Quatrains of Omar Khayyam (tr. Whinfield, 1883)/Quatrains 301-400
Give me my cup in hand, and sing a glee
In concert with the bulbuls' symphony;
Wine would not gurgle as it leaves the flask,
If drinking mute were right for thee and me!
301. C. L. N. A. I. J.
The "Truth" will not be shown to lofty thought,
Nor yet with lavished gold may it be bought;
But, if you yield your life for fifty years,
From words to "states" you may perchance be brought.
302. L. Line 3, literally, "Unless you dig up your soul, and eat blood for fifty years." 'States' of ecstatic union with the 'Truth,' or Deity of the Mystics.
I solved all problems, down from Saturn's wreath
Unto this lowly sphere of earth beneath,
And leapt out free from bonds of fraud and lies,
Yea, every knot was loosed, save that of death!
303. C. L. A. I. J. Hama, har, and similar words, are generally written without the izáfat. Lumsden, ii., 249. See Bl., Prosody xii.
Peace! the eternal "Has been" and "To be"
Pass man's experience, and man's theory;
In joyful seasons naught can vie with wine,
To all these riddles wine supplies the key!
304. C. L. A. B. I. J.
Allah, our Lord, is merciful, though just;
Sinner! despair not, but His mercy trust!
For though to-day you perish in your sins.
To-morrow He'll absolve your crumbling dust.
305. C. L. N. A. I. J. A very Voltairean quatrain.
Your course annoys me, ye wheeling skies!
Unloose me from your chain of tyrannies!
If none but fools your favours may enjoy,
Then favour me,—I am not very wise!
306. C. L. N. A. I. J.
O City Mufti, you go more astray
Than I do, though to wine I do give way;
I drink the blood of grapes, you that of men:
Which of us is the more bloodthirsty, pray?
307. C. L. N. A. I. J. Alluding to the selling of justice by Muftis.
'Tis well to drink, and leave anxiety
Por what is past, and what is yet to be;
Our prisoned spirits, lent us for a day,
A while from reason's bondage shall go free!
308. C. L. N. A. I. J. 'Árĭyătí rawán, "this borrowed soul."
When Khayyam quittance at Death's hand receives,
And sheds his outworn life, as trees their leaves,
Full gladly will he sift this world away,
Ere dustmen sift his ashes in their sieves.
309. C. L. N. A. I. J.
This wheel of heaven, which makes us all afraid,
I liken to a lamp's revolving shade,
The sun the candlestick, the earth the shade,
And men the tremhling forms thereon portrayed.
310. C. L. N. A. B. I. Fánús i khiyál, a magic or Chinese lantern.
Who was it that did mix my clay? Not I.
Who spun my weh of silk and wool? Not I.
Who wrote upon my forehead all my good,
And all my evil deeds? In truth not I.
311. C. L. N. A. I. In line 2 the rhyme shows the word to be rishtaí, not rushtaí.
O let us not forecast to-morrow's fears,
But count to-day as gain, my brave compeers!
To-morrow we shall quit this inn, and march
With comrades who have marched seven thousand years.
Ne'er for one moment leave your cup unused!
Wine keeps heart, faith, and reason too, amused;
Had Iblis swallowed hut a single drop,
To worship Adam he had ne'er refused!
313. C. L. (in part) N. A. I. J. See Koran, ii. 31.
Come, dance! while we applaud thee, and adore
Thy sweet Narcissus eyes, and grape-juice pour;
A score of cups is no such great affair,
But 'tis enchanting when we reach three score!
314. N. Narcissus eyes, i.e. languid.
I close the door of hope in my own face.
Nor sue for favours from good men, or base;
I have but ONE to lend a helping hand,
He knows, as well as I, my sorry case.
315. C. L. N. A. I. J. A "Háliya" quatrain, lamenting his own condition.
Ah! by these heavens, that ever circling run.
And by my own base lusts I am undone,
Without the wit to abandon worldly hopes.
And wanting sense the world's allures to shun!
316. C. L. N. A. I. J.
On earth's green carpet many sleepers lie,
And hid beneath it others I descry;
And others, not yet come, or passed away,
People the desert of Nonentity!
