drunkenness. This night is that of Kidr and I this night am drunk; my lips are glued to that of the cup and, leaning my breast against the jar, I have held the neck of the flask in my hand until day.
I am constantly attracted by the sight of limpid wine, my ears are ever attentive to the melodious sounds of the flute and of the rubab [viol]. Oh, if the potter make a pitcher of my dust, would that that pitcher might constantly be full of wine!
I understand all that annihilation and being apparently mean; I know the foundation of lofty thought. Ah, well! may all this knowledge be annihilated in me if I recognize in man a higher state than that of drunkenness!
I indeed drink wine, but I commit no disorder. I stretch out my hand, but it is only to seize the cup. Would you know why I am an adorer of wine? It is because I do not wish to imitate you and be an adorer of myself.
Are you discreet enough for me to tell you in a few words what man has been from the beginning? A miserable creature, moulded in the clay of chagrin. He has, for a few years, eaten his morsel here below, and then has raised his foot and gone away.
It is the rim of the wine-jar which we have chosen for our place of prayer; it is in making use of wine that we are rendered worthy of the name of man; it is in the tavern that we get back the time lost in the mosque.
It is we who are the true aim of universal creation; it is we who, in the eyes of wisdom, are the essence of divine regard. The circle of this world is like a ring and, without doubt, we are the jeweled signet of it.
Drunkenness has transported us from our own misery here below to untold joys; from our humble condition, it has raised our heads to the skies. Nevertheless, behold us finally freed from our thralldom to the body! Behold us returned again to the earth, whence we came!
If I have eaten during the days of Ramazan, do not believe I did it through inadvertence. The fatiguing hardships of the fast have so turned about my days and nights [the one for the other] that I have always believed in eating the morning repast.
We have constantly heads overcome with wine; the presence of wine alone animates our society. Then leave off thy counsel, O ignorant penitent! [you see that] we are the adorers of wine, and that the lips of the object of our love are turned to our desires.
This is the season of roses. Oh! I would now give rein to one of my desires. I would commit an act which infringes on the law of teh Koran. Yea, for some days, in company of the fair with velvet and bright tinted cheeks spreading rose-colored wine over the green turf, I would transform the plain into a field of tulips.
When in this world joy seizes us, when it gives to our complexion the brilliant lustre of the courser of the firmament [the sun], then I love to be in a green prairie in the midst of beauties with velvet cheeks, and partake with them of this sweet green hasheesh ere going again myself under this earth covered with green sod.
Never have we tasted in happiness a drop of water without the hand of grief appearing to present to us its bitter beverage. Never have we dipped a piece of bread in salt without the salt returning to re-open half-healed wounds of the heart.
Take care, take good care of making noise in a tavern! Pass the time there, but avoid all agitation. Sell the turban, sell the book [the Koran] to buy wine. Finally, let us pass through the medresseh [school of the mosques], but let us not stop there.
Every day, at dawn, I go to the tavern. There I give myself to the company of kalendar hypocrites. O Thou, who art the master of secrets most concealed, give me faith, if Thou wishest me to apply myself to prayer.
To the cares of this world, let us not accord as much value, even, as to a grain of barley; oh! let us be happy! If we have something for breakfast, we may have nothing for dinner; oh! let us be happy! Although nothing well cooked comes to us from the kitchen, let us not address our troublesome prayers to any one; oh! let us be happy!
Not a single day do I feel myself free from the troublesome bonds of this world; not for a single instant do I breathe contented with my being. I have long served an apprenticeship to human vicissitudes, and I have not yet become master, either in that which concerns this world, or in what has to do with the other.
We, in one hand, take the Koran; with the other we seize the cup: sometimes you see us carried away with that which is lawful, sometimes with what is prohibited. We, then, beneath this azure vault, are not completely infidel, or absolutely Musulman.
Present a salutation on my account to Mostapha, and afterward say to him with all the deference due: O Lord Hachemite! why, in accordance with the law of the Koran, is the sharp doug [whey] lawful, yet pure wine prohibited?
Present a salutation on my part to Khayyam, and then say to him: O Khayyam! you are an ignorant man. When have I said that wine was prohibited? It is lawful for intelligent men; it is prohibited only to the ignorant.
O thou that lusteth night and day for the goods of this world, dost thou not reflect upon the terrible day? Take into consideration thy last breath, come back to thyself, and see how time deals with others.
