Even the blue dome, which impressed me in the distance, I found on getting near to it was in a ruinous state from large por- tions of the enamelled plaster having fallen off. Instead of the marble and the red stone of the Taj at Nish- apur, with the exception of some enamelled tiles pro- ducing a pattern round the base of the dome, and also in the spandrils of the door and windows, there we find only bricks and plaster. The surrounding wall of the enclosure was of crumbling mud, and could be easily jumped over at any place.
The place turned out to be an Imamzadah, or the tomb of the Son of an Imam. The Son of an Imam inherits his sanctity from his father, and his place of burial becomes a holy place where pilgrims go to pray. The blue dome is over the tomb of such a person, who may have been a brute of the worst kind, that would not have affected his sanctity, instead of the poet, whom we reverence for the qualities which belonged to himself. When we had ascended the platform, about three feet high, on which the tomb stood, the Mehmandar turned to the left, and in a recess formed by three arches and a very rude roof, which seemed to have been added to the corner of the Imamzadah, pointed to the tomb of Omar Khayam.
The discovery of a " Poet's Corner" at Nishapur, natu- rally recalled Westminster Abbey to my mind and revived my spirits from the depression produced by finding that the principal tomb was not that of the Poet. The monument over the tomb is an oblong mass of brick covered with plaster, and without ornament, the plaster falling off in places; on this and on the plaster of the recess are innumerable scribblings in Persian character. Some were, no doubt, names, for the British John Smith has not an exclusive tendency in this respect ; but many of them were continued through a number of lines, and I guessed they were poetry, and most probably quotations from the Kubai- yat.
Although the " Poet's Corner " was in rather a dilapidated state, still it must have been repaired at no very distant date ; and this shows that some atten- tion has been paid to it, and that the people of Nisha- pur have not quite forgotten Omar Khayam. Behind the Imamzadah is a Kubberstaii, or " Region of Graves," and the raised platform in front of the tomb contains in its rough pavement a good many small tonib-stones, shew- ing that people are buried there, and that the place had been in the past a general grave-yard.
All this is owing to the hereditary sanctity which belongs to the Son of an Imam, arid we are perhaps indebted to Mohammed Ma- rook, no matter what his character may have been, for the preservation of the site of Omar Khayam's burial place ; the preservation of the one necessarily preserved the other. In front of the Imamzadah is the garden, with some very old and one or two large trees, but along the edge of the platform in front of Omar Khayam's tomb I found some rose bushes ; it was too late in the season for the roses, but a few hips were still remaining, and one or two of these I secured, as well as the leaves, some of which are here enclosed for you; I hope you will be able to grow them in England, they will have an interest, as in all probability they are the particular kind of roses Omar Khayam was so fond of watching as he pondered and composed his verses.
He wrote a work called ' Mantik et Teyr, the Logic of Birds. This tomb I shall not have time to visit. An- other three marches take us to Meshed, and then we shall be close to the Afghan frontier. The sketch above referred to appears in the present volume as the frontispiece to the Ruba'iyyat. The slender Story of his Life is curiously twined about that of two other very considerable Figures in their Time and Country: For this cause ' did my father send me from Tiis to Naishapiir with ' Abd-us-samad, the doctor of law, that I might employ ' myself in study and learning under the guidance of 1 that illustrious teacher.
Towards me he ever turned ' an eye of favour and kindness, and as his pupil I felt ' for him extreme affection and devotion, so that I passed ' four years in his service. When the Imam rose from his ' lectures, they used to join me, and we repeated to each ' other the lessons we had heard.
Now Omar was a ' native of Naishapiir, while Hasan Ben Sabbah's father ' was one All, a man of austere life and practice, but heretical in his creed and doctrine. One day Hasan ' said to me and to Khayyam, ' It is a universal belief i that the pupils of the Imam Mo waff ak will attain to ' fortune. Now, even if we all do not attain thereto, ' without doubt one of us will ; what then shall be our ' mutual pledge and bond?