317. C. L. N. A. I. J. The sleepers on the earth are those sunk in the sleep of superstition and ignorance.
Sure of Thy grace, for sins why need I fear?
How can the pilgrim faint whilst Thou art near?
On the last day Thy grace will wash me white,
And make my "black record" to disappear.
318. C. L. N. A. I. J. Am is usual after silent he, not after waw. Lumsden, ii. 72. See Koran, xiii, 47.
Think not I dread from out the world to hie.
And see my disembodied spirit fly;
I tremble not at death, for death is true,
'Tis my ill life that makes me fear to die!
319. C. L. N. A. I. J. 'Death is true,' i.e. a certainty. So Sir Philip Sidney (after M. Aurelius), "Since Nature's works be good, and death doth serve As Natures's work, why should we fear to die?"
Let us shake off dull reason's incubus,
Our tale of days or years cease to discuss,
And take our jugs, and plenish them with wine,
Or e'er grim potters make their jugs of us!
320. C. L. N. A. B. I. J. Har roza, an adjective.
How much more wilt thou chide, O raw divine,
For that I drink, and am a libertine?
Thou hast thy weary beads, and saintly show,
Leave me my cheerful sweetheart, and my wine!
321. C. L. N. A. I. J.
Against my lusts I ever war, in vain,
I think on my ill deeds with shame and pain;
I trust Thou wilt assoil me of my sins,
But even so, my shame must still remain.
322. C. L. N. A B. I.
In these twin compasses, O Love, you see
One body with two heads, like you and me,
Which wander round one centre, circlewise,
But at the last in one same point agree.
323. C. L. N. A. I. Mr. Fitzgerald quotes a similar figure used by the poet Donne, for which see Ward's "English Poets," i. 562. The two heads are the points of the compasses.
"We shall not stay here long, but while we do,
'Tis folly wine and sweethearts to eschew;
Why ask if earth etern or transient be?
Since you must go, it matters not to you.
324. C. L. N. A. B. I. J.
In reverent sort to mosque I wend my way,
But, by great Allah, it is not to pray;
No! but to steal a prayer-mat! When 'tis worn,
I go again, another to purvey.
325. C. L. N. A. B. I. J. To "steal a prayer-mat" is to pray to be seen of men.—Nicolas. A satire on some hypocrite, perhaps himself.
No more let fate's annoys our peace consume,
But let us rather rosy wine consume;
The world our murderer is, and wine its blood,
Shall we not then that murderer's blood consume?
326. L. N. See Koran, ii. 187.
For thee I vow to cast repute away,
And, if I shrink, the penalty to pay;
Though life might satisfy thy cruelty,
'Twere naught, I'll bear it till the judgment-day!
327. C. L. N. A. B. I. Note izáfat dropped after silent he, and rá separated from its noun.
In Being's rondure do we stray belated,
Our pride of manhood humbled and abated;
Would we were gone! long since have we been wearied
With this world's griefs, and with its pleasures sated.
328. L. N.
The world is false, so I'll be false as well,
And with bright wine, and gladness ever dwell!
They say, "May Allah grant thee penitence!"
He grants it not, and did he, I'd rebel!
329. C. L. N. A. B. I. J. Note the pun on fana, 'illusion,' and fan, 'art, fraud.'
When Death shall tread me down upon the plain.
And pluck my feathers, and my life-blood drain,
Then mould me to a cup, and fill with wine;
Haply its scent will make me breathe again.
330. C. L. N. A. B. I. J.
So far as this world's dealings I have traced,
I find its favours shamefully misplaced;
Allah be praised! I see myself debarred
Prom all its boons, and wrongfully disgraced.
331. C. L. N. A. I. 'Alam kama, &c., "states entirely gratuitous." Write barán without a madd. Bl., Prosody, p. 11. Compare Shakespear, Sonnet 66.
'Tis dawn! my heart with wine I will recruit,
And dash to bits the glass of good repute;
My long-extending hopes I will renounce,
And grasp long tresses, and the charming lute.
332. L. N. B.
Though I had sinned the sins of all mankind,
I know Thou would' st to mercy be inclined;
Thou sayest, "I will help in time of need:"
One needier than me where wilt Thou find?
333. C. L. N. A. I. J. The waw in 'afw is a consonant, and therefore takes kasra for the izáfat, without the intervention of conjunctive yá.
