The Moving Finger Writes; And, Having Writ by Omar Khayyám

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
  Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
  Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

But helpless pieces in the game He plays,
  Upon this chequer-board of Nights and Days,
He hither and thither moves, and checks … and slays,
  Then one by one, back in the Closet lays.

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
  The Tavern shouted – “Open then the Door!
You know how little time we have to stay,
  And once departed, may return no more.”

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
  A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread–and Thou,
Beside me singing in the Wilderness,
  And oh, Wilderness is Paradise enow.

If chance supplied a loaf of white bread,
  Two casks of wine and a leg of mutton,
In the corner of a garden with a tulip-cheeked girl,
  There’d be enjoyment no Sultan could outdo.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
  Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
  Came out of the same Door as in I went.

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
  And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d –
  “I came like Water, and like Wind I go.”

Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
  Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
  I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
  Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help – for It
  Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khayy%C3%A1m

Date: ? {translation 1859)

By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131) (full name: Ghiyath al-Din Abu’l-Fath ‘Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Nishapuri al-Khayyami)

Translated by: Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883)

Alternative Title: Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: