Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my credit in Men’s Eye much wrong:
Have drown’d my honour in a shallow cup
And sold my reputation for a song.
Indeed, indeed, repentence oft before
I swore – but was I sober when I swore?
And then and then came spring, and rose in hand
My threadbare penitence a pieces tore.
And much as wine has play’d the Infidel,
And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour – well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the goods they sell.
Alas, that spring should vanish with the rose!
That youth’s sweet-scented manuscript should close!
The nightingale that in the branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!
Would but the desert of the fountain yield
One glimpse – if dimly, yet indeed, reveal’d,
To which the fainting traveller might spring,
As springs the trampled herbage of the field!
Would but some winged Angel ere too late
Arrest the yet unfolded roll of fate,
And make the stern recorder otherwise
Enregister, or quite obliterate.
Ah love! could thou and I with fate conspire
To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire,
Would we not shatter it to bits – and then
Re-mould it closer to the Heart’s desire!
Ah, Moon of my delight who know’st no wane,
The Moon of Heav’n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same garden after me – in vain!
And when thyself with shining foot shall pass
Among the guests Star-scatter’d on the grass,
And in thy joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made one turn down an empty glass!
Taman Shud (it is completed)
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam