From a Literal Prose Translation by Edward Heron-Allen
Done into verse
Arthur B Talbot
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Our old debauch we come not to revive,
Again we have renounc'd the Pray'r-times five;
Where'er the goblet is, there shall we be,
Our necks extended, each a flask alive.


To the jar's mouth my eager lip I press'd,
For Life's Elixir making anxious quest;
It join'd its lip to mine, and whisper'd low -
"Drink wine: thou shalt not wake from thy last rest!"


Here is good counsel, give thine ear to me,
Wear not the garment of hypocrisy;
The Future is unending, Life is short,
Sell not for it the whole Eternity.


Khayym, though drunk, lift up thy cheerful voice,
Be happy with the darling of thy choice;
If in the end of things thou must be naught,
Imagine thou art nothing now. Rejoice!


Within the potter's shop, ere this day broke,
I saw a host of pots - some mute, some spoke;
And suddenly one pot, agressive, cried,
"Who makes, or buys, or sells, us earthen folk?"


Of this good spirit, that men call Pure Wine,
They say, "Twill heal that broken heart of thine."
Haste then, and bring me three o'erbrimming cups,
Impute no evil to a gift divine.


Regard my virtues singly, bid them live,
But pass my crimes, by tens, through Memory's sieve;
Bear not resentment, God must be the judge;
By great Muhammad's Tomb, I say, "Forgive!"


Wine in the goblet is a spirit rare,
Within the jar a tender soul is there;
No earthly thing may be the friend of wine
Except the cup, which, though of clay, is fair.


Where doth the past begin, the future end?
Rejoice to-day, Wine is thy only friend!
Nor theory nor practice is of use,
But Wine unties each knot that Fate may send.


This vault of Heaven, 'neath which like fools we sit,
Is but a magic-lantern, dimly lit:
The sun the flame, the Universe the lamp,
We are the figures that revolve in it.

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