Am I a wine-bibber? What if I am?
Gueber, or infidel? Suppose I am?
Each sect miscalls me, but I heed them not,
I am my own, and, what I am, I am.
334. C. L. N. A. I. J. Zan i khud for azán i khud, "my own property."
All my life long from drink I have not ceased,
And drink I will to-night on Kader's feast;
And throw my arms about the wine-jar's neck,
And kiss its lip, and clasp it to my breast!
335. C. L. N. A. I. J. Kadr, the night of power. Koran, xcvi. 1.
I know what is, and what is not, I know
The lore of things above, and things below;
But all this lore will cheerfully renounce,
If one a higher grade than drink can show.
336. L. N. B. Line 1, Being and Not-being , 'Grade,' i.e. of learning.
Though I drink wine, I am no libertine.
Nor am I grasping, save of cups of wine;
I scruple to adore myself, like you;
For this cause to wine-worship I incline.
337. C. L. N. A, I. J. A hit at the vain and covetous Mollas. Also ascribed to Anwari.
To confidants like you I dare to say
What mankind really are:—moulded of clay,
Affliction's clay, and kneaded in distress,
They taste the world awhile, then pass away.
338. C. L. N. A. I. J. Note the archaic form budast. Bl., Prosody, p. 12. Mihnat zadayé, hamza for ya i tankír.
We make the wine-jar's lip our place of prayer,
And drink in lessons of true manhood there,
And pass our lives in taverns, if perchance
The time misspent in mosques we may repair.
339. L. N. In line 4 scan sawmă'ăhá. This quatrain is probably mystical.
Man is the whole creation's summary,
The precious apple of great wisdom's eye;
The circle of existence is a ring,
Whereof the signet is humanity.
340. C. L. N. A. I. In line 3 scan angashtărĭyast. Man is the microcosm. See Gulshan i Ráz, p. 15. "The captain jewel of the carcanet."
With fancies, as with wine, our heads we turn.
Aspire to heaven, and earth's low trammels spurn;
But, when we drop this fleshly clog, 'tis seen
From dust we came, and back to dust return.
341. L. N.
If so it be that I did break the fast,
Think not I meant it; no! I thought 'twas past;—
That day more weary than a sleepless night,—
And blessed breakfast-time had come at last!
342. L. N. Roza khwardan, "to avoid fasting." In line 2, for bekhabar read bákhabar.
I never drank of joy's sweet cordial,
But grief's fell hand infused a drop of gall;
Nor dipped my bread in pleasure's piquant salt,
But briny sorrow made me smart withal!
343. C. L. N. A. I. Line 4, literally, "eat a roast of my own liver."
At dawn to tavern haunts I wend my way,
And with distraught Kalendars pass the day;
O Thou! who know'st things secret, and things known,
Grant me Thy grace, that I may learn to pray!
344. C. L. N. A. I. J. Khafiyyát means 'manifest,' as well as 'concealed.' Lucknow commentator.
The world's annoys I rate not at one grain,
So I eat once a day, I don't complain;
And, since earth's kitchen yields no solid food,
I pester no man with petitions vain.
345. C. L. N. A. I. J. In line 3 the Alif in az is not treated as an Alif i wasl. Bl., Pros. 10.
Never from worldly toils have I been free,
Never for one short moment glad to be!
I served a long apprenticeship to fate,
But yet of fortune gained no mastery.
346. C. L. N. A. I. J. Ek dam zadan, 'For one moment.'
One hand with Koran, one with wine-cup dight,
I half incline to wrong, and half to right;
The azure-marbled sky looks down on me
A sorry Moslem, yet not heathen quite.
347. C, L. N. A. I. J. Khayyam here describes himself as akratés rather than akolastos. "Video meliora proboque," &c.
Khayyam's respects to Mustafa convey,
And with due reverence ask him to say,
Why it has pleased him to forbid pure wine,
When he allows his people acid whey?
Tell Khayyam, for a master of the schools.
He strangely misinterprets my plain rules;
Where have I said that wine is wrong for all?
'Tis lawful for the wise, but not for fools.
My critics call me a philosopher,
But Allah knows full well they greatly err;
I know not even what I am, much less
Why on this earth I am a sojourner!
