From a Literal Prose Translation by Edward Heron-Allen
Done into verse
Arthur B Talbot
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Index 1 - 8 9 - 18 19 - 28 29 - 38 39 - 48
49 - 58 59 - 68 69 - 78 79 - 88 89 - 98 99 - 108
109 - 118 119 - 128 129 - 138 139 - 148 149 - 158 Home



We chose dry bread and privacy, before
The luxury that wealth may have in store.
We have bought poverty with heart and soul,
And poverty hath but enrich'd us more.


I know, though outwardly, of Life and Death;
And, inwardly, of all above, beneath;
But let me boast not, for I nothing know
Beyond the inspiration of Wine's breath.


A teacher once we sought, when young, to find
Wisdom that for a while contents the mind;
And from the whole discourse what did we learn? -
We come like water and depart like wind.


To him who understands Life's mystery,
Its joy or sorrow all the same must be;
Since good and ill alike must end, who cares
Whether it be all pain or remedy?


So far as in thee lies, feast evermore,
And cast both prayer and fasting from thy door.
From Omar Khayym hear the word of truth, -
"Rob on the road, and drink - but feed the poor."


This world one choice alone for men hath blest,
'Tis either Death, or Life by pain opprest;
How happy he to whom Death quickly comes,
And he who ne'er is born hath perfect rest.


O Dervish! rend thy figur'd veil apart,
Rather than sacrifice to it thy heart!
Take on thy back the rug of poverty, -
A Sultan's equal 'neath that rug thou art!


Behold the evils Heav'n doth here display,
The world bereft of friends that pass away;
Gain for thyself a moment's happiness,
Nor Past nor Future seek, - behold To-day!


'Tis better here with Love and Wine to sit
Than to become the zealous hypocrite;
If all who love or drink are doom'd to Hell,
On whom shall Heaven bestow a benefit?


No happy heart with sorrow should consume,
No joyful life mid test and trial fume;
None can foretell the future; wine, and love,
And rest we need, so these let us resume.

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