O thou who art the summing up of the universal creation, cease for an instant to occupy thyself with gain or loss; take a cup of wine from the hand of the etern cupbearer, and free thyself thus altogether from the cares of this world and from those of the other!
If you know what to cling upon this walk around a circle without end, you must recognize two classes of men: those who understand perfectly its good and its bad side, and those who have no notion either of themselves or of things here below.
Render light to my heart the weight of the vicissitudes of this world. Conceal from mortals my reprehensible actions. Render me happy to-day, and to-morrow make me what thou deemest worthy of Thy pity.
For him who makes account of human ills, joy, sorrow, pain are all identical. The good and the bad of this world must one day end. What matters it whether all be torment or pleasure for us?
Now that the nightingale has made its voice heard, think no longer of anything, but seize the ruby cup of wine from the hand of the drinkers; arise, come, for the rose blossoms are breathing out joy; avenge thyself, avenge thyself for two or three days for the torments thou hast endured.
Notice this cup made of clay; it is possessed of a soul! They say a jasmine produces the flowers of the Judas-tree. But what do I say? The shining purity of wine is a cause of my error? Oh, no [it is not wine], it is diaphanous water shot with a liquid fire.
Arise, leave the cares of this world which are fleeting, be joyous, pass gaily this life of a moment; for if the favors of heaven had been constant to others, this turn of joy would not have come to you.
Listen to me, O thou who hast not seen old friends [of experience]! Vex not thyself with this Wheel of Heaven which has neither surface nor foundation: content thyself with what thou hast and, as a peaceable spectator, observe here below the various games to which men are destined.
Employ all thy efforts to be agreeable to drinkers, and follow the good counsel of Khayyam. O friend! demolish the bases of prayer and of fasting, drink wine, steal if you will, but do good.
Justice is the soul of the universe; the universe is the body. The angels are the wit of the body; the heavens the elements, the creatures in it are the members; behold here the eternal unity. The rest is only trumpery.
Yesterday evening, in the tavern, the object of my heart that ravishes my soul [God] presented me a cup with a ravishing air of sincerity and a desire to please me, inviting me to drink. No, said I to him, I will not drink. Drink, he answered me, for the love of my heart.
Do you wish the universe to submit itself to your will? Occupy yourself without ceasing in fortifying your soul. Share my mood, which consists in drinking wine and never taking to myself the cares of things here below.
The sages who have well considered this world of dust, this sojourn of inconstancy from one end to the other, see nothing in it agreeable but wine in ruby cups and beautiful countenances.
Thanks to the iniquity of this Wheel of Heaven which resembles a mirror, thanks to the periodic motion of time which accords its favors only to the most abject, my cheeks, hollowed like a cup, are bathed in tears; but, like a flask, my heart is full of blood.
Yesterday [before day], in company with a charming friend and a cup of rose-colored wine, I was seated on the border of a brook. Before me stood the cup, that shell, of which the pearl [contained in the cup] shed such a brilliant light that the herald of the sun, awaking with a start, announced the Dawn.
Forget the day which has been cut off from thy existence; disturb not thyself about to-morrow, which has not yet come; rest not upon that which is or that which is no more; live happily one instant and throw not thy life to the winds.
Art not ashamed to give thyself to corruption? -- to neglect thus both what is commanded and what is forbidden? Even if you succeed in appropriating all the goods of the earth to yourself, what can you do with them except to abandon them in your turn?
I have seen a man betake himself to sterile soil. He was neither a heretic nor a Musulman; he had neither riches nor religion, nor God, nor truth, nor law, nor certitude. Who in this world or in the other would have so much courage?
One host of men is pondering upon belief, or on the faith; others are hovering between doubt and certainty. But suddenly behind the veil there's one will cry: O ignorant ones! the way that you seek is neither here nor there!
There hangs in the heavens a bull called Parwin [Pleiades], and another bull is underneath the earth. To the eyes of intelligence or those who live in certainty, I show a herd of asses placed between two beeves.
Some said to me: Drink less of wine. What reason have you for not giving it up? The reason that I give is first the face of my friend [God] and secondly the morning cup. Be just and tell me, is it possible to give a more luminous reason?
If I possessed in the heavens the power which God exercises there, I would destroy the people of this world, and others I would make in my own way, so that man, freed [from the bonds of superstition], could attain here below the desires of his heart.
