Quatrain 48


ای بس که نباشیم و جهان خواهد بود
نی نام زما و نی نشان خواهد بود
زین پیش نبودیم نبد هیچ خلل
زین پس چو نباشیم همان خواهد بود

Dashti, quatrain 11, p. 246

ey bas ke baashim o jahaan khaahad bud
ni naam ze maa o ni neshaan khaahad bud
zin pish nabudim nabod hich khalal
zin pas cho nabaashim hamaan khaahad bud

The world will long be, but of you and me
No sign, no trace for anyone to see;
The world lacked not a thing before we came,
Nor will it miss us when we cease to be.

Saidi, quatrain 132

When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh but the long long while the World shall last.
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast

FitzGerald, stanza XLVII, 4th ed.

The world will last long after my poor fame
Has passed way, yea, and my very name.
Aforetime, ere we came, we were not missed;
When we are dead and gone, 'twill be the same.

Whinfield, quatrain 150


Translation & Discussion of the quatrain: 1.  Oh/Amazing, the long time that we are not here and the world will exist  -- ey bas registers wonderment at this amount of time 2. Neither our name/recognition nor sign of us/no trace of us will be here - in other contexts, naam o neshaan will mean "reputation", say, the reputation a poet might enjoy.  It is a formulaic expression. 3.   Before we were not here there was no loss/no difficulty (i.e., nothing was wrong) 4. Later, when we are not here, it will be the same

Heron-Allen, pp. 74-75, suggests that Nicolas' quatrain 123 -- the same Persian text as Dashti's -- ( Les quatrains de Khèyam, Paris, 1867) influenced FitzGerald's stanza XLVII.  Viewers will note that FitzGerald did not compose this stanza for his first edition of 1859 but composed it for the second edition of 1868 and it remained, with only the last line altered, in subsequent editions.  In the autumn of 1867, FitzGerald had received a copy of Nicolas' 'French Omar' and had ordered a copy for Cowell (Terhune 3. 53).  Nicolas' edition of 464 quatrains (from a Tehran 1857 lithograph) gave FitzGerald a text for adding quatrains to his 2nd edition, although as his correspondence from 1867 shows, he took issue with Nicolas for the latter's mystic or Sufi interpretation of many of the quatrains published in Les quatrains de Khèyam.