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Old wine is better than a kingdom new;
Walk not, save towards the wine of rosy hue.
The cup is worth a hundred Persian thrones,
Its cover worth the crown of Kai-Khosrú.
O Sákí! they whose soul from them have fled,
In self-content have bow'd their sleepy head;
Go thou and drink, but hear the truth from me,
For 'tis but wind, whatever they have said.
My wine, O Lord, Thou spillest on the sward,
On me the door of happiness hast barr'd;
Thy Hand hath broken my poor jug of wine,
But, by my life, Thy ways are strange, O Lord!
To each base creature, something Thou hast given;
By Thy cool streams the face of earth is riven;
The pure man, for a crust, will stake his all:
Thou should'st give readily, for such, a Heaven.
O Heart! the Fount of Truth thou dost not gain,
To thee Philosophy makes nothing plain;
Build thyself here a Heaven with wine and cup,
For thou may'st ne'er another Heaven attain.
Creation's smoke seems evermore thy meat,
How long with sophistry thyself wilt cheat?
Thou want'st no stock-in-trade to waste away,
Nor capital. All profits thou dost eat.
O Soul! if thou this dust aside canst fling,
And soar through space upon unfetter'd wing,
Infinity thy sphere - count it thy shame
That to this earth contented thou dost cling.
Last night I smote the winecup on a stone;
For such mad folly how may I atone?
The shatter'd cup, in mystic language, said,
"I was like thee, my fate shall be thine own."
O Heart's Desire! from cup and flask seek aid;
Be merry midst the river's flowery glade;
Malicious Heav'n of many joyous folk
A hundred times hath cups and flagons made.
In every step I take Thou sett'st a snare,
Saying, "Thus will I entrap thee, so beware!"
And, while all things are under Thy command,
That I a rebel am Thou dost declare.
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