Quatrain 33

Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.

FitzGerald, Stanza LXIV, 4th ed.

FitzGerald did not include this stanza in his first edition, but it does appear in the second and later editions.  Heron-Allen, 97, 99 gives two quatrains, the first of which doesn't appear in Dashti, Hedaayat, Forughi-Ghani, and Saidi.  Whinfield has it (quatrain 129).  

The following quatrain, H-A, 97 (his source is C 36) is a more likely model for FitzGerald than the second quatrain cited by Heron-Allen (same page), which I have given later in this entry:

بسیار بگشتیم بگرد در و دشت
اندر همه آفاق بگشتیم بگشت
از کس نشنیدیم که آمد زان راه
راهی که برفت راه‌رو باز نگشت

besyaar begashtim begerd-e dar o dasht
andar hame aafaaq begashtim begasht
az kas nashenidim ke aamad zaan raah
raahi ke beraft raahrow baaz nagasht

We have roamed through pass and plain again
and again over the earth we have roamed,
of none we have heard who came from that road
the road all travel with no travel home.

now, in a somewhat literal fashion:
We have travelled much all around valley(s) and  plain(s)
we have travelled in (our) travel in all quarters of the world
of none we have heard who came from that road
the (proverbial) road the traveller goes on (and) does not come back.

In line 2, I believe that begasht means "in travel" and serves as a cognate construction ("we have travelled in our travel"); H-A reads it as the verb, "it came to pass".  And in the 4th hemistich, the speaker refers to the proverbial road of no return and the verbs are in the past tense but translate as presents, i.e., the "eternal present" of proverbs.

Here is the more usual quatrain on this theme.  I say "usual" because it is also seen in Dashti (14), Forughi-Ghani (111), Hedaayat (46), Saidi (120), and Whinfield (258). Below is Heron-Allen's text, 97 & 99 (with several references, one to C 270):

از جملهٔ رفتگان این راه دراز
باز آمدهٔ کو که بما گوید راز
زینهار در این سراچه از روی مجاز 
چیزی نگذاری که نمی‌آئی باز

az jomle-ye raftegaan-e in raah-e deraaz
baaz aamadei ku ke bemaa guyad raaz
zinhaar dar in saraache az ru-ye majaaz
chizi nagozaari ke nemiaai baaz 

Of all the travellers upon this long road,
Where is he that has returned, that he may tell us the secret?
Take heed that in this mansion (by way of metaphor)
Thou leavest nothing, for thou wilt not come back.

Heron-Allen, 99

Curious, the reading in the third line,  از روی  مجاز.  Unusual in these quatrains for the speaker to offer an explanation.  Oddly, Whinfield (258) has از روی مجا which is nonsense.  Both Heron-Allen and Whinfield likely used the same MS with a similar reading.  

Dashti's text below (quatrain 14, p. 246) seems to use a different source.  The same holds true for Hedaayat and Forughi-Ghani's. Yet Dashti himself offers an explanation or alternative reading that viewers will see in parenthesis in the third line.  Dashti adds a footnote to the fourth line: تا هیچ نمانی که نمی‌آیی باز  ("be careful, don't you leave/forget anything, because you aren't coming back").  This note is metrical, however, and is, in fact, the fourth line in Forughi-Ghani's text!  I know of no way, in the absence of a collation of textual variants, to comment further.

از جملهٔ رفتگان این راه دراز
باز آمده‌ای کو که به ما گوید راز
زنهار در این دوراههٔ (سراچه) آز و نیاز
چیزی نگذاری که نمی‌آیی باز

Saidi, quatrain 120, has a text identical to Dashti's without the parenthetical saraache.  Here is his translation:

Of those who trod the long, long road before,
Who's come to help us mystery explore?
Lo, in this double way of wish and dream,
Leave naught undone; you shall return no more.

The Dashti-Saidi reading is preferable if we judge on sense alone.  What does the speaker mean or rather, the translator, by the "double way of wish and dream"?  When I first read aaz and niyaaz, I thought a contrast was implied.  Kasra (quatrain 111, the Forughi-Ghani text) has "greed and need". We will return to this after explaining aamadei (آمده‌ای). I came to understand that this construction, viz., the ending -i, was the indefinite marker: "where is a having-come-back one who will tell us the secret."  At first, I had considered that it was the -i marker before the relative pronoun ke.

Now aaz and niyaaz,  and perhaps the last word on this pair.  I had found an article on the internet titled "Az and Niyaz, Two Powerful and Haughty Demons in Persian Mythology and Epics" by Jalil Doostkhah (publication and date unspecified but attached is a link to an interview in Persian Heritage with Dr. Doostkhah). Here is an excerpt pertinent to our search for meaning: "In another part of his great epic, Ferdowsi has introduced Âz and Niyâz, as two powerful and haughty demons, the first one being the opponent to kherad (lit. reason, intellect, wisdom) and never being satisfied in full, while the second one is always sorrowful, painful, blind and pale.  Needless to say, such a description of the two demons has had roots in the poet's sources [Ferdowsi is meant] based on Persian mythology and Zoroastrian demonology, as well as on ethical principles underlying both. On the other hand, Ferdowsi's references to these demons show clearly the philosophical and humanistic standpoints of the poet himself. He believes that avarice and want are the main reasons for the evil deeds and catastrophes in human life, which draw people toward a badly omened death. That is a matter of fact throughout world history and in today's life, it is clearer now than at any other time!"

I do like Saidi's rendition of the fourth line: Leave naught undone... or "don't forget anything."  I am including a couplet of Hafez (Qazvini, ghazal 392.6, Khanlari 384.6) not only because it has the unusual word دوراهه  (I find no other instances of this word apart from Hafez and Khayyaam), but its sentiment is in some ways consistent with the poem.  I am puzzled by the two roads of avarice and need.  If this is a correct reading, is there some sense in it, for example: "In this double road where avarice and want travel, be careful and do not leave anything undone (which would let you fall into the trap of greed and need)."?

فرصت شمار صحبت کز این دوراهه منزل 
   چون بگذریم دگر نتوان به هم رسیدن

Find the time to mingle with friends; when we cross the boundary
of the two roads of existence, we are not to meet each other again.

I count on illumination from "viewers just like you."