Quatrain 41

Quatrains 41-59 include the rest of the quatrains that Dashti, Forughi-Ghani, and Hedaayat agree were likely written by Khayyaam.  After the posting of 41-59, there will be a total of 43 of these "concurring quatrains" on this site (I count 43 the total number of quatrains the three are in agreement on as authentic). This is a little over 10% -- 43 of a total of 396 quatrains (Dashti. 75, Forughi-Ghani. 178, Hedaayat, 143, although Hedaayat thinks 34 of his 143 may not be "khayyaamic".

هر چند موی و روی زیباست مرا

چون لاله رخ و چو سرو بالاست مرا

معلوم نشد که در طربخانهٔ خاک

نقاش ازل بهرچه آراست مرا

har chand mui o rui zibaast maraa
chon laale rokh o cho sarv baalaast maraa
malum nashod ke dar tarabkhaane-ye khaak
naqqaash-e azal bahre che aaraast maraa

With grace and beauty though He fashioned me
With face like tulip, form like cypress tree

I know not in this pleasure house of dust,
Why Master Painter thus embellished me!

   Saidi, quatrain 62

What though 'tis fair to view, this form of man,
I know not why the heavenly Artisan
Hath set these tulip cheeks and cypress forms
To deck the mournful halls of earth's divan.

Whinfield, quatrain 12

Although I have a handsome face and colour,
Cheek like the tulips, form like the cypress,
It is not clear why the Eternal Painter
Thus tricked me out for the dusty show-booth of earth

Avery, Heath-Stubbs, quatrain 1

Translation & Discussion of the quatrain: 1. Even though my hair and face are lovely -- slight variations on the quatrain occur predominantly in this mesraa.  Hedaayat and Forughi-Ghani both have رنگ, rang, "color" instead of muy, "hair".  Forughi-Ghani also has بوی , buy, "fragrance" instead of rui, "face". In the first couplet, maraa, as discussed in Quatrain 1 on this site, shows the classical usage of the "dative" marker which here as in Quatrain 1 has a possessive use -- my hair, my face, my height or stature. 2. My face is like the tulip and my stature is like the cypress 3. It has not become clear/it is not clear or evident that in the pleasure-house of earth/earth's pleasure-house - the tarabkhaane-ye khaak ironically is not enjoyment on earth but the resting place, the destination of all of us who are here, who are beautifully created but ultimately await their destruction. And why, as the fourth mesraa  asks? 4. Why the painter of eternity embellished me/gave me these lovely qualities

FitzGerald appears not to have used the entirety or even some of this quatrain.

Quatrain 40

Yon rising Moon that looks for us again
How oft hereafter will she wax and wane;
How oft hereafter rising look for us
Through this same Garden
—and for one in vain!
FitzGerald, Stanza C, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen, 145: "This quatrain in its various forms is inspired by O.5." [Some of these "various forms" occur in the Calcutta MS. Arberry, Romance ... 237, lists three different readings in this quatrain, although none of them significantly alter the meaning of the poem.]

چون عهده نمی‌کند کسی فردا را
حالی خوش کن تو این دل شیدا
می نوش بنور ماه ای ماه که ماه
بسیار بجوید و نیابد ما را

chon ohde nemikonad kasi fardaa raa
haali khosh kon to in del-e sheydaa raa
mey nush benur-e maah ey maah ke maah
besyaar bejuyad  o nayaabad maa raa

Since no-one will go surety for tomorrow,
do you make happy now this distracted heart;
drink wine by the light of the moon, O moon, for the moon
will seek much (hereafter) and will not find us.

Arberry, 237

Ali Dashti, quatrain 63, has published the same text except for the final line which reads betaabad, (the moon) "will shine" instead of bejuyad, "will search".  Hedaayat includes this quatrain (112) as does Saidi (15) and Whinfield (7).  Below is the Forughi-Ghani reading, which varies slightly from Bodleian/Ouseley 5 (as above). The meaning is not altered.  And I italicize the variants in the romanized transcription:

چون عهده نمی‌شود کسی فردا را
حالی جوش دار ای دل پر سودا را
می نوش بماهتان ای ماه که ماه
بسیار بتابد و نیابد ما را

Forughi-Ghani, quatrain 2

chon ohde nemishavad kasi fardaa raa
haali khosh daar in del-e por sowdaa raa
mey nush bemaahtaab ey maah ke maah
besyaar betaabad o nayaabad maa raa

Since no one can Tomorrow guarantee,
Enjoy the moment, let your heart be free;
Ah, drink, my Moon, in the moonlight for the moon
Will make its rounds but won't find you and me!

                                            Saidi, quatrain 15 (with a note for my Moon... "a complimentary way of                                addressing the beloved. It implies beauty, purity and glamour.")

Heron-Allen notes that FitzGerald's stanza in the first edition was "a good deal closer [I would just say closer] to the above quatrain:

Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me--in vain.

FitzGerald, stanza LXXIV, 1st ed.

The promise of tomorrow--
none can grant you that,
for your heart and all its burdens
be glad for the life that's now.
Drink wine by the light of the moon,
moon-radiant lovely friend,
the moon will shine to find us
and find us not again.

For other translations accompanying the Bodleian/Ouseley text select here ... but note that FitzGerald, Stanza II, all editions, relied on Calcutta 5 and not Bodleian 5.

Quatrain 39

Yet Ah, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the branches sang,
Ah whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

FitzGerald, Stanza XCVI, 4th ed.

Both Heron-Allen (141) and Arberry (236) identify the Calcutta MS as the source, Heron-Allen C 223 and Arberry C 328: 

افسوس که نامه‌ٔ جوانی طی شد 
وین تازه‌بهار ارغوانی دی شد
آن مرغ طرب که نام او بود شباب
افسوس ندانم که کی آمد کی شد

afsus ke naame-ye javaani tey shod
vin taazebahaar-e arghavaani dey shod
aan morgh-e tarab ke naame u bud shabaab
afsus nadaanam ke key aamad key shod

Alas, the scroll of Youth rolled up so fast
Those vernal days of life not long did last;
The Bird of Gaiety whose name is Youth

I know not when it came of when it passed.

Saidi, quatrain 140

Arberry, Romance ... 236, refers to an emendation in the Calcutta MS made by FitzGerald: "FitzGerald correctly conjectured that shitaab [shetaab - "speed/swiftness"] was a slip for shabaab [youth]."  FitzGerald in a letter to Cowell (June 29, 1857, Terhune 2. 282) mentions this quatrain (his copy shows the quatrain number as 227) and says that he "can't make out what the name of the Bird of Joy in line 3 is".  I can't (yet) find evidence that he consulted Cowell further about this line.  Perhaps he made this choice of shabaab on his own.  FitzGerald, well-tutored by Cowell, was a pretty good linguist and was surely confident enough to venture a reasonable conjecture.

Although the Calcutta MS reading above has "roseate spring" (bahaar-e arghavaani), Forughi (63) and Hedaayat (35) have bahaar-e zendegaani "life-giving spring" which did not long last with life now in its decembrish mood. The winter solstice, the shortest day, usually falls on the first day of the Persian month دی/dey.

taazebahaar in the second line of the quatrain is a compound.  It means  something like "having the fresh bloom of spring" and falls into the bahuvrihi category of compounds.

Viewers will note the mellowing of FitzGerald from the last two stanzas.  There is resignation to fate towards the end of his poem

Quatrain 38

Oh Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou wilt not with Predestin'd Evil round
Enmesh, and then impute my Fall to Sin!

FitzGerald, Stanza LXXX, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen, 119: "This quatrain is translated from O. 148."

بر رهگذرم هزار  جا دام نهی
گویی که بگیرمت اگر گام نهی
یک ذره ز حکم تو جهان خالی نیست
حکم تو  کنی و عاصیم نام نهی

bar rahgozaram hazaar jaa daam nehi
gui ke begiramat agar gaam nehi
yek zarre ze hokm to jahaan khaali nist
hokm-e to koni o aasiyam naam nehi

A thousand snares along our path You sprawl,
Then warn us, "I will punish if you fall";
The world is never free from Your command

You give the word, then sinners us You call!

Saidi, quatrain 41

With many a snare Thou dost beset my way,
And threatenest, if I fall therein, to slay;
Thy laws pervade the universe, yet Thou
Imputest sin, when I do but obey!

Whinfield, quatrain 432

Other translations or renditions are to be found under Bodleian/Ouseley 148.

FitzGerald is "faithful" to the Bodleian quatrain.  His "pitfall and gin" conveys well the "thousand snares/traps positioned along my road" -- clever devices, as "gin" indicates, a word that has behind it a meaning of both the clever and wicked (originally from Latin ingenium > Old French engin, English "engine".  At some juncture the pronunciation had shifted to the final syllable, and en- was discarded by a "letting- go" process, called aphesis, where an unstressed first syllable can be dropped, so this "engine" became "gin."

