Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

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Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale.
William Shakespeare
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Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a collection of poems (of which there are about a thousand) attributed to the Persian mathematician and astronomer Omar Khayyám (1048-1123). "Rubaiyat" means "quatrains": verses of four lines.

Fitzgerald translation, version 1

  • Morning when dawn's left hand was in the sky
    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.
  • Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough
    A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse, and Thou
    Beside me singing in the Wilderness
    Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
    • Quatrain XI
  • The Moving Finger writes, and having writ
    Moves on, nor all thy Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a line
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
    • Quatrain LI

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