The more I die to self, I live the more,
The more abase myself, the higher soar;
And, strange! the more I drink of Being's wine
More sane I grow, and sober than before!
351. L. Clearly mystical.
Quoth rose, "I am the Yusuf flower, I swear,
Eor in my mouth rich golden gems I bear:"
I said, "Show me another proof." Quoth she,
"Behold this blood-stained vesture that I wear!"
352. L. B. Yusuf is the type of manly beauty. The yellow stamens are compared to his teeth. So Jámí, in "Yusuf wa Zulaikha."
I studied with the masters long ago,
And long ago did master all they know;
Hear now the end and issue of it all,
Prom earth I came, and like the wind I go!
353. L. B. Mr. Fitzgerald compares the dying exclamation of Nizám ul-Mulk, "I am going in the hands of the wind!" Mantik ut Tair, l. 4620.
Death finds us soiled, though we were pure at birth,
With grief we go, although we came with mirth;
Watered with tears, and burned with fires of woe.
And, casting life to winds, we rest in earth!
354. C. L. A. I. J.
To find great Jamshed's world-reflecting bowl
I compassed sea and land, and viewed the whole;
But, when I asked the wary sage, I learned
That bowl was my own body, and my soul!
355. L. King Jamshed's cup, which reflected the whole world, is the Holy Grail of Persian poetry. Meaning, "man is the microcosm." See note on No. 340. In line 2 scan naghnúdem.
Me, cruel Queen! you love to captivate,
And from a knight to a poor pawn translate;
You marshal all your force to tire me out,
You take my rooks with yours, and then checkmate!
356. C. L. A. I. J. The pun on rukh, 'cheek,' and rukh, 'castle,' is untranslatable.
If Allah wills me not to will aright,
How can I frame my will to will aright?
Each single act I will must needs be wrong,
Since none but He has power to will aright.
357. C. L. A. I. J.
"For once, while roses are in bloom," I said,
"I'll break the law, and please myself instead,
With blooming youths, and maidens' tulip cheeks
The plain shall blossom like a tulip-bed."
358. L. N. Rozí, ya i batní, or tankír. (?) See note on No. 199.
Think not I am existent of myself,
Or walk this blood-stained pathway of myself;
This being is not I, it is of Him.
Pray what, and where, and whence is this 'myself?'
359. C. L. A. I. J. In line 3 I omit wa after In bud. Meaning, Man's real existence is not of himself, but of the "Truth," the universal Noumenon.
Endure this world without my wine I cannot!
Drag on life's load without my cups I cannot!
I am the slave of that sweet moment, when
They say, "Take one more goblet," and I cannot!
360. C. L. A. I. J.
You, who both day and night the world pursue,
And thoughts of that dread day of doom eschew,
Bethink you of your latter end; be sure
As time has treated others, so 'twill you!
361. C. L. N. A. I.
O man, who art creation's summary.
Getting and spending too much trouble thee!
Arise, and quaff the Etern Cupbearer's wine,
And so from troubles of both worlds be free!
362. C. L. N. A. I. J. So Wordsworth, "The world is too much with us," &c. The Sufis rejected talab ud dunya, "worldliness," and talab ul Ukharat, "other-worldliness," for talab ul Maula "disinterested Godliness." So Madame Guyon taught "Holy Indifference."
In this eternally revolving zone,
Two lucky species of men are known;
One knows all good and ill that are on earth,
One neither earth's affairs, nor yet his own.
363. C. L. N. A. I. J. Tamám, 'entirely.' The two classes seem to be practical men and mystics.
Make light to me the world's oppressive weight,
And hide my failings from the people's hate,
And grant me peace to-day, and on the morrow
Deal with me as Thy mercy may dictate!
364. C. L. N. A. I. J. In line 4 scan ánchaz.
Souls that are well informed of this world's state,
Its weal and woe with equal mind await,
For, be it weal we meet, or be it woe,
The weal doth pass, and woe too hath its date.
365. C. L. N. A. B. I. J. 'Twill all be one a hundred years hence.
Lament not fortune's want of constancy,
But up! and seize her favours ere they flee;
If fortune always cleaved to other men,
How could a turn of luck have come to thee?
366. C. L. N. A. I. J. This was a saying of Kisra Parvíz to his Sultana. Bicknell's Hafiz, p. 73.
Chief of old friends! hearken to what I say.
Let not heaven's treacherous wheel your heart dismay;
But rest contented in your humhle nook,
And watch the games that wheel is wont to play.
367. C. L. N. A. I. J.
Hear now Khayyám's advice, and bear in mind,
Consort with revellers, though they be maligned.
Cast down the gates of abstinence and prayer.
Yea, drink, and even rob, but, oh! be kind!
368. C. L. N. A. B. I. J. A rather violent extension of the doctrine, Mercy is better than sacrifice.
This world a body is, and God its soul,
And angels are its senses, who control
Its limbs—the creatures, elements, and spheres;
The ONE is the sole basis of the whole.
369. L. N. So Pope, "All are but parts," &c.
Last night that idol who enchants my heart,
With true desire to elevate my heart,
Gave me his cup to drink; when I refused,
He said, "O drink to gratify my heart!"
Would'st thou have fortune bow her neck to thee.
Make it thy care to feed thy soul with glee;
And hold a creed like mine, which is, to drain
The cup of wine, not that of misery.
371. L. N. So the Ecclesiast, "There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat, and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labour."
Though you survey, my enlightened friend,
This world of vanity from end to end,
You will discover there no other good
Than wine and rosy cheeks, you may depend!
372. N. Note izáfat dropped after sáhib. Bl., Prosody, p. 14.
Last night upon the river bank we lay,
I with my wine-cup, and a maiden gay,
So bright it shone, like pearl within its shell,
The watchman cried, " Behold the break of day!"
373. N. Nigáré, Here ya may be ya i tankír, the izáfat being dispensed with (Lumsden, ii. 269), [?] or perhaps ya i tausífí before the "sifat" mawzún.
Have you no shame for all the sins you do,
Sins of omission and commission too?
Suppose you gain the world, you can but leave it,
You cannot carry it away with you!
374. C. L. N. A. I. J.
In a lone waste I saw a debauchee,
He had no home, no faith, no heresy,
No God, no truth, no law, no certitude;
Where in this world is man so bold as he?
375. L. N. A beshara' or antinomian Sufi.
Some look for truth in creeds, and forms, and rules;
Some grope for doubts or dogmas in the schools;
But from behind the veil a voice proclaims,
"Your road lies neither here nor there, fools."
376. C. L. N. A. I. Truth, hidden from theologians and philosophers, is revealed to mystics. See Gulshan i Ráz, p. 11.
In heaven is seen the bull we name Parwín,
Beneath the earth another lurks unseen;
And thus to wisdom's eyes mankind appear
A drove of asses, two great bulls between!
377. L. N. The bulls are the constellation Taurus, and that which supports the earth. Mushté, "a handful;" izáfat displaced by ya i tankír, Lumsden, ii. 269.
The people say, "Why not drink somewhat less?
What reasons have you for such great excess?"
First, my Love's face, second, my morning draught;
Can there be clearer reasons, now confess?
378. C. L. N. A. I. J.
Had I the power great Allah to advise,
I'd hid him sweep away this earth and skies,
And build a better, where, unclogged and free,
The clear soul might achieve her high emprise.
379. C. L. N. A. I. J. This recalls the celebrated speech of Alphonso X., king of Castile.
This silly sorrow-laden heart of mine
Is ever pining for that Love of mine;
When the Cupbearer poured the wine of love,
With my heart's blood he filled this cup of mine!
380. C. L. N. A. I. Meaning, 'the wine of life, or existence, poured by the Deity into all beings at creation.' See Gulshan i Ráz, p. 80.
To drain the cup, to hover round the fair,
Can hypocritic arts with these compare?
If all who love and drink are going wrong,
There's many a wight of heaven may well despair!
381. L. N. B. Note the plural nekuán formed without the euphonic yá. Scan nékŭwán.
'Tis wrong with gloomy thoughts your mirth to drown,—
To let grief's millstone weigh your spirits down;
Since none can tell what is to be, 'tis best
With wine and love your heart's desires to crown.
382. C. L. N. A. B. I. J.
'Tis well in reputation to abide,
'Tis shameful against heaven to rail and chide;
Still, head had better ache with over drink,
Than be puffed up with Pharisaic pride!
