Everyone knows that I never mumbled prayers.
Everyone also knows I never tried to hide my faults.
I don’t know whether a higher Judge and a
higher Kindness exist – but still,
I am full of confidence as I have
always been true to myself.
What do you prefer?
To sit down in a wine house and there
to investigate yourself and your conscience,
or to kneel down in a church or mosque without your soul
participating? I don’t even think about whether
or not we have a Master and what
he will do with us if he exists.
Look with compassion
at the heavy drinkers. Know, that you too
have your weaknesses. If you want to live in peace
and clarity, then look at the poor and the handicapped
carrying the burden of their misery,
and see how fortunate you are!
Live in such way, that your
righteousness and knowledge does
not trouble others. Be calm and master of yourself.
Don’t allow yourself to be aggressive.
If you truly want to live in peace,
smile at your Fate.
Be happy today,
as you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
Take some wine, sit down in the light of the moon
and say to yourself that tomorrow that moon
may look for you in vain.
There is no harm
in reading the Koran once in a while.
But who can do that with pleasure every day?
On the rim of each cup a secret line
of wisdom is written, which we can
savour with each sip we take.
Our greatest treasure?
Wine! Our palace? The wine house.
Our true friends? Thirst and drunkenness.
We don’t worry, as we know that our soul, our heart,
our cups and our old clothes have nothing to fear
from mud and dust, from water or fire!
Be happy that you have only few friends.
Don’t feel obliged to show them endless sympathy.
Before you shake hands, before you consider
someone a friend, ask yourself whether you
are not shaking a hand that
may one day beat you.
This earthen bowl
may have been made from the ashes
of a man in love, suffering under the indifference
of a woman. The ear of the bowl? It was his arm
around the neck of his beloved.
How sad, a heart that
does not know how to love, that
does not know what it is to be drunk with love.
If you are not in love, how can you enjoy
the blinding light of the sun,
the soft light of the moon?
I feel young today.
Wine, wine! Its fire fills me.
Any wine will do – I am not choosy.
For even the best wine is as bitter
as life itself.
You know that you have
no power or choice regarding your fate.
So why should the uncertainty about what
may happen tomorrow fill you with fear? If you
are truly wise, live now! The future?
Who knows what it will bring.
Look at this
infinite season of hope,
of souls impatient to wake up,
of our search for a lonely place rich with scents.
Is each flower the fragrant hand of Moses,
each breeze the breath of Jesus?
Man cannot confidently go his own way
if he has not eaten of the fruits of truth.
Once Truth is glimpsed within the labyrinth of knowledge,
one knows that the days that have passed and the days that
are still to come do not differ from the disappointing
first day after Creation.
Beyond the earth,
beyond the farthest skies
I try to find Heaven and Hell.
Then I hear a solemn voice that says:
“Heaven and hell are inside.”
Nothing interests me anymore.
Get up and pour me some wine, my dear.
Tonight your mouth seems the most luscious rose in the world.
Wine! That it may have the same pink colour
as your cheeks; that my regrets
may be as light.
The spring breeze freshens the faces
of the roses. In the blueish shadow of
the garden that same breeze lovingly touches
the face of my beloved. We have had so many
good moments together, but right now
I don’t think about our past as the
present is so bright.
How long will I continue
to try to fill the ocean with stones?
I disapprove of the vain and the religeous.
Khayyam, who can affirm whether you will go to Heaven
or Hell? Besides, what do those words mean? Do you
know any traveller who has been there?
Drinker, bottomless container,
I don’t know by whom you were created
but I know that death will break you one day.
Therefore this long-harboured question: why have
we been created and why have we been happy, why
were we made of dust and why will we
return to dust again?
Our days pass as fast
as the water of the river
or the wind of the desert.
But there are two days that
do not interest me: yesterday
Why was I born, when will I die?
Who can change the day of his birth,
who has a say in the day of his death?
Come, my beloved, I want to ask the spirit
of the wine to make me forget that we
shall never understand.
Khayyam, you thought
you sewed the tents of Wisdom together;
you were burnt by suffering and will return to ashes.
An Angel cut the ropes of your tents.
Death sold your fame for a song.
Why blame yourself, Khayyam,
for having made so many mistakes?
Your grief is useless. For after your death
there will be either a Void
In convents, synagogues, mosques, churches,
the weak, those that are afraid of Hell, take refuge.
They that really trust Allah’s greatness
do not fill their hearts with the seeds
of fear and with pleas for mercy.
In spring I sometimes sit down
at the edge of a meadow in full bloom.
When a young woman then brings me a cup of wine
I certainly am not occupied with my salvation.
If I would, at such a moment of perfection,
I would not be worth a dime.
Our great wide world – a piece
of dust. All human knowledge – words.
The people, animals and flowers of the
seven continents – shadows. The result
of our meditations –
Let’s assume that you have finally solved
the riddle of the creation – what’s your fate?
Let’s assume that you found the deepest layers of
truth – what will be your fate? Let’s assume that
you have lived a hundred happy years and
that you will live another hundred –
what will be your fate?
