Khayam's Tomb

Khayam's Statue

Research: Iran


Literature: Poems

Robaiat (Quatrains)

Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that plus the Stars to Flight
And Lo! Hunter of East has caught
Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light
Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within Tavern cry
"Awake, my Little ones, all fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry"
And, as Cock crew, those who stood before
Tavern shouted "Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay
And, once departed, may return no more"
Now the New Year reviving old Desires
Thoughtful Soul of Solitude retires
Where "white hand of Moses" on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from Ground surprises
Iram needed is gone with all its Rose
And Jamshid's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows
But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields
And still a Garden by Water blows
And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High-piping Pahlavi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!" -the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly-and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing
And Look-a thousand Blossoms with the Day
Woke-and a Thousand scatter'd into Clay:
And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose
Would take Jamshid and Keiqobad away
But come with old Khayam, and leave the Lot
Of Keiqobad and Keikhosro forgot:
Let Rostam lay about him as he will
Or Hatam Tai cry Supper-heed them not
With me along some Strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from town
Where name of Slave and Sultan scarce is known
And pity Sultan Mahmoud on his Throne
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough
A flask of Wine, a Book of Verse-and Thou
Beside me signing in the Wilderness-
And Wilderness is Paradise enow
"How sweet is mortal Sovranty"-think some:
Others-"How blest the Paradise to Come!"
Ah, take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest
Oh, brave Music of a "distant" Drum!
Look to the Rose that blows about us-"Lo
Laughing", she says, "into the World I blow:
At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw"
Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turnd Ashes-or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a Little Hour or two-is gone.
And those who husbanded Golden Grain
And those who flung it to Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.
They say the Lion and Lizard keep
Courts where Jamshid gloried and drank deep:
And Bahram, that great Hunter-the Wild Ass
Stamps O'er his Head, and he lies fast asleep.
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buries Caesar bled;
That very Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.
And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean-
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

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