And if the wine you drink, the lip you press,

End in the nothing all things end in – yes

Then fancy while thou art,

Thou art but what thou shalt be – nothing –

Thou shall not be less.


 For in and out, above, about, below,

Tis nothing but a magic shadow-show,

Played in a box whose candle is the sun,

Round which we phantom figures come and go.


Tis all a chequer board of nights and days,

Where destiny with men for pieces plays:

Hither and thither moves and mates and slays,

and one by one in the closet lays.


The moving finger writes and having writ moves on,

Not all thy piety and wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,

Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.


Here with a loaf of bread beneath the bough,

A flask of wine, a book of verse and thou,

Beside me singing in the wilderness – 

And wilderness is paradise enow.


Rubaiyat of Omar Khhayam translated by Scott Fitzgerald



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