The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
(71 - 80)

71

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

72

 And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky,
 Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die,
   Lift not your hands to It for help - for It
 As impotently moves as you or I.

73

 With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man knead,
 And there of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed:
   And the first Morning of Creation wrote
 What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

74

 YESTERDAY This Day's Madness did prepare;
 TO-MORROW's Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
   Drink! for you not know whence you came, nor why:
 Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

75

 I tell you this - When, started from the Goal,
 Over the flaming shoulders of the Foal
   Of Heav'n Parwin and Mushtari they flung,
 In my predestined Plot of Dust and Soul.

76

 The Vine had struck a fiber: which about
 It clings my Being - let the Dervish flout;
   Of my Base metal may be filed a Key
 That shall unlock the Door he howls without.

77

 And this I know: whether the one True Light
 Kindle to Love, or Wrath consume me quite,
   One Flash of It within the Tavern caught
 Better than in the Temple lost outright.

78

 What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke
 A conscious Something to resent the yoke
   Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain
 Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke!

79

 What! from his helpless Creature be repaid
 Pure Gold for what he lent him dross-allay'd--
   Sue for a Debt he never did contract,
 And cannot answer - Oh the sorry trade!

80

 Oh Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin
 Beset the Road I was to wander in,
   Thou wilt not with Predestined Evil round
 Enmesh, and then impute my Fall to Sin!