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The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam -- Omar Khayyam

more excerpts from
(Poem #342) The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
   One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.

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 as in I went.

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
   And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd ---
'I came like Water and like Wind I go.'
-- Omar Khayyam
I've been debating with myself over whose name to list as the author of
this famous poem. While it's true that Omar Khayyam himself was the
originator of the Rubaiyat's far from simple philosophy (and of the
wonderfully bewitching exposition thereof), it's also true that Edward
Fitzgerald's translation is what gives the poem its unique 'atmosphere'
(to readers in English, at least) - the two are (in the minds of most
reviewers) inseparable. Oh well. For the sake of consistency [1], I'll
go with Old Khayyam.


[1] with the previous set of excerpted verses, at poem #162

PS. The URL above also has biographies of both poet and translator, a
summary of Khayyam's philosophy, and Fitzgerald's own notes to the
second edition of his translation. Oh, and some commentary by the two of
us, of course :-)

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