The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
(21 - 30)


 Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
 TO-DAY of past Regrets and future Fears:
   To-morrow--Why, To-morrow I may be
 Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n thousand Years.


 For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
 That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest,
   Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
 And one by one crept silently to rest.


 And we, that now make merry in the Room
 They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom,
   Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
 Descend--ourselves to make a Couch - for whom?


 Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
 Before we too into the Dust descend;
   Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie,
 Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and - sans End!


 Alike for those who for TO-DAY prepare,
 And those that after some TO-MORROW stare,
   A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries,
 "Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There."


 Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
 Of the Two Worlds so wisely - they are thrust
   Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
 Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.


 Myself when young did eagerly frequent
 Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
   About it and about: but evermore
 Came out by the same door where in I went.


 With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
 And with mine own hand wrought to make it 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.


 What, without asking, hither hurried Whence?
 And, without asking, Whither hurried hence!
   Oh, many a Cup of this forbidden Wine
 Must drown the memory of that insolence!