383. C. L. N. A. I. J. Compare Tartuffe, i. 6.
O Lord! pity this prisoned heart, I pray,
Pity this bosom stricken with dismay!
Pardon these hands that ever grasp the cup,
These feet that to the tavern ever stray!
Lord! from self-conceit deliver me,
Sever from self, and occupy with Thee!
This self is captive to earth's good and ill,
Make me beside myself, and set me free!
385. C. L. N. A. I. J. A mystic's prayer.
Behold the tricks this wheeling dome doth play,
And earth laid bare of old friends torn away!
O live this present moment, which is thine,
Seek not a morrow, mourn not yesterday!
386. L. B. Khud rá básh seems an odd expression, perhaps khurram básh is the right reading.
Since all man's business in this world of woe
Is sorrow's pangs to feel, and grief to know,
Happy are they that never come at all,
And they that, having come, the soonest go!
387. C. L. A. B. I. J. Compare the chorus in the Oedipus Coloneus.
By reason's dictates it is right to live,
But of ourselves we know not how to live,
So Fortune, like a master, rod in hand,
Raps our pates well to teach us how to live!
388. L. Fortune's buffets.
Nor you nor I can read the etern decree,
To that enigma we can find no key;
They talk of you and me behind the veil,
But, if that veil be lifted, where are we?
389. C. L. A. I. J. Meaning, We are part of the "veil" of phenomena, which hides the Divine Noumenon. If that be swept away what becomes of us?
Love, for ever doth heaven's wheel design
To take away thy precious life, and mine;
Sit we upon this turf, 'twill not be long
Ere turf shall grow upon my dust, and thine!
390. L. N. B.
When life has fled, and we rest in the tomb,
They'll place a pair of bricks to mark our tomb;
And, a while after, mould our dust to bricks,
To furnish forth some other person's tomb!
391. L. N. A. I.
Yon palace, towering to the welkin blue,
Where kings did bow them down, and homage do,
I saw a ringdove on its arches perched,
And thus she made complaint, "Coo Coo, Coo, Coo!"
392. C. L. N. A. I. J. Mr. Binning found this quatrain inscribed on the ruins of Persepolis. Fitzgerald. Coo (Kú) means "Where are they?"
We come and go, but for the gain, where is it?
And spin life's woof, but for the warp, where is it?
And many a righteous man has burned to dust
In heaven's blue rondure, but their smoke, where is it?
393. C. L. N. A. B. I. J. So Ecclesiastes, "There is no remembrance of the wise, more than of the fool," "Smoke," i.e. trace.
Life's well-spring lurks within that lip of thine!
Let not the cup's lip touch that lip of thine!
Beshrew me, if I fail to drink his blood,
Tor who is he, to touch that Up of thine?
394. C. L. N. A. I. J. To a sweetheart.
Such as I am, Thy power created me,
Thy care hath kept me for a century!
Through all these years I make experiment,
If my sins or Thy mercy greater be.
395. C. L. N. A. I. J. God's long-suffering.
"Take up thy cup and goblet, Love," I said,
"Haunt purling river bank, and grassy glade;
Eull many a moon-like form has heaven's wbeel
Oft into cup, oft into goblet, made!"
396. C. L. N. A. B. I. J.
We buy new wine and old, our cups to fill,
And sell for two grains this world's good and ill;
Know you where you will go to after death?
Set wine before me, and go where you will!
397. L. N . . . . C. A. I. and J. give lines 1 and 2 differently.
Was e'er man born who never went astray?
Did ever mortal pass a sinless day?
If I do ill, do not requite with ill!
Evil for evil how can'st Thou repay?
398. L.N. Lines 3 and 4 are paraphrased somewhat freely.
Bring forth that ruby gem of Badakhshán,
That heart's delight, that balm of Turkistán;
They say 'tis wrong for Musulmáns to drink,
But ah! where can we find a Musulmán?
399. C. L. N. A. I. J. Some MSS. read labála'l.
My body's life and strength proceed from Thee!
My soul within and spirit are of Thee!
My being is of Thee, and Thou art mine,
And I am Thine, since I am lost in Thee!
400. L. "In him we live and move, and have our being."