Research: Iran


Literature: Poems of Iranian Poet, Khayam
Robaiat (Quatrains), Translated to English by M. Alexandrian
Since you cannot your hope on future fix,
Keep merry your coaxing heart, on joy you fix;
In moonlight drink wine beauty for the moon shall roll
Many days to come but shall not find you to fix!

Though in shape and hue I look pretty;
Red as the tulip and tall like cypress tree;
I wonder why in this earthly realm of joy
Such has the Eternal Painter bedecked me?

Before you and me days and nights have rolled;
The master of universe was busy in this fold;
Wherever you step on the earth, 
There a beauty's pupil lies, watch and behold!

Give me a cup of wine for my heart beats with throes
And this flying life like quicksilver flows;
Help me for the fire of youth is but a farce;
Beware, for wakefulness is the fruit of repose.

The circle around which we are turning 
Has neither an end nor a beginning;
He can solve this strange riddle
Who knows whence we come and where we'll be going.

Goodness and vice are inscribed in human trait,
Joy and sadness are ordained by chance or fate.
Ascribe not these to heaven, for scaled by reason
The world is a thousand times luckless than you, I bet.

The Subtle Maker who different molds does cast,
Why must with fault and imperfection blast?
Why break if it was pleasant to look?
And who should we blame if not well cast.

They say in Paradise with angels we shall cheer,
I say that the grape juice is far better;
Take the cash and let the promised credit go,
For the rumble of drum from distance sounds better.

The New Year's breeze cheers well the flower's face;
In meadow it is good to look at the fair mistress;
Yesterday past, whatever you say is unpleasant; 
Be merry, speak not of past, today is for happiness.

Now this battered caravansary sad and gray,
Is the quarter of alternate night and day;
A hundred kings like Jamshid and Bahram
Held their courts here and silent went away.

You look at the spheres, you see our bowed back there;
You look at Jeyhoun, it is our distilled tear.
Hell is a spark of our vain sufferings;
Paradise a moment of our happy life, O dear!

Every herb growing beside the mead,
Seems from the lip of a sweet belle kneaded;
Tread gently on the meadow. Who knows?
That grass is the dust of a tulip-faced maid. 

See O Saki! how cheerful is the flower in the glade?
Avail the chance, for in a weak it will be dead;
Drink wine and reap the rose for ere you look back
The grass turns to dust, the rose withers in its bed.

Cup-bearer my grief has spread at every station,
My joy and ecstasy is beyond expression;
Though white of hair I am glad that 
With your wine my heart is young with elation.

Thanks to the Saki for me some strength remains;
But from the folk's talk only faithlessness remains;
From yesterday's wine only a cup has been left;
I know not how many days from my life remains?

Each tulip which in the field does spring
Was the blood of an auspicious king;
Every petal of violet growing from earth
Was a mole on the face of a fair darling.

Once this pitcher was a poor lover like me;
He was enamored with the locks of a huri;
This handle that you see joined to its neck,
Was an arm that played on the neck of a fairy.

Many things pointed to existence in this domain;
Ever since good and bad deeds have exhausted the pen;
At the start fate gave you that writ on your brow,
Seek not farther nor grieve, all our efforts are vain.

Seek joy for the fruit of life is but a breath,
Each atom is made of Keyqobad's or Jam's head;
The end of the world and the essence of this life
Is but dream and illusive joys that have fled.

This revolving frame its secrets to nobody will explain,
Ruthlessly a thousand Mahmouds and Ayazes it has slain;
Drink wine for to none it will give a long life,
And he who leaves this world won't return again.

Like the tulip in New Your the goblet is best,
Or a tulip-faced belle if you happen to be caressed;
Drink wine and carouse for this gray dome
Shall suddenly turn you base and low as the dust.

O revolving frame! every ruin is from your baseness;
Tyranny has been your ancient business;
O earth! should they dig your breast
Many jewels they can find in the dark recess.

When the cloud washes the tulip's face in spring
Arise merrily and the red goblet bring;
For this meadow which you look with joy
Shall mold a rose from your dust in the spring.


Iranian Contemporary Poets

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