Years rolled ' on, and I went from Khorassan to Transoxiana, and 1 wandered to Grhazni and Cabul ; and when I returned, i I was invested with office, and rose to be adminis- i trator of affairs during the Sultanate of Sultan Alp Arslan. The Vizier was generous and kept his word. Hasan demanded a place in the government, which the Sultan granted at the Vizier's request ; but discontented with a gradual rise, he plunged into the maze of intrigue of an oriental court, and failing in a base attempt to supplant his benefactor, he was dis- graced and fell.
After many mishaps and wanderings, Hasan became the head of the Persian sect of the IsmaiUans, a party of fanatics who had long mur- mured in obscurity, but rose to an evil eminence under the guidance of his strong and evil will. One of the countless victims of the Assassin's dagger was Nizam-ul-Mulk himself, the old school-boy friend. Under the ' Sultanate of Malik Shah, he came to Merv, and ob- ' tained great praise for his proficiency in science, and ' the Sultan showered favours upon him.
Attar makes Nizam-ul-Mulk use the very words of his friend Omar [Rub. I am passing away in the hand of the Wind. Khwajah Nizami of Samarcand, who was ' one of his pupils, relates the following story: When leaving Ulietea, "Oreo's last request was for me to return. The writer of it, on reading in India this story of Omar's Grave, was reminded, he says, of Cicero's Account of finding Archimedes' Tomb at Syracuse, buried in grass and weeds. I think Thor- waldsen desired to have roses grow over him ; a wish religiously fulfilled for him to the present day, I be- lieve. However, to return to Omar.
He is said to have been especially hated and dreaded by the Sufis, whose Practice he ridiculed, and whose Faith amounts to little more than his own when stript of the Mysticism and formal recognition of Islamism under which Omar would not hide. Their Poets, including Hafiz, who are with the exception of Firdausi the most considerable in Persia, borrowed largely, indeed, of Omar's material, but turning it to a mystical Use more convenient to Themselves and the People they addressed; a People quite as quick of Doubt as of Belief; as keen of Bodily Sense as of asked the name of my Martti Burying-place.
As strange a ques- tion as this was, I hesitated not a moment to tell him ' Stepney,' the parish in which I live when in London. I was made to repeat it several times over till they could pronounce it ; and then ' Step- ney Marai no Toote ' was echoed through a hundred mouths at once. I afterwards found the same question had been put to Mr. Forster by a man on shore ; but he gave a different, and indeed more proper answer, by saying, 'No man who used the sea could say where he should be buried. Omar was too honest of Heart as well as of Head for this. Having failed however mistakenly of finding any Providence but Destiny, and any Wofld but This, he set about making the most of it; preferring rather to soothe the Soul through the Senses into Acquiescence with Things as he saw them, than to perplex it with vain disquietude after what they might be.
It has been seen, however, that his Worldly Ambition was not exorbitant; and he very likely takes a humorous or perverse pleasure in exalt- ing the gratification of Sense above that of the Intellect, in which he must have taken great delight, although it failed to answer the Questions in which he, in common with all men, was most vitally interested. For whatever Reason, however, Omar, as before said, has never been popular in his own Country, and therefore has been but scantily transmitted abroad.
We know but of one in England: V One in the Asiatic Society's Library at Calcutta of which we have a Copy , contains and yet incomplete , though swelled to that by all kinds of Repetition and Corruption. So Von Hammer speaks of his Copy as containing about , while Dr. Sprenger catalogues the Lucknow MS. It may be rendered thus: Both indeed were men of subtle, strong, and cultivated Intellect, fine Imagination, and Hearts pas- sionate for Truth and Justice ; who justly revolted from their Country's false Religion, and false, or foolish, Devotion to it ; but who fell short of replacing what they subverted by such better Hope as others, with no better Revelation to guide them, had yet made a Law to themselves.
