Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyyat.

a Few of the Quatrains Untranslated By Fitzgerald,
literally Rendered In the Metre
and According to the Rhyme of the Originals.


Yazdan, chu gil wujud mara arāst.

When God created man from clay, He well1
Foreknew what acts our nature would impel.2
I sin but by His will : why then would He3
Cast me, at Doomsday, in the fire of Hell ?4


Ya rabb, tu karīmi va karīmi karam ast.

Thou art gracious, Lord !— The Gracious by his grace is known.5
Why from Iram’s bower is he, whom sin abases, thrown ?6
I obey, and Thou forgivest : grace is none therein.7
I rebel, and Thou forgivest : thus Thy grace is shown !8


Ya rabb, ba-dil asīr man rahmat kun.

Lord ! to my heart trepanned, be merciful !9
Lord ! to my breast grief-spanned, be merciful !10
—Pity, oh Lord, this tavern-haunting foot !11
To this goblet-snatching hand, be merciful !12


Khayyam, zi-bahri gunah in matūm chist.

Why mourn, Khayyam, for faults of thy begetting ?13
What good, or more or less, can come from fretting ?14
He who ne’er sins can never have forgiveness :15
He is forgiven who sins—why then regretting ?16


Afsus kih nan-i pukhta khdman darand.

Raw clowns, alas ! the best-baked pies belong to,17
And Things half-men, all things men prize belong to.18
Bright Turki glances fill the heart with rapture—19
Menials and slaves are they those eyes belong to !20


Khush bash, kih ghussa bi-karān kha’ahad bud.

Be gay ! for grief all-boundless lies in time to come ;21
Stars still will gather amid the skies, in time to come ;22
Out of the bricks that from thy mould they fashion23
A palace, for others built, will rise in time to come !24


Khush bash, kik alami guzrān kha’ahad bud.

Be gay ! for the world will onward plod in time to come ;25
The soul still cry for its fleshly pod, in time to come ;26
This skull thou seest so sprightly will be lying27
Under the foot of the potter trod, in time to come !28


Dunya didi u har chih dīdi hich ast.

Thon’st seen the world : what met thy sight is nothing29
Whate’er on eye or ear can smite is nothing.30
Th’ horizoned vastness of thy flight is nothing.31
The cell that cribs thy limbs at night is nothing.32


Dar parda-i asrar kasi-ra rāh nist.

Through mystery’s veil we sce no pathway tending,33
And human soul knows nought of that inwending.34
In the clay’s heart alone, man’s heart at rest is—35
Ah ! that this riddle had as short an ending !36


Maksud zi-jumla-i afrīnish maaim.

Creation’s perfect plan and muster we are.37
In the eye of Heaven, its pearl of lustre we are.38
The world’s great orb is like a ring ; and, doubtless,39
The graven gem of its bezelled cluster we are !40