My poor heart, full of grief and folly, has not been able to free itself from drunkenness where passion for my well-beloved has plunged it. Oh! the day when the wine of this love was distributed, my portion was, without doubt, drawn from the blood of my heart!
To drink wine and seek beautiful faces is wiser than to practice hypocrisy and apparent devotion. It is evident that if there exist a Hell for lovers and drinkers, no one would wish for Paradise.
Scorn the words of coquettish women, but accept limpid wine from the hand of those whose mien is irreproachable. You know that all those who have made their appearance in this world are partly of one kind and partly of the other, and it is not given to any to see a single one that may come back.
It is not necessary to soften and disgrace a joyous heart by sorrow, to break under the stones of torment our moments of delight. As no one is able to to tell what is to be, what is necessary is some wine, a beloved mistress [the Divinity], and repose according to our desires.
Yes, it is beautiful to enjoy good fame; it is shameful to complain of the injustice of heaven; it is better to become drunk with the juice of the grape, than to be puffed up with false devotion.
O God! be pitiful to my poor imprisoned heart; show pity to my bosom, susceptible to so much sorrow; pardon my feet which lead me to the tavern; pardon my hand which seizes the cup!
O God! deliver me from calculating, more or less, upon the things of this world; make me preoccupied with Thee, and free me from myself. While I have my sound reason good and bad are known to me; render me drunk and free me from this knowledge of good and bad.
This Wheel of Heaven runs after my death and thine, my friend; it conspires against my soul and thine. Come, seat thyself upon the turf, for, indeed, small time remains to us before new turf shall germinate from my dust and from thine.
When we shall have lost my soul and thine, they will place bricks upon thy tomb and mine. Then, in order to cover other tombs with bricks, they will throw my dust and thine into the kiln of the brick-maker.
In this castle which by its splendor rivals the heavens, this castle to which sovereigns succeeded with delight, we have seen a turtledove seated on the ruined battlements crying: Kou, kou, kou, kou [Where? where?].
What advantage has our coming into this world produced? What advantage will result from our departure? What remains to us of the heap of hopes that we have conceived. Where is the smoke of all the pure men who under the celestial fire have been consumed and become dust?
O Thou whose lips secrete the water of life, permit not those of the cup to come and kiss them! [Oh, if Thou shouldst permit it], may I lose the name of man if I am not soaked in the blood of the flask, for what is it, this cup, to dare to touch its lips to Thine?
I am such as Thy power has made me. I have lived a hundred years filled with Thy benevolence and benefits. I would like still a hundred years to commit sin and to see if the sum of my faults outweighed Thy pity.
Now take thy cup, carry away the gourd, O Charm of my Heart! and go, explore the plains, the borders of the brooks, for indeed idols, like to the moon in the light of their beautiful countenances, have a hundred times been transformed into cups, a hundred times have they become gourds.
It is we who buy old wine and new wine, and it is we who sell the world for two grains of barley. Know where you will go after death? Bring me some wine and go where you will.
Who is the man who here below has not committed sin; can you say? Had he not committed it, could he have lived, can you tell? If, because I do evil, you punish me for evil, what then is the difference between you and me, can you say?
Oh! where is that one whose lips are of rubies, where that precious stone of Bedekhchan? Where is that wine full of perfume which gives repose to the soul? They say that the religion of Islam prohibits it; drink, friend, and have no fear, for where do you see Islam?
Best is it to abstain from all that is not joyful; and best it is to receive the cup from the hands of odalisques shut up in the palaces of the princes; but best of all is drunkenness, indifference to the Kalendars, forgetfulness of self. A mouthful of wine, finally, is worth more than all that exists in the space between Mah and Mahi.
For thee, that which is best is to flee from the seeking of knowledge and devotion; to finger the tresses of thy ravishing friend; to pour into the cup the blood of the vine ere tie has spilled thine own.
O friend! be in repose amidst human vicissitudes; disturb not thyself in vain because of the march of time. When the envelope of thy being shall be torn into tatters, what matters what thou hast done, what thou hast said, or how defiled thou mayest be?
O thou who hast not done good, but who hast done evil, and who hast afterward sought refuge in the Divinity, guard thyself fro relying upon pardon; for he who has done nothing resembles no more him who has sinned than he who has sinned resembles him who has done nothing!