Lucretius, indeed, with such material as Epicurus furnished, satisfied himself with the theory of a vast machine fortuitously constructed, and acting by a Law that implied no Legislator and so composing himself into a Stoical rather than Epicu- rean severity of Attitude, sat down to contemplate the mechanical Drama of the Universe which he was part Actor in ; himself and all about him as in his own sublime description of the Roman Theatre discoloured with the lurid reflex of the Curtain suspended between the Spectator and the Sun. With regard to the present Translation.
The original Rubaiyat as, missing an Arabic Guttural, these Tetra- stichs are more musically called are independent Stan- zas, consisting each of four Lines of equal, though varied, Prosody; sometimes all rhyming, but oftener as here imitated the third line a blank. Sometimes as in the Greek Alcaic, where the penultimate line seems to lift and suspend the Wave that falls over in the last. As usual with such kind of Oriental Verse, the Rubaiyat follow one another according to Alpha- betic Rhyme a strange succession of Grave and Gay.
Those here selected are strung into something of an Eclogue, with perhaps a less than equal proportion of the " Drink and make-merry," which genuine or not recurs over-frequently in the Original. Either way, the Result is sad enough: I [From the Third Edition. I cannot see reason to alter my opinon, formed as it was more than a dozen years ago when Omar was first shown me by one to whom I am indebted for all I know of Oriental, and very much of other, literature. He admired Omar's Genius so much, that he would gladly have adopted any such Interpretation of his meaning as Mons.
Nicolas' if he could. He may now as little approve of my Version on one side, as of Mons. Nicolas' Theory on the other. Nicolas' Theory, there is the Biographical Notice which he himself has drawn up in direct contradiction to the Interpretation of the Poems given in his Notes. Indeed I hardly knew poor Omar was so far gone till his Apologist informed me. For here we see that, whatever were the Wine that Hafiz drank and sang, the veritable Juice of the Grape it was which Omar used, not only when carousing with his. Nicolas in order to excite himself to that pitch of Devotion which others reached by cries and "hurlemens.
A Persian would naturally wish to vindicate a dis- tinguished Countryman ; and a Siifi to enrol him in his own sect, which already comprises all the chief Poets of Persia. What historical Authority has Mons. Nicolas to show that Omar gave himself up " avec passion a Fetude de la philosophie des Soufis"? Von Hammer according to Sprenger's Oriental Catalogue speaks of Omar as " a Free-thinker, and a great oppo- nent of Sujism ; " perhaps because, while holding much of their Doctrine, he would not pretend to any incon- sistent severity of morals.
Ouseley has written a note to something of the same effect on the fly-leaf of the Bodleian MS. And in two Rubaiyat of Mons. Nicolas' own Edition Siif and Sufi are both dispara- gingly named. No doubt many of these Quatrains seem unaccount- able unless mystically interpreted ; but many more as unaccountable unless literally. Were the Wine spiritual, for instance, how wash the Body with it when dead f Why make cups of the dead clay to be filled with "La Divinite" by some succeeding Mystic?
But this, at best, tells as much one way as another ; nay, the Sufi, who may be considered the Scholar and Man of Letters in Persia, would be far more likely than the careless Epicure to interpolate what favours his own view of the Poet. I observe that very few of the more mystical Quatrains are in the Bodleian MS.
And this, I think, especially distinguishes Omar I cannot help calling him by his no, not Christian familiar name from all other Persian Poets: That, whereas with them the Poet is lost in his Song, the Man in ADegory and Abstraction ; we seem to have the Man the Bonhomme Omar himself, with all his Humours and Passions, as frankly before us as if we were really at Table with him, after the Wine had gone round. I must say that I, for one, never wholly believed in the Mysticism of Hafiz.
It does not appear there was any danger in holding and singing Sufi Pantheism, so long as the Poet made his Salaam to Mohammed at the beginning and end of his Song. Under such conditions trop orientales, d'une sensualite quelqiiefois revoltante, n'auront pas de peine a se persuader qiril s'agit de la Divinite, bien que eette conviction soit vivement discutee par les moullahs musul- mans, et meme par beaucoup de laiqties, qni rougissent veritable- ment d'une pareille licence de leur compatriote a 1'egard des choses spirituelles.
Per- haps some Allegory less liable to mistake or abuse had been better among so inflammable a People: And all for what? To be tantalized with Images of sensual enjoyment which must be renounced if one would approximate a God, who according to the Doctrine, is Sensual Matter as well as Spirit, and into whose Universe one expects uncon- sciously to merge after Death, without hope of any posthumous Beatitude in another world to compensate for all one's self-denial in this.
Lucretius' blind Divinity certainly merited, and probably got, as much self-sac- rifice as this of the Sufi; and the burden of. Omar's Song if not "Let us eat " is assuredly " Let us drink, for To-morrow we die! On the other hand, as there is far more historical certainty of his being a Philosopher, of scientific Insight and Ability far beyond that of the Age and Country he lived in ; of such moderate worldly Ambition as becomes a Philosopher, and such moderate wants as rarely satisfy a Debauchee ; other readers may be content to believe with me that, while the Wine Omar celebrates is simply the Juice of the Grape, he bragg'd more than he drank of it, in very defiance perhaps of that Spiritual Wine which left its Votaries sunk in Hypocrisy or Disgust.
The Bird of Time has but a little way To fly and Lo! XII " How sweet is mortal Sovranty! Others " How blest the Paradise to come! X Well, let it take them! What have we to do With Kaikobdd the Great, or Kaikhosru? I sometimes tliink that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Ccesar bled ; That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head. And out of it, as Wind along the Waste, I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.
XXX What, without asking, hither hurried zvhcncc? And, without asking, whither hurried hence! Another and another Cup to drown The Memory of this Impertinence! And, without asking, Whither hurried hence!
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Oh, many a Cup of this forbidden Wine Must drown the memory of that insolence! There was a Veil past which I could not see: And Lip to Lip it murmur'd "While you live " Drink! And Lip to Lip it murmur d " While yon live, "Drink! And with its all obliterated Tongue It murmur'd "Gently, Brother, gently, pray! Or is that but a Tent, where rests anon A Sultan to his Kingdom passing on, And which the swarthy Chamberlain shall strike Then when the Sultan rises to be gone? A Hair perhaps divides the False and True A nd upon what, prithee, does life depend?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape, Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit. Sec Stanza xxxvuj XL! And in some corner of the Hubbub coucht, Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee. The sovereign Alchemist that in a trice Lifes leaden metal into Gold transmute: A Blessing, we should use it, should we not? And if a Curse why, then, Who set it there?
One tiling at least is certain This Life flies ; One thing is certain and the rest is Lies ; The Flower that once has blown for ever dies. LXIV Strange, is it not? And when the Angel with his darker Draught Draws up to Thee take that, and do not shrink. Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays, And one by one back in the Closet lays.
Hither and tliitlicr moves, and cheeks, and slays, A nd one by one back in the Closet lays. LVI And this I know: And suddenly one more impatient cried "Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot? Lxxxin Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes, great and small, That stood along the floor and by the ivall ; And sonic loquacious vessels ivere ; and sonic Listened perhaps, but never talk'd at all. So while the Vessels one by one were speaking, One spied the little Crescent all were seeking: And then theyjogg'd each other, "Brother! And then they jogg 1 d each other, "Brother!
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore. That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close! The Nightingale that in the Branches sang, Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows! And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand My thread- bare Penitence apiece s tore. How oft hereafter rising shall she look Through this same Garden after me in vain!
Flinging a Stone into the Cup was the signal for " To Horse! Beginning with the Vernal Equinox, it must be remembered ; and howsoever the old Solar Year is practically superseded by the clumsy Lunar Year that dates from the Mohammedan Hijra still commemorated by a Fes- tival that is said to have been appointed by the very Jamshyd whom Omar so often talks of, and whose yearly Calendar he helped to rectify. Binning, " are very striking.