In the fourth hemistich, Arberry, Romance ... 227, emends: hukmam [hukm, sic] to koni - that is, "you make the rule for me." Arberry: "Heron-Allen on two occasions printed hukm for hukm-am in the fourth line; Cowell had made the same error before him in the transcription of O [148], though it broke the metre."  I can't vouch for Cowell but Heron-Allen's reading conforms to the reading of the MS as viewers will have noted, and it is  within metrical bounds.  So this appears to be just an emendation on Arberry's part and not a MS variant.

There is in fact no metrical difficulty.  There are at least three places within our quatrains, this quatrain and Quatrain 10, the third line of which begins similarly, kaar-e man o to, where, as is the case with hokm-e to koni, the connector or ezafe is "long" as allowed by the conventions of metrics. The third is Quatrain 7, which begins vaqt-e sahar ast, also with lengthened ezafe.  Dashti, Hedaayat and Forughi-Ghani do not include this quatrain, but look at Saidi, quatrain 41,  and see his reading: hokm-ash to koni - "you make the rule for it" and Whinfield, quatrain 343, hokmi to koni "you make a rule". Both likely appear concerned about metrical difficulties and make emendations.

A final word: it is not generally recommended that emendations be made when there are no other manuscripts available for comparison.  It appears from Saidi's notes and from Whinfield's that the Bodleain was their only source.

A most final word: this may have seemed tedious, this metrical excursus.  However, learners of Persian who struggle with the ins and outs of the metrics of the Persian quatrain may have found it useful.


Quatrain 37

  And that inverted Bowl they call the sky,
Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die,
Lift not your hands to
It for help—for It
Impotently rolls as you or I.

FitzGerald, Stanza LXXII, 4th ed.

This is a composite quatrain, according to Heron-Allen, 107, and the "inspiration comes from the first two lines of Bodleian/Ouseley 134 and especially the last two lines of 41:

این چرخ  چو طاسیست نگون  افتاده
در وی همه زیرکان زبون افتاده

in charkh cho taasist negun oftaade
dar vey hame zirakaan zabun oftaade

This heavenly vault is like a bowl fallen upside down,
Under which all the wise have fallen helpless.

Heron-Allen, 107

& Bodleian/Ouseley 41:

نیکی و بدی که در نهاد بشرست
شادی و غمی که در قضا و قدرست
با چرخ مکن حواله کاندر ره عقل
چرخ از تو هزار بار بیچاره ترست

niki o badi ke dar nehaad-e basharast
shaadi o ghami ke dar qazaa o qadarast
baa charkh makon havaale kandar rah-e aql
charkh az to hazaar baar bichaaretarast

The good and evil in the mold of man
The joy and grief in fate and fortune's plan
Leave not to the wheel of fortune, for in reason
A thousand times more helpless than in man.

Saidi, quatrain 71, modified by Aminrazavi, 81

The good and evil with man's nature blent,
The weal and woe that Heaven's decrees have sent,

Impute them not to motions of the skies,

Skies than thyself ten times more impotent.

Whinfield, quatrain 96

This is a straightforward observation by the speaker -- we display both good and bad and suffer fortune and misfortune.  These are not to be seen as matters for interpretation where heavens, skies, stars or the cosmos inform us of their import -- you cannot bank on these powerless powers.  Our wisdom is sufficient as the speaker asserts with a warning not to forsake it:

هان تا سر رشتهٔ خرد گم نکنی

haan taa sar reshte-ye kherad gom nakoni
Behold and don't lose the trail of wisdom
For the price of wisdom is to reel to every side.

Aminrazavi, 188
(see my Quatrain 34 for the complete quatrain)

FitzGerald is in no mood in this section of his poem to entertain the notion of "bad" in humans.  His speaker(s) rage at a divine scheme to blame mortal for shortcomings which they cannot avoid.  More of this in the stanza following ...


Quatrain 36

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

FitzGerald, Stanza LXXI, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen, 105, identifies this quatrain below, Bodleain Ouseley, 31, as the "origin" of FitzGerald's stanza above:

زین پیش نشان بودنیها بوده است
پیوسته قلم ز نیک و بد ناسوده است 
در روز ازل هرآنچه بایست بداد
غم خوردن و کوشیدنِ ما بیهوده است

zin pish neshaan-e budanihaa budast
peyvaste qalam ze nik o bad naasudast
dar ruz-e azal har aanche baayest bedaad
gham khordan o kushidan-e maa bihudast

From the beginning was written what shall be;
Unhaltingly the Pen (writes) and is heedless of good and bad;
On the First Day He appointed everything that must be--
Our grief and efforts are in vain.

Heron-Allen, 107, from Ouseley 31 and Calcutta 87 -- H-A notes that in the Calcutta MS the first line reads بر لوح, bar lowh, "upon the tablet."

What was to be was written long ago,
the restless pen spared nothing good or bad;
first day it gave us the rules of life,
our pouting, trying harder ... a waste of time.

Arberry, Romance ... , 224-225 also refers to this quatrain  and its influence on the FitzGerald stanza above as well as on another stanza we will come to later in this page, namely, Stanza LXXIII (LIII in the first edition).  But Arberry here credits Bodleian/Ouseley 54 as the "chief source" for FitzGerald's "The moving Finger writes ..."  Here's the quatrain:

از رفته قلم هیچ دگر‌گون نشود
وز خوردن غم بجز جگرخون نشود
گر در همه عمر خویش خونابه خوری
یک قطره از آن که هست افزون نشود

az rafte qalam hich degargun nashavad
vaz khordan-e gham bejoz jegarkhun nashavad
gar dar hame omr-e khish khunaabe khori
yek qatre az aan hast afzun nashavad

(Note the rather nice word-play, pun or paronomasia (tajnis/تجنیس , "making similar") in the italicized romanization and in the Persian itself, unitalicized)

Nothing becomes different from what the the Pen has once written,
and only a broken heart from nursing grief;
though all you life you swallow tears of blood
not one drop will be added to the existing score.

Arberry, 224

& also note:

از رفته قلم هیچ دگرگون نشود
یک ذره  از آنچه هست افزون نشود
هان تا جگر خویش بغم خون نکنی
کز خوردن غم بجز جگرخون نشود

Govinda Tirtha, Nectar of Grace, VI.12
(from a MS source apparently different from O.54)

az rafte qalam hich degargun nashavad
yek zarre az aanche hast afzun nashavad
haan taa jegar-e khish begham khun nakoni
kaz khordan-e gham bejoz jegarkhun nashavad

The Fate will not correct what once she writes,
And more than what is doled no grain alights;
Beware of bleeding heart with sordid cares,
For cares will cast thy heart in wretched plights.


Two Latin sketches for (our introductory) Stanza LXXI and for (the "promised") LXXIII to follow:

Unocuique* Lex suprema Calamo currente transit
[...] irrevocandum mansit:
Quod si toto Lachrymarum  [...] lavares
Minimum Indicium [...] non obliterares.
*FitzGerald meant to write unicuique -- the sketch of course is unfinished

The supreme Dictate -- the pen moves on -- applies to everyone
[...] has remained irrevocable
But if you were to bathe it in all your tears
you would not erase the tiniest jot of it.

Indoles uniuscunque praedispos[ita] ante natum
Calamusque currens cuique proprium praescripsit Fatum:
Quod postremus indicabit Dies indicavit primus:
Quare me Peccati pudet quod peccari designatum?

The way and nature of each person was determined before birth
and the pen moves on as it orders the fate determined for each:
What the final day reveals will be what the first day marked down:
Why is my sin shaming me, sin that was my fate?

FitzGerald, Stanza LXXIII:
With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man knead.
And there of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed:
And the first Morning of Creation wrote
What the last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

In my opinion, it is likely that FitzGerald used both Bodleian/Ouseley quatrains (31 and 54) for the two stanzas in this post namely, "The Moving Finger writes..." and "With Earth's first Clay..." I would not favor the influence of one over the other. I also believe that Stanza LXXIII, "With Earth's first Clay ..." although similarly influenced, shows, especially in the first two lines, some of FitzGerald's inventiveness.  What FitzGerald failed to incorporate into his stanzas from Ouseley 54, is the broken heart and the swallowing of tears of blood. And he ignores the observation (see also our Quatrain 10) that nothing but injury can come from nursing grief.

The fourth line of the second Latin sketch: Quare me Peccati pudet quod peccari designatum, "Why is my sin shaming me ...sin that was my fate?" has no bearing on these stanzas but rather anticipates Stanza LXXX (if not the two stanzas before that), Thou wilt not with Predestin'd Evil round/Enmesh, and then impute my Fall to Sin!. LXXX, however, is thought, and rightly so, to have had its origin in Bodleian/Ouseley 148 (Arberry, Romance ... 227). 

There is no official vote on the popularity of FitzGerald's stanzas, but I would wager that "The Moving Finger writes..." and "A Book of Verses underneath the Bough" -- our Stanza 22 -- would be at the top of the list.

Quatrain 35

We are no more than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show.

FitzGerald, Stanza LXVIII, 4th ed.

In the first edition (1859), FG had written (it was then numbered XLVI):
But in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show.
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

The second edition (1868) established the text as we now read it, except for the second line which read in this edition (it was then Stanza LXXIII):
Of visionary Shapes that come and go ...

Heron-Allen, 103: "This quatrain is translated from O. 108" [select this quatrain]:

این چرخ فلک که درو حیرانیم
فانوس خیال ازو مثالی دانیم
خورشید چراغ دان و عالم فانوس
ما چون صوریم کاندرو گردانیم

in charkh-e falak ke maa daru heyraanim
faanus-e khiyaal azu mesaali daanim
khorshid cheraagh daan o aalam faanus
maa chon sovarim kandaru gardaanim  

(the bold u in lines 1, 2 & 4 is the 3rd person pronoun, singular, more familiarly, "او")

This world leaves us numb and befuddled
we see a likeness in the magic-lantern show,
the Sun is candlepower and Earth lanterncase
on which the scenes of life come and go.

This Wheel, amazed at which we gaze below,
Is like a magic lamp in shadow-show;
The Sun the candle is, the world the shade,
Whereon we, phantom figures, come and go.

Saidi, quatrain 63

This wheel of heaven, whereat we're all dismayed,
I liken to a lamp's revolving shade,
The sun the candlestick, the earth the shade,
And men the trembling forms thereon portrayed.

Whinfield, quatrain 110

& FitzGerald, LXIX

But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

FitzGerald, Stanza LXIX, 4th ed.

In the first edition of 1859, FG wrote (it was then Stanza XLIX):
'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.


The fourth edition text was established in the 1868 edition except for the first line which then read:
Impotent Pieces of the Game He plays ...

Heron-Allen, 103: "This quatrain is translated from O.94." [select this quatrain]

از روی حقیقتی نه از روی مجاز
ما لعبتکانیم فلک لعبت‌باز
بازیچه همی‌کنیم بر نطع وجود
رفتیم بصندوق عدم یک‌یک باز

az ru-ye haqiqati na az ru-ye majaaz
maa lobatakaanim o falak lobatbaaz
baaziche hamikonim bar nat-e vojud
raftim besanduq-e adam yekyek baaz

We puppets dance to tunes of Time we know,
We are puppets in fact, and not for show;
Existence is the carpet where we dance,
So one by one where aught is naught we go.

Govinda Tirtha, Nectar of Grace, II.6

We are but chessmen Player to amuse
(In fact and not in metaphor I muse);
On board of life we play, then one by one
In nihility chest we're laid to snooze.

Saidi, quatrain 72

On the magic-lantern, FitzGerald's note is sufficient, but I also include Heron-Allen's and Saidi's below.  They add a bit more.  None have knowledge (and neither do I) of magic lanterns in eleventh century (C.E.) Persia so magic-lanterns in India have to make do.  FitzGerald's note on Stanza LXVIII reads: "Fánúsi khiyál, 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 the lighted Candle within." 

Saidi's note, p.244-245: "Magic lamp refers to the Chinese lantern now popular in the West.  Made of medal (usually brass, bronze or iron), it is globular, cylindrical, square, or hexagonal in shape and has a shade of horn [and so the archaic lant-horn], bladder, talc, glass or oiled paper richly decorated with flowers, characters, or figures. Among them there is a special type, shade of which (being pleated) is collapsible or so designed that a current of air will cause the shade to rotate.  Hence the appellation "magic lamp."

Heron-Allen in a footnote, 103: "The editor of the Calcutta Review appends the following note at the foot of Prof. Cowell's article (E.C.) [no date given].  "These lanthorns are very common in Calcutta. They are made of a tall cylinder with figures of men and animals cut out of paper and pasted on it. The cylinder, which is very light, is suspended on an axis, round which it easily turns.  A hole is cut near the bottom, and the part cut out is fixed at an angle to the cylinder so as to form a vane.  When a small lamp or candle is placed inside, a current of air is produced which keeps the cylinder slowly revolving."

Back to LXIX: why not puppets? Govinda Tirtha's is among several other translations (select this link) where puppets appear instead of chess pieces. I have not investigated the history of puppets, whether hand, string, rod, or shadow. I doubt, however, that lobatakaan, as "puppets" would reveal an anachronism.


Quatrain 34

The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn'd,
Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep,
They told their comrades, and to Sleep return'd.

FitzGerald, Stanza LXV, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen (99) cites C 127 as the quatrain-source for FitzGerald, also found in Dashti (3), Hedaayat (12) and Forughi-Ghani (54):

آنان که محیط فضل و  آداب شدند
از جمع کمال شمع اصحاب شدند
ره زین شب تارنک نبردند برون
گفتند فسانه ‌‌ٔ* و در خواب شدند

(* in a more modern text you would see فسانه‌ای)

aanaan ke mohit-e fazl o aadaab shodand
az jam`e kamaal sham`e ashaab shodand
rah zin shab-e taarik nabordand berun
goftand fasaanei o dar khaab shodand

The saint and seer profound in wit and lore,
Who torch of knowledge 'mongst the sages bore,
Out of darksome night could find no way;
Some tales they told, then went to sleep e'ermore.

Saidi, quatrain 57

Taking a stab at the literal, Heron-Allen, 99:

Those who have become oceans of excellence and cultivation,
And from the collection of their perfections have become lights of their fellows,
Have not made a road out of this dark night,
They have told a fable and have gone to sleep.

They, who, renowned for lore and power of brain,
As "Guiding Lights" men's homage did obtain,
Not even they emerged from this dark night,
But told their dreams, and fell asleep again!

Whinfield, quatrain 209

This is a familiar theme, the mystery of existence and the pundits who delve into the mystery, into the sea of existence, بحر وجود - see Quatrain 8. 

Note that I referred to the source-quatrain for FG in my Quatrain 20, and it may be useful for site viewers to have a look at 20 for the befuddlements of "pundits and problem solvers."

Compare also this quatrain, which is my Quatrain 46:

اجرام که ساکنان این ایوانند
اسباب تردد خردمندانند
هان تا سررشتۀ خرد گم نکنی
کانان که مدبرند سرگردانند 

Dashti, quatrain 7, p, 245

ajraam ke saakenaan-e in ayvaanand
asbaab-e taraddod-e kheradmandaanand
haan taa sar-e reshte-ye kherad gom nakoni
kaanaan ke modabberand sar gardaanand

The heavenly spheres which in this domain reside,
Have bewildered the wise, thinking far and wide;
Behold and don't lose the trail of wisdom,
For the price of wisdom is to reel to every side.

Aminrazavi, 188

Consider also that the powerful and mighty, the Bahrams and Jamshids, for all their prowess and learning, could not survive any more than these arbiters of excellence.  And FitzGerald may be commended for following his source material!  

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."

Quatrain 32

  Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing 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.

FitzGerald, Stanza LXIII, 4th ed.
(FG has italicized "This" in line 2)

See Quatrain 12 on our site.  Presented there (and here, below) is the quatrain-source for this stanza, Bodleian-Ouseley 35.  Also in Dashti 17, Saidi 88, Hedaayat 47, Whinfield 107.  Note that our Quatrain 32 is almost a repetition of 12.

The stanza for FitzGerald's first edition, revised in the second edition of 1868 (as Stanza LXVI) and occurring as Stanza LXIII from thereon:

Oh, come with old Khayyam and leave the Wise
To talk: one thing is certain, that Life flies.
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The flower that once has blown for ever dies.

FitzGerald, Stanza XXVI, 1st ed.

Here is the source (O 35 and also in the Calcutta according to Heron-Allen, 97 and Arberry, Romance ... 208):

می خور که به زیر گِل بسی خواهی خفت
بی مونس و بی حریف و بی همدم و جفت
زنهار به کس مگو تو این زار نهفت
هر لاله که پژمرد نخواهد بشکفت

Dashti, quatrain 17, p. 247

mey khor ke be zir-e gel basi khaahi khoft
bi munes o bi harif o bi hamdam o joft
zenhaar be kas magu to in raaz-e nehoft
har laale ke pazhmord nakhaahad beshkoft

Drink wine! long must you sleep within the tomb,
Without a friend, or wife to cheer your gloom;
Hear what I say, and tell it not again,
"Never again can withered tulips bloom."

Whinfield, quatrain 107

Ah, drink! Beneath the earth you shall be lain,
Without friend, mate or spouse you shall remain—
This hidden mystery to none explain:
The tulip withered won't its bloom regain!

Saidi, quatrain 88

According to Heron-Allen, the Ouseley MS 35, which reads exactly the same as our Dashti quatrain, provided two source-quatrains used by FitzGerald.  The last two lines of the Ouseley 35 (= Dashti's last two lines) inspired Stanza LXIII above (Heron-Allen, 97).

The Ouseley 35 (= Dashti's first two lines) inspired Stanza XXIV, 4th ed. (Heron-Allen, 41) below:

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and—sans End!

FitzGerald, Stanza XXIV, 4th ed

What was FG's inspiration for the first two lines of Stanza XXVI (first edition) and the revised second and subsequent editions?  Arberry, 208: "FitzGerald supplied the greater part of this stanza out of the general context of Omar's poems." I like to believe that FitzGerald's muse must have appeared to him during his walks where he worked out his ideas and his versification.

Quatrain 31

Ah, but my Computation, People say,
Reduced the Year to better Reckoning?
'Twas only striking from the Calendar
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday.

FitzGerald, Stanza LVII, 4th ed.

FitzGerald's forerunner, Stanza XXXVII of the  first edition, 1859:

Ah,  fill the cup:—what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TO-MORROW, and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet?

There is a quatrain below that may have some bearing on FG's 4th edition rendition.  This poem is found in Dashti (70), Forughi (129), Whinfield (350), and Saidi (47).  Heron-Allen, p. 89, records it as inspiration for FitzGerald's stanza LVII.  According to H-A, it appears in the Calcutta MS, 381:

دشمن به غلط گفت که من فلسفیم 
ایزد داند که آنچه او گفت نیم
لکین چو  درین غم‌آشیان آمده‌ام
آخر کم از آن که من بدانم که کیم

Dashti 70, p. 256

H-A's text the same except for ندانم in the final line as does Whinfield's 350. The texts of Forughi 129 and Saidi 47 concur with Dashti's reading.

doshman be ghalat goft ke man falsafiyam
izad daanad ke aanche u goft nayam
likan cho dar in ghamaashyaan aamadeam
aakhar kam az aan ke man bedaanam ke kiyam

Philosopher? Enemies are wrong to call me that.
God knows I am not what they say I am.
Yet since I have come to stay in this sad dwelling,

of this— just who I am— I know nothing at all.

In a footnote to this quatrain, Ali Dashti conjectures that Khayyaam may be playing it safe by calling attention to his non-attachment to philosophy.  As we have seen, boldness serves him well if it can be interpreted "mystically", e.g., the consumption of wine.  In this case, philosophy and religion do not go hand in hand, and there is no mystic solution.

The translation or understanding of the quatrain caused two problems: the first is easy enough-- ghamaashyaan is a compound noun "nest of grief/sadness".  The fourth line I am not sure of but think that he is saying he knows next to nothing about who he is: kam az aan ke man bedaanam means in my opinion, " I know scarely anything." This is khayyaamic (as Dashti points out) and further separates him from the "philosopher" he does not wish to claim to be.  Is it possible that the speaker leaves himself open to guidance in his not-knowing?  A safe ploy in this quatrain?

There is another quatrain from the Bodleian collection, MS 20, which seems to supply the last two lines of FitzGerald's rendition and has doubtless influenced the 1st edition Stanza.

چون آب به جویبار و چون باد بدشت
روزی دگر از نوبت عمرم بگذشت
هرگز غم دو روز مرا یاد نگشت
روزی که نیامدست و روزی* که گذست

chon aab bejuybaar o chon baad bedasht
ruzi degar az nowbat-e ‘omram begozasht
hargez gham-e do ruz maraa yaad nagasht
ruzi ke nayaamadast o ruzi * ke gozasht

* I haven't seen the MS but it is transcribed روز which isn't metrically correct.  Arberry, Romance ... 214 has made this correction in his transcription.  Arberry also calls attention to this quatrain's inclusion in the Calcutta MS (#22) with a slightly different text.  

These days hurry on— 
time and life have passed
the flow of water in rivers
or winds across the plain ...
two days never to sorrow over
(let them cling to my thoughts):
the day that's not here
the day that is past.


The Latin 'sketch':
Velut Aura per Desertum, velut unda Rivulorum
Nostrae Vitae Dies alter evolavit deditorum;
At duorum me Dierum [...]
Scilicet non adhuc venti, scilicet praeteriti.

Like the wind through the desert, like water in streams
another day given us in our life has flown away;
Yet two days [do not concern] me:
that's the day not yet come and the day gone by.

FitzGerald gets to the heart of carpe diem in his last two lines as does his source.  Although he has no note on the first two lines in his editions, he obviously refers to Khayyaam's part in calendar reform (the taqvim-e jalali in 1079 C.E.), where the "better Reckoning" proved to be just that: a calendar that was one day short every 5,000 years rather than every 3,000 years as  in the Gregorian calendar.  The account of Khayyaam's work on the calendar as a member of a commission established by Sultan Jalal al-Din Malik Shah is well-known, but Robert Irwin in his review of Mehdi Aminrazavi's Wine of Wisdom casts doubts: "there is no direct evidence that Khayyam was involved in the reform of the Persian calendar ... as Aminrazavi [28-29; 199-200] and many before him have suggested. (The view that he did is based on the careless reading of a thirteenth-century Arab chronicler.)" Robert Irwin, Times Literary Supplement, December, 23 & 30, 2005, p. 10-11.


Quatrain 30

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

FitzGerald, Stanza LV, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen, 87: "This quatrain is translated from C 175":

من باده بجام یکمنی خواهم کرد
خودرا بدو رطل می غنی خواهم کرد
اوِّل سه طلاق عقل و دین خواهم گفت
پس دختر رزرا بزنی خواهم کرد

man baade bejaam-e yekmani khaaham kard
khod raa bedo ratl-e mey ghani khaaham kard
avval se talaaq-e aql o din khaaham goft
pas dokhtar-e raz raa bezani khaaham kard

I will put wine into a one-maund goblet,
I will make myself rich with two pints of wine:
first I will say the triple divorce to reason and faith,
then I will make the daughter of the vine my wife.


Mehdi Aminrazavi, 140, modifies FitzGerald's rendition below to approximate the Persian and to make the following point: "Khayyam embraces the sophia perennis and tastes the sapiental wisdom that lies at the heart of all divinely revealed religions.  To do so, in the tradition of great Sufi masters, he has to denounce reason and intellect in its rational sense as well as the formalism of religious law (shar‘iah). Wine, this powerful symbol of Divine intoxication and of dissolving and annihilating oneself in Divine love, is used by Khayyam exactly as traditional Sufis do." 

You know my friends, with what a brave Carouse
I will enrich myself with two goblets of wine in my house
Divorced old barren reason and faith thrice
And took the daughter of the vine to spouse.

Khayyaam is not likely a Sufi.  Further to what is said above, why would Khayyaam, let us assume he is the speaker here, write in this way, strike a Sufi pose in this quatrain?  Perhaps it's this "both & and" dimension of Khayyaam enunciated by Aminrazavi and spoken about in the pages of his Wine of Wisdom.  The khayyaamic defies categorization--you cannot label Khayyam this or that.  He certainly wishes to divorce himself from the intellectual pursuits we discussed in the previous quatrain--the fine and subtle points of philosophers and religious authorities, which in Khayyaam's view are pointless. Better to come to the present world of love and wine, wine which offers being-in-the world wisdom (my language here is "after Aminrazavi", and I refer to Amirazavi, his fourth chapter, and offer apolgies for not having addressed "wine" before--and not even now beyond what I have just said).

In the fifth chapter of his book, Aminrazavi, making use of the quatrains collected by Swami Govinda Tirtha and examining seven fundamentals of Sufism, considers that Khayyaam, if a Sufi at all, would likely be a Sufi unattached.  On page 150, Aminrazavi makes the point, that to make the agnosticism of Khayyaam's quatrains palatable and culturally acceptable to Persians then and now, poetic license needs to be combined with mystic license.  That is, to view Khayyaam as a Sufi exonerates him from the charge of heresy.  Khayyaam needs exoneration.  Iranians value him because of what Hillmann calls his "culture-specific skepticism" and his pitting the individual against established authority.  Add to it, the wonders and show of Iranian springtime found in many khayyaamic quatrains.