Count upon life not longer than the sixtieth year. Place thy foot in no direction without being overcome with wine. As long as thy skull hath not been made a pitcher, go always on thy way, nor take the wine-gourd from thy shoulder or the wine-cup from thy hand.
This firmament is a porringer overturned upon our heads. Wise men, thereat, humble and unpresumptuous are. But see the friendship which obtains between the cup and the flask. Lip against lip are they, and twixt them ever flows the blood.
I have swept the sill of the tavern with my hair. Yes, I have given up reflecting upon the good and the bad in this world and the next. I saw the, like two bowls, rolling in a ditch, when I was sleeping overcome with wine, and I no more occupied myself with them than if I had seen a grain of barley rolling along.
The drop of water began to weep on being separated from the ocean. The ocean began to laugh, saying to it: It is we who are all; in truth, there is no other God beside us, and if we are separated, it is only by a simple point almost invisible.
How long shall I trouble myself with the care of knowing whether I possess or do not possess -- if I ought or ought not to pass life gaily? Fill ever the cup of wine, O cupbearer! for I do not know whether I shall breathe out this breath that I am actually breathing or not.
Become not a prey to sorrow in this world of iniquity; recall not to thy soul the memory of those who are no longer here; give up thy heart only to a friend with sweet lips and fairy-like in form and never be deprived of wine, or throw life to the winds.
How long will you speak to me of the mosque, of prayer and fasting? Go rather to the tavern and intoxicate yourself, and even for that ask alms. O Khayyam! drink wine, drink; for this earth of which thou art composed will be made into cups, bowls and pitchers.
So in this palace of brief being, you ought, O wise man, to give yourself up to rose-colored wine. Then each atom of your dust that the wind carries away will fall on the sill of the tavern, all saturate with wine.
Note how the zephyrs have made the roses bloom! Not how their fragrant beauty glads the nightingale! Go, then, repose in the shadow of these flowers, for very speedily they depart from the earth and very often ne'er return again.
Behold us re-united in the midst of lovers; behold us freed from the pain which time inflicts; having emptied the cup of His love, behold us all free, all tranquil, all o'ercome with wine.
Suppose that you have lived in this world in accordance with your desires; ah, well! after that? Think to yourself that the end of your days has arrived; ah, well! after that? Admitting that you have lived for a hundred years surrounded by all that your heart could desire, imagine in your turn, that you have another hundred years to live; ah, well! after that?
Do you know how the cypress and the lily have acquired the name for freedom which they enjoy among men? It is because one has ten tongues but remains mute, and the other possesses a hundred hands and keeps them all empty.
O cupbearer! put into my hand some of that delicious wine, some of that juice attractive as a charming idol, some of that nectar, in short, which like a chain whose links, turning and returning upon each other, hold fools and sages alike in sweet captivity.
O regret! that life should be passed in pure loss! How lawless all our eating and how defiled our bodies! I have the blame, O God! of not having done what Thou hast commanded. What will come to me for having done what Thou has not commanded?
Fret not thyself on account of the inconstancy of this world; seek wine and draw near to thy caressing mistress, for, thou seest that he whom his mother brought forth to-day to-morrow disappears from the earth -- to-morrow returns to annihilation.
I can renounce all else, but wine never; for I have the means of making amends for all else, but of wine, never. O God! could one like me become a Musulman and renounce old wine? Never.
We are all lovers, all drunkards, all adorers of wine. We are all united in the tavern, having banished far from us all that is good, all that is evil, all reflection and revery. Oh! expect not intelligence or reason of us, for we are all overcome with wine.
It is we who have confidence in the divine goodness, who have shaken off the ideas of obedience and sin; for where Thy benevolence exists, O God, he who has done nothing is equal to him who has done something.
Thou hast imprinted on our being, O God, such singular phantasma of inconsequence, and hast made to rise such strange phenomena. Myself cannot be better than I am, for Thou hast taken me as I am from out creation's crucible.
We have violated all the vows that we have made; we have closed upon us the door of what is called good and what is called bad. Then blame me not if you see me committing senseless deeds, for we are drunk with the wine of love, and all are drunk as we.
A mouthful of old wine is of more worth than a new empire. The wise man will reject all that is not wine. A cup of this nectar is a hundred times preferable to the kingdom of Feridoun. The lid which covers the wine-jar is more precious than the diadem of Kai-Khosrou.