According to them also the Healing Power of Jesus resided in his Breath. Irani, planted by King Shaddad, and now sunk some- where in the Sands of Arabia. Pelilevi, the old Heroic Sanskrit of Persia. Hafiz also speaks of the Nightingale's Pehlevi, which did not change with the People's. I think that Southey in his Common-Place Book, quotes from some Span- ish author about the Rose being White till 10 o'clock ; " Rosa Perfecta " at 2 ; and " perfecta incarnada " at 5. Rustum, the " Hercules" of Persia, and Zal his Father, whose exploits are among the most celebrated in the Shahnama.
Hatiin Tai, a well-known type of Oriental Generosity. A Drum beaten outside a Palace. That is, the Rose's Golden Centre. Seven transcend, and within which they revolve. The Palace that to Heav'n his pillars threw, And Kings the forehead on his threshold drew I saw the solitary Ringdove there, And " Coo, coo, coo," she cried; and " Coo, coo, coo. Binning found, among several of Hafiz and others, inscribed by some stray hand among the ruins of Persepolis. A thousand years to each Planet. Satuni, Lord of the Seventh Heaven. One of the Persian Poets Attar, I think - has a pretty story about this.
By-and-by comes another who draws up and drinks from an earthen bowl, and then departs, leaving his Bowl behind him. The first Trav- eller takes it np for another draught ; but is surprised to find that the same Water which had tasted sweet from his own hand tastes bitter from the earthen Bowl. But a Voice from Heaven, I think tells him the clay from Avhich the Bowl is made was once Man ; and, into whatever shape renew'd, can never lose the bitter flavor of Mortality. The custom of throwing a little Wine on the ground before drinking still continues in Persia, and perhaps generally in the East.
Nicolas considers it " un signe de liberalite, et en meme temps un avertissement que le buveur doit vider sa coupe jusqu'a la derniere goutte. Or, perhaps, to divert the Jealous Eye by some sacrifice of super- fluity, as with the Ancients of the West 1 With Omar we see something more is signified ; the precious Liquor is not lost, but sinks into the ground to refresh the dust of some poor Wine-worshipper foregone. Thus Hafiz, copying Omar in so many ways: Wherefore fear the Sin which brings to another Gain J? According to one beautiful Oriental Legend, Azrael accomplishes his mission by holding to the nostril an Apple from the Tree of Life.
This, and the two following Stanzas would have been with- drawn, as somewhat de trop, from the Text, but for advice which I least like to disregard. From Mah to Mahi ; from Fish to Moon. A Jest, of coiirse, at his Studies. A curious mathe- matical Quatrain of Omar's has been pointed out to me ; the more curious because almost exactly parall'd by some Verses of Doctor Donne's, that are quoted in Izaak Walton's Lives!
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If we be two, we two are so As stiff twin-conipasses are two ; Thy Soul, the fixt foot, makes no show To move, but does if the other do. And though thine in the centre sit, Yet when ray other far does roam, Thine leans and hearkens after it, And grows erect as mine comes home. Such thou must be to me, who must Like the other foot obliquely run ; Thy firmness makes my circle just, And me to end where I begun.
The Seventy-two Religions supposed to divide the World, including Islamism, as some think: Alluding to Sultan Mahmud's Conquest of India and its dark people. Funusi khiydl, a Magic-lanthorn still used in India ; the cylindrical Interior being painted with various Figures, and so lightly poised and ventilated as to revolve round the lighted Candle within. A very mysterious Line in the Original: Parwin and Mushtari The Pleiads and Jupiter.
Carlyle ridiculed Sterling's "Pantheism. Hath not tlie potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? And can that earth-artificer have a freer power over his brother potsherd both being made of the same metal , than God hath over him, who, by the strange fecundity of His omnipotent power, first made the clay out of nothing, and then him out of that?
