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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Additional Rubáiyát
By Omar Khayyám (1048–1131)
 
          [These are verses from earlier editions which Edward Fitzgerald either transformed or dropped in others, and one which he never included in his “Eclogue” scheme; but which seem too beautiful or too quaint not to be given.]

I
Opening Verses of the First Edition

AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight: 1
  And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.
 
Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky        5
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
  “Awake, my little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life’s Liquor in its cup be dry.”
 
II
Stanza xxxvii. of the First Edition

AH, fill the Cup: what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:        10
  Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday,
Why fret about them if To-day be sweet?
 
III
Stanza lxiv. of the First Edition

SAID one,—“Folks of a surly Tapster tell,
And daub his Visage with the Smoke of Hell:
  They talk of some strict Testing of us—Pish!        15
He’s a Good Fellow, and ’twill all be well.”
 
IV
Stanza xiv. of the Second Edition

WERE it not Folly, Spider-like to spin
The Thread of present Life away to win—
  What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall
Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in!        20
 
V
Stanza lxv. of the Second Edition

IF but the Vine- and Love-abjuring Band
Are in the Prophet’s Paradise to stand,
  Alack, I doubt the Prophet’s Paradise
Were empty as the hollow of one’s Hand.
 
VI
Verse given among Fitzgerald’s notes to the ‘Rubáiyát,’ but not included in the body of the text

BE of Good Cheer: the Sullen Month will die,
        25
And a young Moon requite us by-and-by:
  Look how the Old one, meagre, bent, and wan
With Age and Fast, is Fainting from the Sky!
 
Note 1. “Flinging a Stone into the Cup was the signal for ‘To Horse!’ in the Desert.”—Fitzgerald. [back]
 
 
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