Hedaayat includes this quatrain (77) and so does Whinfield (196), but neither Dashti nor Forughi-Ghani have it.  In my quatrain 22, I had talked about the (liquid) measure, man, and I am assuming that the measure ratl, like man, may vary over time as does money.  The triple utterance of talaaq to divorce a spouse -- thrice would appear to make it final, no going or taking back -- is, from what I have read, controversial.  I will wait for others to comment on this.


Below is a "Sufi" quatrain attributed to Khayyaam in Swami Govinda Tirtha's Nectar of Grace (Government Central Press, Hyderabad, 1941).  I am calling this a "Sufi" quatrain since Tirtha felt that there was a higher purpose in love and wine when these images and references were used by Khayyaam.  Note that altogether, Govinda Tirtha assembled almost eleven hundred quatrains, an astonishing number, which he believed were Khayyaam's. 

I wish to include this quatrain because of its importance to Tirtha , because of the sentiment contained in it, and last, because of the likely inauthenticity of the poem.  I have no way of knowing whether it is inauthentic, but I have only this thought: it seems to suit, in quatrain form, commentary on Khayyaam or a verse "explanation" to cover certain quatrains about wine, love, and beauty.  And there are many of these.

Here's an interesting speculation: let's say that a number of quatrains were in fact written by Khayyaam, call them "authentic" quatrains.  What about the rest in the khayyaamic corpus, the "inauthentic" quatrains?  Were some of them glosses on particular quatrains or types of quatrains and others poetic additions to recurrent themes in Khayyaam? This is a fascinating question and is not meant to ignore Aminrazavi's injunction that we see the entire corpus as "khayyaamic" and not try to tease out what's authentic and what's not.

Tirtha prefaces the quatrain below: "My venerable teacher in the Nizam college ... used to recite the following quatrain as a key to many 'Omarian quatrains'":

آن لعل گرا‌بها ز کان دگرست
وین دُرّ یگانه را نشان دگرست
اندیشهٔ این و آن خیال من و تست
افسانهٔ عشق را زبان دگرست

IX. 56 (pp. CLVIII-CLIX)

aan la‘l-e geraanbahaa ze kaan-e degarast
vin dorr-e yegaane raa neshaan-e degarast
andishe-ye in o aan khiyaal -e man o tost
afsaane-ye ‘eshq raa zabaan-e degarast

Tirtha has translated (with break after second couplet):
That ruby hails from other heights of old
This pearl unique would other rays unfold

Tho' I and thou may guess for this and that
A tale of love in other words is told.

Tirtha continues: "Thus when ‘Omar spoke of "The Ruby" or "The Ruby Wine" or "Wine" he meant Love Divine in many quatrains."

Quatrain 29

Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute;
Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.

FitzGerald, Stanza LIV, 4th ed.

According to both Heron-Allen (p. 85) and Arberry (Romance ... 216), the source-quatrain is thought to come from the Bodleian-Ouseley MS 50.  For the Ouseley as below and stabs at renditions select this link to omariana.nl

آنان که اسیر عقل و تمییز شدند
در حسرت هست و نیست ناچیز شدند
 رو بی‌خبری و آب انگور گزین
کان بی‌خبران بغوره میویز شدند


aanaan ke asir-e aql o tamyiz shodand
dar hasrat-e hast o nist naachiz shodand
row bikhabari o aab-e angur gozin
kaan bikhabaraan beghure miviz shodand

Those who are the slaves of intellect and hair-splitting,
Have perished in bickerings about existence and non-existence;
Go, thou dunce! and choose (rather) grape juice,
For the ignorant from (eating) dry raisins,
have become (like) unripe grapes (themselves).


Heron-Allen adds two footnotes: the first on hair-splitting, he notes "literally, 'discernment'"; and in the second, he speaks of the odd and inaccurate translation of the final line: "The obscurity of the meaning here baffles satisfactory translation.  Prof. Cowell says: 'I would take it as a sarcasm.  "Those fools with their unripe grapes become (in their own eyes) pure wine" (می ویز).
mey-e viz or preferably mey-e vizh, (Steingass, where only vesh occurs with the meaning of pure or unadulterated) cannot stand metrically. 

Arberry is right to object to both Heron-Allen and Cowell on this line. He feels that FitzGerald was also misled (I summarize Arberry here; viewers will find his arguments on page 216 of Romance ...) But as we shall see Arberry is wide of the mark himself: "His [Heron-Allen's] troubles began when he incorrectly surmised that ghura meant 'dry raisins'; in fact it means 'unripe grapes'.  By looking into the dictionary he could have avoided this error, and also found that miviza explained as 'convolvulus' ... From this he should have proceeded to understand Omar's meaning; the 'ignorant' philosophers attach themselves like bindweed (and after their death actually become bindweed) about the unripe grapes of reason, instead of enjoying, like himself, the sweet wine of unreason." And Arberry translates:

Those who became the prisoners of reason and discrimination
became nothing in sighing over Being and Not-being:
go, ignorant one, and choose the juice of the grape,
for those ignorant ones became convolvulus
about the unripe grape.

Arberry has a nice argument, but this is not convolvulus/bindweed.  The word is miviz not miviza/miwiza.  It means currants or raisins and miviz is apparently an alternate and earlier from of maviz , کشمش درشت و سیاه"plump black raisins/currants", Anvari, bozorg-e sokhan, 7. 7508. Whinfield, quatrain 216, catches the meaning: "gets shriveled up like old dried grapes" and Saidi, quatrain 60, captures the intent in his note, p. 246: "The purport of the ruba'i is that those wizards (fools) who were ghoorah, namely, unripe (used metaphorically to mean "ignorant") when starting, spent a lifetime studying and inquiring into the nature of "Being" and "not-being" and, at the end, without reaching the sweet stage of ripeness (i.e., the state of perception) shriveled into raisins."

As Aminrazavi tells us, the sort of vain philosophical argument, the subject of the first two lines of the quatrain, detracts from and obfuscates as Khayyaam sees it, the present, the here and now, and what matters (Wine of Wisdom, chapter 3, passim). Also it is possible that Khayyaam had in mind the rigid authorities of his day, those who espoused faith and rejected open-minded inquiry.
In this chapter, Aminrazavi contends that many of these khayyaamic quatrains were "a reaction against the rise of dogmatism." The quatrain likely carries both interpretations and serves the purpose of protest poetry through disguise and ambiguity. 

Those who live and select
by pride, by intellect,
who vie and sigh
for what is and is not,
captives they become
and nothing at all.
In your ignorance you'll make
a wise choice by the grape;
our pedants never ripen--
they shrinkle into raisins.



Quatrain 28

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same door where in I went.

FitzGerald, Stanza XXVII, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen (p. 45) asks us to consider Stanza XXVIII along with XXVII:

With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand wrought to make it grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd

"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."

FitzGerald, Stanza XXVIII, 4th ed.

And a source-quatrain from the Bodleian or Ouseley MS 121, Heron-Allen, p. 45:

یکچند بکودکی باستاد شدیم
یکچند باستادی خود شاد شدیم
پایان سخن نگر که ما را چه رسید
چون آب درآمدیم و چون باد شدیم

yekchand bekudaki beostaad shodim
yekchand beostaadi-ye khod shaad shodim
paayaan-e sokhan negar ke maa raa che rasid
chon aab daraamadim o chon baad shodim
Heron-Allen, p. 45, from the Bodleian/Ouseley MS, 121

For a while in childhood we attended a master;
for a while we were happy with our own mastery;
at the end of the story see what happened to us--
like water we entered, and like the wind we departed.

Arberry, Romance ... 209

When a child I followed my teacher,
then I became my teacher myself--
Here's the gist of all I have learned:
"We drift into life -- wind takes us away." 

For the Bodleian MS itself and the many renditions, select this link from omariana.nl

Notes: This quatrain also appears in Dashti (27), Hedaayat (37), Forughi-Ghani (134), Saidi (134), Whinfield (334).  Variations occur in the third line, where all but Dashti read shenow, شنو, "hear" instead of نگرnegar, "see". And in the fourth mesraa the Ouseley MS reads  (of course) as above and Hedaayat's reads like this as well.  The others have: az khaak bar/daraamadim o bar baad shodim, از خاک بر/درآمدیم و بر باد شدیم - "we come from dust and we go on the wind" (although it makes little difference, the verbs in the third and fourth lines are "aphoristic pasts" and should be translated as presents).  "We come from dust..." is more doctrinally correct if I can put it this way.  Saidi's note (105, p. 253) refers us to the Qur'an, 23.12: "We created man from clay ..."