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The woman says, ' If, by Proserpine, instead of all this 'testifying' comp. Cuddie and his mother in i Old Mor- tality! One more illustration for the oddity's sake from the " Auto- biography of a Cornish Rector," by the late James Hamley Tregenna. In our Country-dialect Earth- enware is called 'dome'; so the Boys of the Village used to shout out after him ' Go back to the Potter, Old Clome- face, and get baked over again.
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At the Close of the Fasting Month, Ramazan which makes the Mussulman unhealthy and unamiable , the first Glimpse of the New Moon who rules their division of the Year is looked for with the utmost Anxiety, and hailed with Acclamation. Then it is that the Porter's Knot may be heard toward the Cellar. The Roman numerals on the left refer to quatrains of the Rubaiyyat as published in the Fourth edition. The Arabic figures in the tlrst column on the right refer to the Rubaiyyat as numbered in the Paris edition.
The Arabic figures of the last column refer to Whinfield's translation. This rubffiy is not, in either of its forms, found in Nicolas or in Whinfield. The first in the Persian text of Nicolas 1 Absent The following is a nearly exact rendering, both of the sense and the metre Out from our inn, one morn, a voice came roaring " Up! Sots, scamps, and madmen! Come pour we out a measure full of wine, and drink! Ere yet the measure's brimmed for us they 're pouring up!
Drink wine, my heart! Not in the Persian, nor in Whinfield. Partly original ; partly agreeing with 94 vil. Not found in the Persian, nor in Whinfield. At Balkh or at Naishiipvir that the soul shall flitter?
Go, sit in the shade of the rose, for every rose That springs from the earth, again to earth soon goes away! Is a verbal echo of the Persian stanza, but quite different in sense The original is So long as thy frame of flesh and of bone shall be, Stir not one step outside Fate's hostelry ; Bow to no foe thy neck, were 't Rnstum's self, Take from no friend a gift, though Hutim he!
Such is my wish then, tliou in the waste with me! A parallel is also found in No. Not found in the Persian of Nicolas xv.
The exact rendering of the Persian is Darling, ere sorrow thy nightly couch enfold again, Bid wine be brought, red sparkling as of old, again! And Jiou, weak fool! When buried, none will dig thee up from the mould again! Not found in the Persian or in Whinfield. Not in Nicolas' Persian text 58 xx 59 31 The verdure that you rivulet's bank arraying is, "The down on an angel's lip," in homely saying, is O tread not thereon disdainfully! Draw profit of the day yet undeparted: We '11 join, when we to-morrow leave this mansion, The band seven thousand years ago that started!
A very beautiful stanza which I do not find in the Persian. Over our lives a deadly spell 't is flinging, friend! Come, sit upon this turf, for little time is left Ere fresher turf shall from our dust be springing, friend! Complementary to the sense of xxni, with an addition not in the Persian, xxv Myriad minds a-busy sects and creeds to learn, The Doubtful from the Sure all puzzled to discern: Suddenly from the Dark the crier raised a cry "Not this, nor Uiat, ye fools!
Not in Nicolas xxix. I Nicolas of There is a hint of it in N. This last may be ren- dered This life is tout three days' space, and it speeds apace, Like wind that sweeps away o'er the desert's face: So long as it lasts, two days ne'er trouble my mind, The daj' undawned, and the day that has run its race.
A fine stanza ; not in N. Not in the Persian text of Nicolas. Instead of " from the dark, the Crier," Whinfield has "from behind the veil a Voice," while Fitzgerald ex- presses it in a fine paraphrase, " A Muezzin from the tower of Darkness. Evidently from a Persian source which I cannot identify. Arriving, when none I find who the secret knows, Out through the door I go that I entered by!
A similar thought is contained in N. I see that never The Four and the Seven respond to thy brain's endeavour Drink wine! Once gone, thou art gone for ever! The four elements and the seven heavens from which man derives his essence. Perhaps suggested by N. This is closer Thy body 's a tent, where the Soul, like a King in quest Of the goal of Nought, is a momentary guest; He arises; Death's far rush uproots the tent, And the King moves on to another stage to rest. Not found in the original. The latter may be rendered Up!
