The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
(41 - 50)

41

 Perplext no more with Human or Divine,
 To-morrow's tangle to the winds resign,
   And lose your fingers in the tresses of
 The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.

42

 And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
 End in what All begins and ends in - Yes;
   Think then you are TO-DAY what YESTERDAY
 You were - TO-MORROW you shall not be less.

43

 So when that Angel of the darker Drink
 At last shall find you by the river-brink,
   And, offering his Cup, invite your Soul
 Forth to your Lips to quaff - you shall not shrink.

44

 Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
 And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
   Were't not a Shame - were't not a Shame for him
 In this clay carcass crippled to abide?

45

 'Tis but a Tent where takes his one day's rest
 A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
   The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
 Strikes, and prepares it for another Guest.

46

 And fear not lest Existence closing your
 Account, and mine, should know the like no more;
   The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd
 Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour.

47

 When You and I behind the Veil are past,
 Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
   Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
 As the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast.

48

 A Moment's Halt - a momentary taste
 Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste--
   And Lo! - the phantom Caravan has reach'd
 The NOTHING it set out from - Oh, make haste!

49

 Would you that spangle of Existence spend
 About THE SECRET - quick about it, Friend!
   A Hair perhaps divides the False from True--
 And upon what, prithee, may life depend?

50

 A Hair perhaps divides the False and True;
 Yes; and a single Alif were the clue--
   Could you but find it - to the Treasure-house,
 And peradventure to THE MASTER too;