FitzGerald's Latin sketch:

Aliquando cum Doctore sapienter seminabam,
Aliquando proprio Doctrinae cultû laborabam,
Ergo tantae nunc Doctrinae messem ultimum conscribo--
Unda velut hic adveni, Aura velut hinc abibo.

For a time I was wise to confer with a teacher,
For a time I went forward nurturing what I had learned,
And now I sum up this great harvest of learning:
As I came on a wave, so I go on the wind.

As you see, FG used the Ouseley MS, rather the last two lines of  O 121, for Stanza XXVIII.  What about XXVII? Heron-Allen (p. 45) offers up Calcutta 281, for which the last two lines, the last especially, conform to Stanza XXVII:

اینجا چو نیافتم کس[ی] محرم راز
زان در که درآمدم  برون رفتم باز

injaa cho nayaaftam kas[i] mahram-e raaz
zaan dar ke daraamadam berun raftam baaz

Being once a falcon, I flew from the World of mystery.
That from below I might soar to the heights above;
But not finding there any intimate friend,
I came out by the same door wherein I went.

Heron-Allen, p.45 with a footnote and an explanation of محرم راز, viz., "partner of the secret"
[to which the traveler had hoped to find on high]

kas is written which should be kasi as I have indicated.

Quatrain 27

For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest.

FitzGerald, Stanza XXII, 4th ed.

Heron Allen, 37: "The inspiration from this quatrain is found in C. 185."

یاران موافق همه از دست شدند
در پای اجل یکان  یکان پست شدند
بودند بیک شراب در مجلس عمر
دوری دو ز ما پیشترک مست شدند

yaraan-e movaafeq hame az dast shodand
dar paa-ye ajal yekaan yekaan past shodand
budand be yek sharaab [tonoksharaab]* dar majles-e omr
dowri do ze maa pishtarak mast shodand

*Arberry, Romance ... p. 205  translates (but first stating that Heron-Allen "incorrectly printed ba-yak for tanuk, mistranslated in consequence."   This occurs in line 3 which H-A translates: "In the fellowship of souls they were cup-companions", literally they were  "of one drink."  tonoksharaab (or tanoksharaab) is a compound adjective and means to get drunk without drinking much.  tonok ("slight, little") has cognates in Latin tenuis (thin) and other early languages, e.g., Sanskrit tanu and Old Church Slavic  where we find tinuku. Old English, þynne. Now, Arberrry's translation and my rendition afterwards:

Our congenial friends have all departed
one by one they have been trampled by the foot of Doom;
their capacity for wine in the party of life was slight

they became drunk a turn or two before us.

Friends of one heart,
one by one
pressed by fate underfoot.
Life forbade them take much drink

quicker to get drunk, earlier to leave,
a scant few rounds before us.

There are slight variants in other texts (Forughi-Ghani, quatrain 95; Hedaayat, quatrain 38.  Dashti includes it also, quatrain 10, in his khayyaam-like-quatrains section. pishtarak seemed at first a problem. What was it?  It finally occurred to me that it might be the diminutive of the comparative of pish. This is correct as confirmed in Anvari's sokhan-e bozorg, 2.1510.
Here is Saidi's variation (his text and translation to follow):

یاران موافق همه از دست شدند
در پای اجل یگان یگان پست شدند
خوردیم ز یک شراب در مجلس عمر
دوری دو سه پیشتر زما مست شدند

yaaraan-e movaafeq hame az dast shodand
dar paa-ye ajal yegaan yegaan past shodand
khordim ze yek sharaab dar majles-e omr
dowri do se pishtar ze maa mast shodand

And gone are friendsthe worthiest and best,
By Death asssailed are one by one supressed;
From beaker same we drank at life's great feast

Few rounds before us drunk, they crept to rest.

Saidi, quatrain 136

yegaan yegaan means "one by one", and in the previous quatrain, yekaan yekaan means much the same: "one after another".   yeg- , I believe, exists not as yeg but only as yegaan.  In Saidi's text we see in the final mesraa‘  dowri do seh, "a round or two or three."  In the previous quatrain we have "a round or two" -- dowri do.


Quatrain 26

Ah, my Belovéd, fill the Cup that clears
To-day of Past Regrets and Future Fears:
—Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.

FitzGerald, Stanza XXI, 4th ed.

This stanza has its source, according to Heron-Allen, p. 35, in C 348:

ای دوست بیا تا غم فردا  نخوریم
وین یکدمه نقد را غنیمت شمریم
فردا که ازین روی زمین  درگذریم
با هفتهزار سالگان سر بسریم

ey dust biyaa taa gham-e farda nakhorim
vin yekdame naqd raa ghanimat shomarim
fardaa ke azin ruy-e zamin dargozarim
baa hafthazaar saalegaan sar besarim

O friend, come, let us not consume tomorrow's grief,
and let us count as gain this one moment's cash:
tomorrow when we pass away from the face of the earth
we shall be level with those of seven thousand years ago.

Arberry, Romance ... 205

ای دوست بیا تا غم فردا نخوریم
وین یک دم عمررا غنیمت شمریم
فردا که ازین دیر کهن در گذریم
با هفتهزار سالگان سر بسریم

Dashti, quatrain 64 & Hedaayat, 130 (with doubts about authenticity); cf. Forughi-Ghani, quatrain 121, which we will discuss below

ey dust biyaa taa gham-e farda nakhorim
vin yek dam-e omr raa ghanimat shomarim
fardaa ke azin deyr-e kohan dar gozarim
baa hafthazaar saalegaan sar besarim

Come, my love, let sorrow go,
the sadness of tomorrow,

and the time-plundered moments,
spend them while life flows.
There will be tomorrow
when we leave old haunts behind
and travel side-by-side
seven thousand years in time.

The Dashti text above differs little from the "source" quatrain Heron-Allen selects from the Calcutta MS.  Arberry might have translated it this way:

O friend, come, let us not consume tomorrow's grief,
and let us count as gain this one moment of life:
tomorrow when we pass away from this old haunt

we shall be level with those of seven thousand years ago.

Notes: The second line, vin yekdame naqd raa ghanimat shomarim, وین یکرمه نقد را غنیمت شمریم, is appealing by the clause, naqd(raa) ghanimat shomarim -- let us steal the cash (of this single moment). This line, in both the Calcutta MS and in Dashti, Hedaayat, and Forughi-Ghani's texts, expresses the familiar carpe diem, "seize the day, seize the moment", and a rendition is all the more effective with the use of a word like "plunder"; that said, this is simply a familiar idiom for enjoying what is at hand, the cash of the moment, as it were.  FitzGerald of course deviates and tries to capture the spirit by clearing the slate of yesterday and tomorrow.  But it is not the "cup that clears"; not to put too fine a point on it, the exhortation does not offer a specific remedy.  Here may be a good example of FitzGerald's reading too much into his source-text, yet this is his poem, his design.

There is a note in Kasra's text, quatrain 121 (as said before, she has published the 1942 text of Forughi-Ghani).  It is about saalegaan.  Forughi's text reads saalekaan. 'It appears that all the major translators of  Khayyām whose works I  have seen so far, have misread sálikán. They have read it sáligán.  The former means "mystics"; the latter is derived from sál which means "year." And this has produced the concept of "seven thousand years" instead of "seven thousand mystics" in so many translations.  The error, of course, could have originated from some of the manuscripts. Hence, a major error in various translations of this beautiful Rubái."

From my observations, textual evidence (Kasra would not disagree) favors saalegaan and this likely means manuscript evidence as well.  Is this simply a Forughi-Ghani emendation? Without discussion other than Kasra's there is no way of knowing.  saalek could be  a mystic of course, but why not its meaning of a traveler? "Travelers" then would place it closer in meaning to saalegaan, "seven thousand years of lives" -- saale, one year of life.

Why 7000? FitzGerald's note in all the editions offers this explanation: 'a thousand years to each planet.'  Ahmad Saidi in note 89, p. 251 (for quatrain 103): ' The reference is to the Caravan of the Dead, which began forming after the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, said to have occurred some 6,000 years ago.  According to the Bible, it will be another thousand years before the Kingdom of God abolishes death forever.'  

I am still baffled by 7000.  I consulted Annemarie Schimmel's The Mystery of Numbers.  There was nothing between 1001 and 10,000.  Here's what she had to say on numbers in her closing remarks: "Humans have tried to solve the mystery of numbers for millenia, using and misusing them, and yet, the fascination remains.  As the architect Le Corbusier tells us: 'Behind the wall, the gods play. They play with numbers, of which the Universe is made up.'" 



Quatrain 25

And this reviving Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River-Lip on which we lean—
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

FitzGerald, Stanza XX, 4th ed.

