A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
FitzGerald, Stanza XII, 4th ed.
With me along the strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultán is forgot—
And peace to Mahmúd on his golden Throne.
FitzGerald, Stanza XI, 4th ed.
These two stanzas are connected; in FitzGerald's oeuvre they are Khayyaam's "most positive statement of earthly happiness for human individuals" (Michael Hillmann, Iranian Culture, p. 56-57. (Hillmann, idem, p. 56-60, analyses the structure of FitzGerald's Rubaiyat.)
This is Saidi's text (quatrain 16), one of two source-quatrains for these stanzas:
گر دست دهد ز مغز گندم نانی
وز می دو منی ز گوسفندی رانی
وانگه من و تو نشسته در ویرانی
عیشی بوَد آن نه حد هر سلطانی
gar dast dehad ze maghz-e gandom naani
vaz mey do mani ze gusfandi raani
vaangah man o to neshaste dar viraani
‘eyshi bovad aan na hadd-e har soltaani
Ah, would there were a loaf of bread as fare,
A joint of lamb, a jug of vintage rare,
And you and I in wilderness encamped—
No Sultan's pleasure with ours compare.
Saidi, quatrain 16
So long as I possess two maunds of wine,
Bread of the flower of wheat, and mutton chine,
And you, O Tulip-cheeks, to share my cell,
Not every Sultan's lot can vie with mine.
Whinfield, quatrain 479
In the third line, Whinfield's source reads, as does Forughi's, quatrain 175:
با لالهرخی و گوشهٔ بستانی ; baa laalerokhi o gushe-ye bostaani -- rather than virani, the celebrants wish to appropriate a secluded corner-spot in a garden, gushe-ye bostaani
Do select the link to find quatrain 155 in the Ouseley or Bodleian MS. You will see that the Bodleian has two different readings in lines two and four from Saidi, Whinfield and Forughi's text. Small differences overall, but in the second line, the Ouseley has az mey kadui, از می کدوی and in the final line خد instead of حد - khadd must be an error; no translator follows this erroneous reading. Several compilers of quatrains seem to follow the Ouseley, notably Heron-Allen, Hedaayat (with doubts about authenticity), and others whose renditions you will see from the link. But not Nicolas and Rosen, who opt for do mani rather than kadui, a gourd. (For the link to this quatrain and to the gathering of all the 158 "Bodleian quatrains" we are grateful to Jos Coumans. omariana.nl, where these quatrains and so much Omariana can be found.)
Here is a second source-quatrain for Stanzas XII & XI:
تنگی می لعل خواهم و دیوانی
سدّ رمقی باید و نصف نانی
واگه من و تو نشسته در ویرانی
خوشتر بوَد از مملکت سلطانی
Ouseley 149 (Heron-Allen, 25); Hedaayat 98 (with doubts); Whinfield, quatrain 452
tongi mey-e l‘al khaaham o divaani
sadd-e ramaqi baayad o nesf-e naani
vaangah man o to neshaste dar viraani
khoshtar bovad az mamlakat-e soltaani
A flask of wine and book of verse,
to keep life in me, half-loaf of bread,
and two of us, in seclusion, seated,
a sweeter realm than what a king can claim.
I desire a flask of ruby wine and a book of verse,
a morsel to keep soul and body together, half a loaf is needed,
and then you and I seated in a desolation--
that would be more delightful than a Sultan's dominion.
Arberry, "literally" -- Romance ... 200
In Stanza XII, FitzGerald is closer to his reputed sources than in Stanza VII, Quatrain 21 on our site. In Stanza VII he passes over the beauty of a long-awaited spring to remind us of the march of time. In the final line of Stanza XII, "Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow", the poet departs from the earthly comparisons of his source-quatrains. Why might he have done this? Robert Bernard Martin wrote (With Friends Possessed): "From his letters it is apparent that his deepest belief, on which he tried to dwell as little as possible, was in an immensity of indifferent or inimical universe dwarfing a human life with only too finite beginning and end."
Noteworthy in the texts: ze maghz-e gandom naani - this is whole wheat bread, a whole grain product, an up-market variety in today's world! do mani - two maunds, the English word "maund" is related and comes to us through the Portuguese, so Onion's Oxford Dictionary of Etymology tells me. Further, Persian man comes perhaps from Akkadian mana (Greek, mnaa, Latin mina). As a unit of measure, man differed in weight at different times. Note the indefinite endings "-i" throughout: some bread, a leg of lamb, a secluded spot, a sultan, a (narrow-necked) vessel, a divan (book of verse) are a few of the many examples. sadd-e ramaqi ultimately straight from Arabic -- from Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon under the verb sadda of which sadd is the verbal noun (ramaq is the spark of life, the breath). Lane: yesuddu al-ramaq - "it stays or arrests the remains of life," as though, said Lane, it stopped the passage of the last breath from the body or it "maintains and preserves the strength." So what is required for the speaker is enough to keep life going, "what keeps body and soul together" as Whinfield avers in a note on his quatrain 452. hadd means "aim" or "goal" -- a monarch's greatest wish.
The stanza in Latin: "This verse [and all the Latin verses FG prepared] ... is to be read as Monkish Latin ... retaining the Italian value of the Vowels, not the Classical" (from an 1857 letter of FitzGerald's to Cowell, quoted by Christopher Decker, 233). Of course FitzGerald would have known Latin fairly well and very likely had Latin prose and verse composition while at school. As said previously, I see this Latin as a sketch-book for the English rendition which came later.
Si cerebri cerealis esset apud me sinceri
Panis, esset et cruoris Amphora repleta Meri,
Esset atque dulce Carmen dulce canens in Deserto--
Tum non esset unocuique* Sultanorum invideri
(*FitzGerald meant to write unicuique)
If I had bread from grain, the source unspoiled,
and a great jar of blood-red wine,
and singer sweetly singing a sweet song in secluded spot--
If all this, I would not envy any Monarch.
& as a finale:
گل در بر و می در کف و معشوق به کام است
سلطان جهانم به چنین روز غلام است
gol dar bar o mey dar kaf o ma‘shuq be kaam ast
soltaan-e jahaanam be chonin ruz gholam ast
Roses are in my lap, wine in hand and longed-for sweetheart,
On a day like this, the sultan of the world is my slave.
Hafez, ghazal 46.1 (Qazvini)