O my heart! thou canst not penetrate the enigmatical secrets of the heavens; thou canst never reach the culminating point to which intrepid sages have attained. Be content, then, to organize a Paradise here below, in making daily use of cup and wine, for wilt thou ever reach that future Paradise? Thou never wilt.
Those who are gone before us, O cupbearer! are imbedded in the dust of pride. Go, drink wine; go, listen to the truth that I tell you: All those who have gone ahead are but as the wind; know it well, O cupbearer!
From afar has appeared a filthy shape. It is said that its body was covered with a shirt made of the smoke of Hell. It was neither a man nor a woman. It has broken our flask and spilled upon the earth the ruby wine it contained, glorifying itself at having done a deed worthy of a man.
O my heart! when thou art admitted to sit at the banquet of this idol [the Divinity], ti is after thou hast gone out of thyself in order to re-enter thyself again. When thou hast tasted a mouthful of the wine of annihilation, thou art entirely separate from those that are and from those that are no more.
Yes, I have found myself in close acquaintance with wine, with drunkenness. But why does the world blame me for it? Oh! would to God that all which is illegal might produce drunkenness! For then never here below should I have seen a shadow of sound reason.
Thou hast broken my pitcher of wine, my God! Thou hast shut upon me the portals of joy, my God! Thou hast poured upon earth my limpid wine, my God! Oh! [would that my mouth were filled with earth!] couldst Thou have been drunk, my God?
O thou who art the result of the four [elements] and the seven [heavens], I see you in perplexity amongst these four and seven. Drink wine, for, as I have said to you more than four times, you will return no more; once departed, you are gone indeed.
On one hand, Thou hast raised a hundred ambushes about us; on the other, Thou sayest to us: If ye put foot there, ye shall be caught by death. It is Thou who spreadest snares, and whoever falls there, Thou bringest to a stand! Thou givest him to death and callest him rebel!
O Thou whose mysterious essence is impenetrable to intelligence, Thou who carest no more for our obedience than our faults, I am drunk with sin, but the confidence that I have in Thee renders it right for me. Know Thou, that I count upon Thy pity.
If this world's things were only based on show, oh! then each day would be a feast. Oh! were it not for these vain threats, each could attain below the aim of his desires, without a fear.
O Wheel of Heaven! thou fillest constantly my heart with woe. Thou killest in me the germ of joy, with water ladening the air which would breathe and changest into mud the water that I drink.
O my heart! if thou free thyself from the grief inherent in matter, thou shalt become a soul in all its purity; thou shalt mount to the heavens, thy residence shall be the firmament. Oh! how thou shouldst suffer from shame at inhabiting the earth!
O potter! be attentive, if thou possessest sound reason! How long wilt thou abase man inmoulding his clay? It is the finger of Feridoun, the hand of Kai-Khosrou which you thus put upon your wheel.
O rose! thou art the face of some young ravishing fair! O wine! thou art the ruby whose brightness joys my soul! O fateful fortune! each instant thou appearest more strange to me, and nevertheless I seem to know thee.
From the cookery of this world, thou only absorbest the smoke. How long, plunged in the search for being and annihilation, wilt thou be the prey of sorrow? This world contains only loss for those who attach themselves to it. Now disregard this loss, and all for thee will benefit become.
As for us, let us not try to torment men in their sleep; let us refrain from making them utter at midnight the lamentable cry: O my God! O my God! [as others do]. Rest not upon riches or beauty, for the one will take wings in the night, and the other, in the night also, will be ravished.
If from the commencement Thou hadst wished to make me known to myself, why later, hast Thou separated me from this myself? If from the first day Thy intention was to abandon me, why hast Thou thrown me, all amazed, into the midst of the world?
Oh! would to God that there existed some place of repose -- that the road we follow had some settled end! Would God that, after a hundred thousand years, we could conceive the hope of one new birth of heart upon the earth as green turf is born again!
While I was drawing a horoscope in the book of love, suddenly, from the burning heart of a wise man came these words: Happy is he who entertains in his dwelling a friend as beautiful as the moon, and who has in prospect a night as long as a year.
The constant sequence of springtime and autumn makes the leaves of our existence disappear. Drink wine, my friend, for sages have well said that grief in this world is a poison and its antidote is wine.
O my heart! drink of wine, drink of it in a garden and enjoy the presence of thy friend [the Divinity]; renounce hypocrisy and show. Is it the doctrine of Ahmed you follow? In that case, draw from the fountain-head a cup of wine into the bowl which Ali, in his round of cupbearing, shall serve.