Heron-Allen indentifies C 44 as FitzGerald's source quatrain (p. 35)

هر سبزه که در کنار جوئی رستست
گوئی ز لب فرشته  خوئی  رستست
هان بر سر سبزه پا بخواری ننهی
کان سبزه ز خاک لاله‌روئی رستست

har sabze ke dar kanaar-e jui rostast
gui ze lab-e fereshte khui rostast
haan bar sar-e sabze paa bekhaari nanehi
kaan sabze ze khaak-e laalerui rostast

Every verdure that grows on the bank of a river
grows, you may say, from the lip of one angel-natured:
beware you do not set your foot on the verdure contemptuously,
for that verdure grows from the dust of one moon-cheeked.

Arberry, Romance ... 204

Arberry tells us that the edition of this stanza in Heron-Allen "contains some errors"; however, the two texts here appear the same (Arberry only transcribes the quatrain) except for the fourth line where Arberry's text reads: maahrui, "moon-cheeked", rather than laalerui, "tulip-cheeked" as Heron-Allen has it.  Both are compound nouns with the indefinite "i" termination, Arberry's one moon-cheeked .

The tender green that river banks display,
On which we tread so freely every day

Ah, tread upon it gently if you must;
It springs from dust of Beauty passed away.

Saidi, quatrain 89

Notes: This quatrain does not appear in Dashti's 75 select quatrains, but it is found in Hedaayat, quatrain 63 and Forughi-Ghani, quatrain 51.  Where I have written jui, gui, khui, rui, I might have written ju'i, gu'i, khu'i, ru'i with the single-quote denoting hamza, which you will see in the Persian. Hamza is needed since two vowels cannot be joined without  hamza intervening or "introducing" the second vowel.  What's important for the viewer is to realize that in all these cases, hamza + i is a syllable, which might have been more readily understood with the English single-quote designation. Since it is a syllable, the expected metrical pattern will occur; e.g., ru, hamza + i,  rostast, that is, long syllable, long syllable, long syllable ending the line. Finally, هان بر سر سبزه پا بخواری ننهی  will mean " look out now, don't take one step on this green in a casual manner" (به خواری)  or even "simple-mindedly".


Quatrain 24

They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
And Bahrám, that great Hunter – the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.

FitzGerald, stanza XVIII, 4th ed.

Decker says that here 'Jamshyd' and 'Bahrám' are both stressed on the first syllable, which of course strictly suits the iambic formula.  However, my opinion is that the stress falls equally on both syllables.   The 'y' in Jamshyd is likely FitzGerald's fancy.  FitzGerald writes "Bahrám"  to account for a "long" final a. See Decker's appendix on pronunciation of Persian words in his Rubáiyát, 238-249. 

Heron-Allen, 33, offers this source-text from the Calcutta MS, C 99:

آن قصر که بهرام در و جام  گرفت

روبه بچه کرد و شیر آرام  گرفت

بهرام که گور می‌گرفتی دایم

 امروز نگر که گور بهرام گرفت


aan qasr ke bahraam dar u jaam gereft
rubah bache kard o shir aaraam gereft
bahraam ke gur migerefti daayem
emruz negar ke gur bahraam gereft

Arberry, Romance... 203, asserts that FitzGerald's text-source was C 102 and that FitzGerald's reference to Jamshyd was taken from C 98 (Forughi, quatrain 7, also has Jamshid in the first line as well as Ali Dashti, quatrain 7, p.262, in his list of khayyaam-like quatrains, and so does Ahmad Saidi, quatrain 83).  Arberry translates:

That palace in which Bahram took the cup,
(there) the fox has whelped, and the lion taken its rest;
Bahram who used always to take the wild ass (gur)--
today see how the grave (gur) has taken Bahram. 

For the palace, FitzGerald had Persepolis in mind (his notes to all the editions tell us that), which Jamshid is said to have built.  Persepolis, the Throne of Jamshid, Takht-e Jamshid as it is known in Iran, if built by Jamshid would have existed from pre-historic times.  Persepolis was torched by Alexander and his drunken "conga-line" 750 years before Bahram V ruled.  Bahram had seven palaces built for each of his seven wives, so the reference to Bahram's "palace" would also be valid.  And Bahram was an avid hunter of the onager or wild ass (gur) and was called Bahram Gur probably because of his strength and prowess (onager from the Greek onos agrios, literally "wild ass").  If we don't want to call him Bahram Gur, we can refer to him as Bahram Onager and avoid calling him  'Wild Ass Bahram".

The pun, gur, wild ass and gur, grave is difficult, if not impossible, to convey in English.  FitzGerald avoids trying to pun and creates a forceful image in his rendition, which captures the spirit and meaning of the quatrain attributed to Khayyaam.   There is apparently no "lizard" in the sources -- in Forughi 7, we have gazelle (آهو, aahu) and fox and so Hedaayat, 54.  Whinfield, quatrain 72, has gazelle and lion, and the same for Tirtha, IV.25, and Ahmad Saidi,  quatrain 83 (Ali Dashti doesn't have this quatrain in his select 75, but it appears as already noted as khayyaamic, p. 262)  

This quatrain delivers the 4th line punch, with a change of pace in the 3rd line, and by this it is a "model" quatrain but this model or style is not always achieved as we have already seen in some of the quatrains attributed to Khayyaam.   I like the last bayt recorded by Hedaayat and Forughi (also Saidi, 83).  The fourth line asks the reader, who knows the story of Bahram's demise, to recall it:

بهرام که گور ‌می‌گرفتی همه عمر

دیدی چگونه گور بهرام گرفت


bahraam ke gur migerefti hame omr
didi chegune gur bahraam gereft 

 Bahram who spent his whole life in the hunt,
You saw how the hunt outhunted Bahram

Bahram died in a hunting accident -- some say that he and his horse were swallowed by quicksand.   This story is irrelevant for Khayyaam-FitzGerald: all those glories are in the past -- the palace is in ruins and is inhabited by lions, lizards, gazelles and foxes and other creatures no doubt. Bahram and Jamshid no longer hold sway.

Before closing with a translation of this quatrain by Edward Cowell, I feel compelled to discuss for my benefit and for learners a little grammar.   In the first line of the Persian,  we "expect"  در او and this is in fact what we have in dar u.  Some texts print در او. Metrically it makes no difference.  migerefti: the 'i' suffix implies continuation, a classical convention.  migereft  by itself could show repeated or habitual past action and does so in modern usage.  I would say that the suffix with this particular verb-form imparts intensive habitual action: "Bahram used to go about hunting" and that's close to what Arberry has.  A note about line 2: usually in Persian بچّه, bachche has a doubling of che as I have just written it.  But by poetic license, that is, for the sake here of the meter, two "shorts" are required, and bachche drops one che to become bache

Arberry, 91 remarks: 'There is a famous verse which Cowell rendered, as it happens, not entirely correctly-- thus':

That castle, in whose hall King Bahrám drained the cup,
There the fox hath brought forth her young and the lion made his lair.
Bahram who his life long seized the deer (
See how the tomb (
gor) has seized him to-day! 

Arberry concludes: "Who would guess that such a dry and frigid rendering represented the same original as this?"  Arberry then quotes FitzGerald, stanza XVIII.  Arberry is too hard on Cowell, who tried to supply FitzGerald with literal translations and by doing so, saved FitzGerald from errors in translating Persian.  As Arberry notes on good evidence, FitzGerald felt an affinity with Khayyaam and made the quatrains he chose his own (Terhune, Letters 2.305; Martin, With Friends Possessed, 203-207).

Here are two stanzas in FitzGerald's Rubáiyát similar to our preceding quatrain 24 . The first was only published in the 2nd (1868) edition, but FitzGerald has quoted it in his notes to all the editions. The source of the quatrain, the Persian (below), may have been an inscription discovered near Baghdad in the palace ruins of Ctesiphon. FitzGerald tells us that it was found, "among the ruins of Persepolis" -- yet as Saidi points out in a note, 249, note 74, the quatrain indicates that the poet saw this site. There is no evidence that Khayyaam traveled that far south. But he would likely have gone by Ctesiphon on his pilgrimmage to Mecca. Whatever the source of this quatrain, here is FitzGerald's rendition:

The Palace 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."

FitzGerald, Stanza XX, 2nd edition only but quoted in the notes of subsequent editions

Heron-Allen, 153 cites C 419 as Khayyaam's source.  Ali Dashti includes this quatrain in his '75"select quatrains of Khayyaam (it also appears -- all texts are the same -- in Forughi, 149 and Hedaayat, 56):

آن قصر که بر چرخ  همی‌زد پهلو 

بر درگه او شهان نهادندی رو 

دیدیم که بر کنگره‌اش فاختهای

بنشسته همی‌گفت که کو کو کوکو

Dashti, quatrain 31, p. 249

aan qasr ke bar charkh hamizad pahlu
bar dargah-e u shahaan nehaadandi ru
didim ke bar kongoreash faakhtei
benshaste hamigoft ke ku ku ku ku*

From that royal palace which once rose to the sky
monarchs in splendor faced the world.
But on its turrets I have seen a ring-dove seated,
cooing, cooing over and over: where, where? 

