Persian Culture & History

Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam

Author: Mason Balouchian

KhayyamOmar Khayyam (1048-1131 AD) was a Persian philosopher, mathematician, astrologer, and poet. He has also written about music, climatology, geography, mechanics, and mineralogy. He was born in Neishaboor. His fame throughout the world is because of his quatrains (Robaiyat of Omar Khayyam) translated and adapted by Edward FitzGerald (1809-83). His dominance on different scientific subjects including editing the Solar Calendar made him a celebrated scholar of the Persian history.

The following quatrains were translated by Edward FitzGerald


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.
For I remember stopping by the way
To watch a potter thumping his wet clay:
And with its all-obliterated Tongue
It murmur’d—”Gently, Brother, gently, pray”
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
Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet’s paradise to come;
Ah, take the cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the fumble of a distant Drum!
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.
I think the Vessel, that the fugitive
Articulation answer’d, once did live,
And drink; and Ah! The passive Lip I kiss’d,
How many Kisses might it take and give!


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