Buy yesterday, at eve, I broke a china cup against a stone. I was drunk when committing this senseless act. This cup seemed to say to me: "I have been like thee; thou wilt, in thy turn, be like me."
The flowers are in blossom, O cupbearer! bring wine. Leave thy acts of worship, O cupbearer! Ere the angel of death put a watch upon us, come, and with a cup of ruby wine in hand, let us rejoice while yet there are some days with the sweet presence of the friend [the Divinity].
Arise, get off thy bed, O cupbearer! and pour the limpid wine. Before thy yet make pitchers of our skulls, pour out some wine from pitcher into bowl, O cupbearer!
This hypocrisy [which I everywhere see], O cupbearer! crushes my heart with weariness. Arise, and gaily bring me wine, O cupbearer! and to procure it, put in pawn the prayer-rug and the turban. Perhaps my arguments will then rest upon a solid basis.
Examine thyself, if thou art intelligent, and observe what thou hast brought in the beginning and what thou wilt carry away at the end. Thou sayest that thou dost not drink because one must die. Whether thou drinkest friend, or dost not drink, thou needs must die.
Open the door, for it is only Thou who canst open it; show me the way, for it is only Thou who canst show a way of safety. I will give my hand to none of those who wish to lead me, for all are perishable, and only Thou eternal.
All that you tell me emanates from hatred [O mullah]! You never cease to treat me as an atheist, a man without religion. I am convinced of that which I am, and I avow it; and should I be right, is it for you to lecture me thus?
Resign yourself to grief if you would find a remedy, and do not complain of your suffering if you would cure it. In poverty, be thankful to Providence if you wish some day to have riches for your portion.
I have seen a wise man in the house of a drunken man at evening. I asked him if he could give me some news of the absent. He answered me: Drink wine, friend, for many like you have gone out but have never returned.
I seek a flask of ruby wine, a book of verse, a momentary peace in life and bread enough. And if with these, my friend, in some lone spot with thee I could repose, 'twould be a happiness above a Sultan's regal joy.
How long these arguments upon the five and the four, O cupbearer? In comprehending one, O cupbearer! it is difficult to grasp a hundred thousand. We are all of earth, O cupbearer! strike the harp: we are all as the wind, bring the wine, O cupbearer!
How long will you speak of Yassin and Berat, O cupbearer? Give me a treatise upon the tavern, O cupbearer! The day that it is closed will be for me the night of Berat, O cupbearer!
While you have in your body bones, veins, and nerves, place not your foot outside the limits of your destiny. Yield never to your enemy, be that enemy Rustum, son of Zal, accept nothing which puts you under obligation to a friend, be that friend Hatim-tai.
You may indeed be taken with lips tinted with the color of the ruby, you may indeed appreciate the cup of wine, you may indeed call for the noise of the drum, the sound of the harp and of the flute, but these are only trifles. God is my witness, while you do not break the bonds of this dark world, you nothing are.
Bestir yourself, since you are under this tyrannic vault; drink wine, since you are in this world, a seat of woe. And, from beginning to the end, being only earth, act like a man who is upon the earth, and not as if thou wert beneath the earth.
Since you all secrets know, my friend, why be a prey to so many vain torments? Suppose things do not fall in touch with your desires, you can at least be gay while you still breathe.
Everywhere I cast my eyes I believe I see the sod of Paradise and the brook of Koocer. They say the field outside of Hell is transformed into a celestial sojourn. Rest then in that celestial place near some celestial fair.
Follow no other way than that which the Kalendar follows; seek no other place than the tavern; occupy yourself only with wine, song and the friend [the Divinity]; place in your hand a cup of wine, upon your back a gourd; drink, O dear object of my heart! drink and speak not of foolish things.
Do you wish life to rest upon a rock? Do you wish life for some time free to be from grief? Dwell for one instant without drinking wine; then at each breath you'll find a new attraction in existence.
In this world, this house of pilferers, it is useless to count upon a friend. Listen to the counsel I give you, and confide it to no one: Bear your suffering and seek no remedy, be happy in your sorrows and try not to divide them with another.
There are two things which are the foundation of wisdom and which ought to be put among the number of the most important unproclaimed revelations: Not to eat of anything which eats of other things, and to keep oneself unsullied by all that lives.