Michael Hillmann, Iranian Culture, 51

That palace vied with heaven to heaven surpass
with kings on display in court and pomp.

Perched high on a turret, we saw a dove ,
 coo-coo her refrain, gone where, gone where ?

*ku, which is the sound of cooing, also means "where" in Persian!

The second quatrain (which is included in all editions) is Stanza XVII in the 4th:

Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultán after Sultán with his Pomp
Abode his destin'd Hour, and went his way.

این کهنه رباط را که عالم نام است

آرامگه ابلق صبح و شام است

بزمی است که واماندهٔ صد جمشید است

       قصری است که تکیه‌گاه صد بهرام است 

Dashti 28 (and Heron-Allen 31, 
who claims FitzGerald's source is C 95)

in kohne rebaat raa ke aalam naam ast
aaraamgah-e ablaq-e sobh o shaam ast
bazmi ast ke vaamaande-ye sad jamshid ast
qasri ast ke takyegaah-e sad bahraam ast

Our world is a caravanserai
haunt of
black night and blazing day:
here a scattered feast of a hundred Jamshids,
 palace and resthome of a hundred Bahrams. 

"As Khayyām sees it, if the all-powerful Iranian emperors Jamshid and Bahrām were unable to remain in the world for longer than their appointed time, then more ordinary mortals should be that much more certain of their own mortality and insignificance."
Michael Hillmann, Iranian Culture, 56.

Along these lines, let's end with a couplet of  Hafez (ghazal 351. 4, Qazvini):

کی بود در زمانه وفا جام می بیار
تا من حکایت جم و کاووس ‌کی کنم  

key bud dar zamaane vafaa jaam-e mey biyaar
taa man hekaayat-e jam o kaavus-e key konam

When was life faithful?  Bring a cup of wine,
and let me tell you the story of Jamshid and KeyKaavus.



Quatrain 23

Some for the Glories of this World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

FitzGerald, Stanza XIII, 4th ed.

  E.B. Cowell and his influence on FitzGerald:

        Edward Byles Cowell was the first Professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge, a post he held from 1867 until his death in 1903. Cowell began his Persian studies at fourteen or fifteen, and his early translations were of the ghazals of Hafez.  His first published translation of a ghazal came just before his sixteenth birthday.  He also began studying Sanskrit while still at school in Ipswich.  Cowell excelled in languages, nine of which he had learned by his mid-twenties.  Not only did he learn languages, but he read extensively in the languages he was mastering.  And he did much of this while working in the office at his father's business.  (Cowell's father died when Cowell was sixteen, a circumstance which forced this eldest son to leave school then to work in the business.)

Cowell's letters from this early period are testimony to his love of language and literature. Cowell was about nineteen when he met FitzGerald, who would have been thirty-six.   In the following passage from The Life and Letters of Edward Cowell, p. 23 (written by Edward Cowell's cousin and biographer, George Cowell -- see bibliography), we see through George Cowell's eyes the influence Edward Cowell had on FitzGerald, with whom he read Greek and Latin authors and even Spanish writers.  Cowell inspired FitzGerald to learn Persian:

There is no evidence that FitzGerald at that time [a year or two after he and Cowell had met] even desired to learn Persian, but it is plain that Cowell had rapidly obtained a remarkable influence over him, the secret of which was probably the new interest he gave to the classical authors they read together both in Greek and Latin, the greater exactness he followed in the translations, and the new meanings that passages acquired when illuminated by parallel passages and illustrations from other authors, which his marvellous memory enabled him to give to their readings in both these languages.  He raised in FitzGerald's breast an interest and enthusiasm which he equally inspired in Spanish and Persian, when later they came to read together the best writers in both those languages.

In a letter of FitzGerald's,  an extract in George Cowell, p. 22, the letter itself in Terhune 1. 566 -- for Terhune, see bibliography --  FitzGerald tells us that he had come to read Thucydides with as much pleasure as I used to read a novel-- and as Cowell concludes on p. 23, no mean tribute to the classical insight with which Cowell had inspired his pupil and to the influence which had created or revived in him a love for all that was best in scholarship.

FitzGerald prophetically addressed Cowell' s abilities early (1847) in a letter written to FitzGerald's friend, William Bodham Donne (Terhune, 1. 572-573).  FitzGerald refers to an article , "Persian Poetry," which Cowell had published in the Westminster Review, July 1847: His article is quite unaffected; he writes at present without a style; which is a good feature in a young writer, I think.  Generally a man comes out dressed after Gibbon, or after Hume, or after Macaulay, etc. But Cowell seems only to wish to say what he knows; and has thought more about knowing than telling.  He ought to do something in the world; for, as far as I see, his delicacy of discrimination is as great as his capacity for amassing—a rare combination.

      Robert Bernard Martin describes the relationship between Cowell and FitzGerald as one of 'a deep mutual intellectual admiration' (see 138-141 in Martin's With Friends Possessed) For more on Cowell, see the short article in the online Encyclopaedia Iranica by Parvin Loloi.

We learn more about the warm relationship between Cowell and FitzGerald thanks to William Martin and Sandra Mason in their excellent new book: The Man Behind the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, I.B. Tauris, London &  New York, 2016.  FitzGerald and Cowell exchanged over 300 letters, more letters between the two of them than between any other correspondent and FitzGerald.

See especially, a thorough and interesting article on Cowell by Bob Forrest.

FitzGerald's Latin "sketch" of Stanza XIII:

Dicunt illi--"Paradisus Ecce quam Credenti suavis!"
Ego dico-- "Lympha Vitis Ecce quam Bibenti suavis!"
Ah, pecuniam praesentem ... debitamque mitte
Tuba nam Regalis illa procul audienti suavis[.]

They say--"See how sweet Paradise is to the Believer!"
I say--"See how sweet the Juice of the Vine is to the Drinker!"
Ah, the Cash right now ... let the Credit go,
The king's trumpets are sweet to the Listener far away.

(context will supply a "taking/demanding" verb to fill the lacuna in FG's Latin sketch) 

Heron-Allen, p. 25 - 'The original of this quatrain is found in O[useley] 34' -  below, as in the link:

گویند بهشت عدن با حور خوشست
من می‌گویم که آب انگور خوشست
این نقد بگیر و دست از آن نسیه بدار
کاواز دُهُل برادر از دور خوشست

guyand behesht-e adn baa hur khoshast
man miguyam ke aab-e angur khoshast
in naqd begir o dast az aan nasye bedaar
kaavaaz-e dohol baraadar az dur khoshast

They say the Paradise of Eden with the houris is delightful;
I say that the juice of the grape is delightful.
Take this cash, and withhold your hand from that credit,
for the sound of the drum, brother, from afar is delightful.

Arberry, Romance ... p. 114

Of Paradise they talk and hooris sweet
The juice of grape I hold as better treat;
Ah, take the cash and let the credit go
Sweet sounds the drum when distant is the beat.

Saidi, quatrain 33

Hedaayat, quatrain 90, has the same text although he doubts the authenticity of this quatrain. Saidi, Forughi (quatrain 41), and Whinfield (quatrain 108) have slightly different versions.  Heron-Allen offers another quatrain from the Calcutta MSS, this one C 156.  H-A feels this quatrain is 'almost identical in sentiment' [to the Ouseley 34 above].

گویند بهشت و حوض کوثر باشد
آنجا می ناب و شهد و شکّرباشد
پر کن قدح باده و بر دستم* نه 
نقدی هزار نسیه بهتر باشد 

*Heron-Allen had written دست but the meter requires دستم

guyand behesht o howz-e kowsar baashad
aanjaa mey-e naab o shahd o shakkar baashad
por kon qadah-e baade o bar dastam neh
naqdi ze hazaar-e nasye behtar baashad

They say that there will be heaven and the Fount of Kausar
That there, there will be pure wine and honey and sugar,
Fill up the wine cup and place it in my hand,
(For) ready cash is better than a thousand credits.

Heron-Allen, p. 27

Hedaayat has a similar quatrain (89 -- with doubts as to authenticity).  Dashti does not include this quatrain in his 75 select quatrains.






Quatrain 22

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 Sult
án is forgot
And peace to Mahmú
d 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 lal 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 mashuq 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)