Realise this: one day your soul
will depart from your body and you will
be drawn behind the curtain that floats between us
and the unknown. While you wait for that moment, be happy,
because you don’t know where you came from and
you don’t know where you will be going.
The most outstanding scholars of history
were walking in the darkness of ignorance.
And still, they were considered the torchbearers
of their age. What did they do? They left us
some confused thoughts
and passed away.
My heart asked me:
“I want to know, to understand.
Teach me, Khayyam, you that have worked so hard.”
And I replied by saying: “A.” And then my heart said:
“Now I know; the A is the first letter of
an infinite number of words.”
No one can understand
that which is full of mystery. One cannot
see what is hiding behing outward appearances. All
our dwellings are temporary, exept the last: the earth.
Drink wine! Stop your superfluous reasoning.
Life is nothing
but a dull game with two
sure rewards: sorrow and death.
Is this a game
Don’t look for friends at this merry-go-round.
Don’t look for a safe hiding place. Accept your sorrows
with a strong soul and don’t fancy you will find the remedy
that doesn’t exist. In difficult times: smile.
Don’t depend on others because
they can’t help you.
The big wheel turns
without following our human calculations.
Abandon your vain efforts to count the stars.
Rather meditate on this sure fact: one day
you will die and stray dogs will
tear apart your decayed body.
I was sleepy. Wisdom told me:
“The flowers of happiness don’t smell while you sleep.”
Instead of succumbing to that bloodrelative of death:
drink wine. You still have all eternity
The creator of stars, heaven and earth
surpassed himself when he also created pain.
Lips like rubies, delicious-smelling hair,
blooming flowers, how many of you are
already buried in earthy soil?
There are too many tears in my eyes!
The fires of Hell are no more than sparks of fire
as compared to the flames that consume me inside.
Paradise? For me it means
a moment of peace.
Sleeping while alive, sleeping when dead.
Above and under the earth it’s full of dead bodies.
Emptiness everywhere. Empty cases
as far as you can see.
People that come,
people that go.
Old world, where
the horses of Day and Night
are galloping through, you are like
the old palaces where kings dreamt
of fame and of compassion,
and woke up crying.
The southern wind
has withered the rose
for which the nightingale sang its song.
Should we grieve for that rose or for ourselves?
When death has already paled our cheeks
other roses will be flowering.
Ignore that yesterday
you should have been rewarded and that you were not.
Be happy. Don’t regret anything. Don’t expect anything.
Your future is already written down in the Book
of which the pages are turned, as if by accident,
by the Wind of Eternity.
When I hear someone talking
about all the delights the chosen few can expect,
I say: “I only trust in wine. Give me cash and no promises!”
The sound of drummers is best at a distance.
Wine gives you a taste of the eternal life.
Wine is the magic potion that can restore youth, that
divine season of roses, of intoxication, of sincere friends.
Enjoy this fleeting moment we call life.
for you will be asleep a long time,
once buried, without friends, without women.
I will entrust you with this secret: withered
flowers never bloom again.
the clay says to the potter moulding it:
“Remember, I have been alive like you,
treat me with gentleness.”
beware of damaging
the clay of which Adam was made.
On your wheel I see the heart of a poet,
the hand of a painter.
may have taken
its colour from the blood
of a buried emperor. That violet could
have sprouted from a beauty spot on
the beaming face of a young child.
Millions of centuries
Have seen dawn, have seen twilight.
Millions of centuries stars have passed through the sky.
Walk the earth cautiously. That lump of soil
you almost trampled down may have been
the eye of a child needing help.
Who knows whether this daffodil,
softly moving on the side of the brook,
touches with its roots the lips of a perished woman.
Let your feet touch the grass lightly. Remind
yourself that that grass grows off the dust
of so many faces shining like tulips.
Yesterday I watched
a Potter behind his wheel,
moulding the ears and curves of a vase
with clay that contained the skull of a sultan
and the hands of a beggar.
On this earth
Good and Bad fight for supremacy.
Heaven is not responsible for the good or bad times
our fate may bring us. Don’t thank Heaven and dont
curse it either. Heaven is as indifferent
to your happyness as to your sorrow.
When you have planted
the rose of Love into your heart
your life has not been in vain. Better still:
when you have tried to understand the voice of Allah.
Or better still: when you have lifted your mug
laughing with joy.
Be cautious, traveller!
The road you follow is dangerous.
The sword of fate is razor-sharp.
When you see ripe almonds along the road,
don’t eat them; they may be poisonous.j
A garden, a beautiful
young woman with flowing hair,
a cup of wine, my desire and my pain.
That’s my Paradise, my Hell.
But who ever visited
Paradise, who Hell?
You, whose cheeks
surpass the wild roses,
you, whose face resembles the statue of
a Chinese Goddess, do you know that your
velvety look degraded the King of Babylon
to the wooden bishop in a game of chess,
thus making him a slave to the queen.?
(Some pieces of his rubaiyat written in persian language and translated in english by Adward Fitzaedger)