How is it that at the commencement of springtime the verjuice of the vine is sharp? And afterwards, how does it become so sweet? And then how do we find the wine so bitter? If one makes viols of a piece of wood by means of a curved knife, who would say on seeing it that a flute could be fashioned by the same means?
Know you why, at the break of day, the early-rising cock makes its voice heard each moment? It is to tell you, through the mirror of the morning, that one more night has slipped away from your existence, and that you are still in ignorance.
Give me some of this ruby wine, tinted like the tulip. Pour from the neck of the flask the pure blood it contains, for, to-day I can see, outside this cup of wine, no friend whose inner man is pure.
Pour me, O cupbearer! some wine colored like the flowers of the Judas-tree; pour, O cupbearer! for grief comes to oppress my soul; pour for me the nectar, for it is possible that in making me a stranger to myself, it will free me one instant from the vicissitudes of this world.
Thy cup, O my cupbearer! contains liquid rubies; give some to my soul, O cupbearer! Let it reflect that precious stone; put in my hand, O cupbearer, this incomparable cup, for through this I will give new life unto my soul.
In philosophy, if you are an Aristotle or a Bouzourdj-mehr; in power, if you are some Roman emperor or some potentate of China, drink ever, drink wine from the cup of Djem, for the end of all is the tomb. Oh! though you are Bahram himself, the coffin is your last sojourn.
I entered the studio of a potter. I watched him work at his wheel, actively occupied in moulding the necks and handles of pitchers, forming some of them like the heads of kings, others like the feet of beggars.
Go, choose bliss, if you are wise, and finally you may be able to drink wine from the hand of the drinkers of eternity; but you are one of the ignorant and joy is not in you, it is not given to every ignorant one to taste the sweets that ignorance gives.
O idol, while you are on your journey through this world, draw from the fountain-head into the pitcher, draw this salutary wine and, ere the potter makes another pitcher of my dust and thine, fill out a cup, drink it and pass me one.
Be attentive, friend, and while thou still art able, lighten the grief of a loving heart, for this kingdom of grace that now thou hast will not last always, but, like so many others thou shalt unexpectedly be called.
Before you are made drunk by the cup of death, before the revolutions of time are full behind you, endeavor to make a foundation here below, for you will profit nothing by going away empty-handed.
It is Thou who disposest of the lot of the living and of the dead. It is Thou who governest this unruly Wheel of the Heavens. Although I am bad, I am only Thy slave, Thou art my master. Who then is guilty here below? Art Thou not the Creator of all?
O my King! how can such a man as I, finding himself in the season of roses, in the midst of joyous society, surrounded by wine, by dancers, remain a passive spectator? Oh! to find oneself in a garden with a flask of wine and a lute are things preferable to Paradise with its houris and its Koocer.
See the clearness of the light, the sparkle of the wine and of the moon, O cupbearer! See the ravishing beauty of the rose's face, like a shining ruby, O cupbearer! Recall nothing of what belongs to the earth to this heart that burns like fire, throw it not to the wind, but bring wine, O cupbearer!
O limpid wine, wine full of sheen! Fool that I am, I'd drink thee in such quantity, that all perceiving me from far would my identity confound with thine, and say to me: O master wine! tell me, whence do you come?
Be welcome, Thou, who art the repose of my soul! Thou art here, and nevertheless I cannot believe my eyes. Oh! for the love of God, and not for the love of my heart, drink, drink of wine, drink to the point when I can doubt that it is Thou.
A Sheikh said to a prostitute: You are in wine. Each instant you are taken in the toils of law. She answered him: O Sheikh, I am all that you say; but are you what you seem to be?
[I have already said] the entire world, like a bowl, was rolling in a hollow which, when I slept dead drunk, I noticed no more than if I saw a grain of barley rolling along. Yesterday, at evening, I put myself in pawn at the tavern for a cup of wine. The wine merchant never ceased to say: O excellent security that here I hold.
Sometimes Thou art concealed, showing Thyself to none; sometimes Thou revealest Thyself in all things created. It is for Thyself, without doubt, and for Thy pleasure that Thou hast produced these marvelous effects, for Thou art at once the maker of the spectacle we see and Thine own beholder.
Should you come to people the whole earth, that action would not make a saddened soul rejoice. It would be more to thy advantage to enslave a free man, through thy gentleness, than to give freedom to a thousand slaves.