Brimm'd with red wine let the crystal goblet be! For this hour is lent thee in the House of Dust: Another thou may'st seek, but ne'er slialt see! These three and the pre- ceding one are probably founded on N. This is a conceit derived from the Mohammedan law of divorce.
Similar imagery is used in N. Perhaps suggested from the same source as xxxv. Suggested by the conceits of cash and credit i. Those who were paragons of Worth and Ken, Whose greatness torchlike lights their fellow men, Out of this night profound no path have traced for us ; They 've babbled dreams, then fall'n to sleep again!
Improved from the Persian This vault of Heaven at which we gaze astounded, May by a painted lantern be expounded: The light 's the Sun, the lantern is the World, And We the figures whirling dazed around it! On the draughtboard of Life we are shuffled to and fro. Then one by one to the box of Nothing go! Yield thee to Fate, whatever of pain it bring: The Pen will never unwrite its writ for thee! Altered considerably from In the tavern, better with Thee my soul I share Than in the mosque, without Thee, uttering prayer O Thou, the First and Last of all that is!
Or doom Thou me to burn, or choose to spare. When the Supreme my body made of clay, He well foreknew the part that I should play: Not without His ordainment have I Binned! Why would He then I burn at Judgment-day? The wayward caprices my life that have tinted All spring from the mould on my Being imprinted: Nought else and nought better my nature conld be I am as I came from the crucible minted!
Sin in each breath and in the food we swallow! Black is my face that what was Bid, undone is: If done the Unbidden, ah! Contain in greater diffuseness the exact idea of.. FitzGerald's translations were popular in the century of their publication, and since its publication humourists have used it for purposes of parody. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Edward Fitzgerald. The Emperor of the United States and other magnificent British eccentrics. Routledge and Kegan Paul. A Cambridge Alumni Database. The Rubaiyat and the Bird Parliament.
Saturday Review of Books p. Edward Fitzgerald and 'Posh', 'herring merchants' Including letters from E. Retrieved 27 December The Letters of Edward Fitzgerald, Volume 3: This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edward FitzGerald poet. Wikisource has original works written by or about: Wikiquote has quotations related to: John Barton Hack — Elizabeth Marsh Wilton The occasional misogyny detectable in some of his writings can perhaps be traced to this cause. Edmunds, Suffolk, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He did not shine academically at Cambridge but it was there that he made friends with Alfred Tennyson, who would become the foremost poet of Victorian England, and William Makepeace Thackeray, later to be one of its major novelists.
He also became friends with Thomas Carlyle, the Victorian essayist and historian. After graduating he returned to Suffolk, where he lived out the rest of his long life. He married Lucy Barton, the daughter of Bernard Barton, but the couple separated within a year; FitzGerald made generous financial provision for his wife on condition that they never meet Martin, p. He kept up a voluminous correspondence, both with his famous literary friends and with many lesser known figures, and his letters are among the finest Victorian examples of the genre.
Two such relationships were particularly important to him: It is unlikely that either of these men can have offered FitzGerald any kind of intellectual companionship, but in FitzGerald met Cowell, a young linguist. FitzGerald never sat for a Persian exam in his life, nor did he ever go anywhere near the country; the furthest east he ever traveled was to Paris, and that only very briefly Martin, pp. In he published Polonius: A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances , an anthology of aphorisms, some original but most culled from his very wide reading.
His concern was to make the authors he is interested in attractive to the Victorian reading public, and in order to do this he is quite ready to rearrange, recast and generally domesticate them to Victorian expectations. His instinct for the aphoristic is also present in his translations, and many of his revisions consist of drastic cuts in order to bring home what he takes to be the essence of the matter.
Cowell began to teach FitzGerald Persian in December of FitzGerald retained a great affection for this translation, preferring it to his much more successful Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam , and the reason is undoubtedly because he had actually worked through the Persian with Cowell.