They tell you not to drink, that otherwise you shall become a prey to torment, and that in the day of reckoning you will burn as fire. That may be, but the day in which wine makes you joyous is more precious than the goods of this world and those of the next.
If your own satisfaction consists in casting grief into a heart free from all care, you could, friend, make mourning with your wisdom during your whole life. Go, be unhappy, then, for you are a person strangely ignorant.
Each time you can procure two mens of wine, drink them, in every circumstance, in all society wherever you may be; for he who does is freed from scornful looks or gestures of disdain.
With a loaf of wheaten bread, two mens of wine and meat in plenty, and seated in some desert spot with some young beauty decked with cheeks tinted with the tulip's blush, man hath a joy not given to any Sultan to procure.
If in a city you acquire renown, you are thought to be the most wicked of men; if you retire into a corner, they regard you as a conspirator. What then is best, were you Elias or Saint Jude, is to live in the way of knowing none, and being known by none.
If I were free and were allowed to use my will, if I were free from the torments of destiny and unembarrassed by any sentiment of the good and bad in this world where disorder resides, oh! I would prefer not to have lived here, not to have existed, than to be forced to go away!
Drink wine, my friend, for see it makes the perspiration flow upon the cheeks of the beauties of Rhei, the most beautiful creatures in the world! Oh! how long shall I repeat it to you? Yes, I have broken the bonds of all my vows. Is it not better to break the bonds of a thousand vows than to break a pitcher of wine?
We have some wine, O cupbearer! Let us rejoice in the presence of the well-beloved [the Divinity] and in the noise of the morning. Expect not on our part the renunciation of Nessouh, O cupbearer! How long shall I speak to you of the story of Noe, O cupbearer? Bring, bring me happily the repose of my soul [the wine], O cupbearer!
I see neither the means of joining myself to Thee, nor the possibility of living for the space of a breath separated from Thee. I have not the courage to drive out the torments I endure. Oh! how difficult my plight, how strange my grief, how exquisite my pain!
Now is the time to drink the morning wine; the noise makes itself heard, O cupbearer! Now are we ready, O cupbearer! here is the wine, behold the tavern. Could a moment like this be for prayer? Silence, O cupbearer! Leave thy discourse upon tradition and upon devotion; drink, O cupbearer!
Here is the noise of the morning, O idol, whose coming brings happiness! Chant the refrain and bring the wine; for [you know it], the constant sequence of these months of Tir and Di have overturned upon the earth a thousand potentates like Djem, a hundred thousand like to Kai.
Guard thyself from being coarse in the eyes of all drinkers; guard thyself from acquiring a bad reputation before the sages, and drink wine; for, whether you drink or not, if you belong to the fire of Hell, you would not know how to enter Paradise.
I wish that God would reconstruct the world, I wish that He would actually reconstruct it and that I might see Him at the work. I wish that He would blot my name from the register of life, or that out of His mysterious treasure, He would swell the joys of my existence.
O God! open to me the door of Thy benefits. Make me come to my fortune finally, that I may not be beholden to Thy creatures. Oh! render me drunk with wine, to the point where, freed form all knowledge, the torments of my head may disappear.
O thou who hast been burned and burned again, and now deservest life anew! thou who art worthy only of adding fuel to the fire of Hell! how long wilt thou pray the Divinity to pardon Omar? What relation exists between thee and God? What audacity drives thee to ask Him to exercise His pity?
As for me, without limpid wine I cannot live; my body is a burden which I cannot carry without drinking of the juice of the vine. Oh! might I be the slave of that delicious moment when the cupbearer said to me: Another cup! and that I had no longer strength to take it!
There remains to me still a breath of life, thanks to the care of the cupbearer. But discord reigns still among men. I know that there only remains to me about a men of wine from last evening; but I am ignorant of the space of time that is still left me to live.
Take a man who possesses bread sufficient to live upon for two days, who can draw a drop of fresh water into a cracked pitcher, why should such a man be commanded by another who is of no more worth, or why should he serve one who should be his equal?
Since the day when Venus and the moon appeared in the sky, no one has seen anything here below preferable to ruby wine. I am truly astonished at the wine-merchants, for how can they buy anything superior to that which they sell?
For those endowed with knowledge and virtue, who through their wisdom have become as torches to their disciples, even those have not progressed beyond this night profound. They have left some fables and returned to death's long sleep.