Main PageProsody Guide

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'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 enough'

OFT have the footsteps of my soul been led
By thee, sweet OMAR, far from hum, of toil
To where the Chenar trees their plumage spread
And tangly vines of wild-grape thickest coil;
Where distant fields scarce glimpst in noon content,
Are lush with verdure quick upon the plough;
Where trull of Nightingale beneath the Tent
Of heaven sinks away to soft lament;
There have I sat with Thee and conned ere now
A book of verses underneath the bough

When from the city's raucous din new-freed
I quaff thy wisdom from the clearing Cup
Of rubáyát, then, even as I read,
I seem with Thee, in Persian groves to sup
On bread of YEZDAKHAST and SHIRAZ Wine
That lifts the net of Care from the brow.
These words, that tongue, the Spirit of the Vine,
Break from the Veil, and lo! the Voice is thine:
Then is my wish -- would Fate that wish allow!
A Jug of Wine a Loaf of Bread -- and Thou.

Although I tread the Wilderness of life,
Thy song can waft me to that careless clime,
Where enter in nor memories of strife,
Nor ghosts of woe from out of the Gulf of Time.
There, by thy side, great OMAR, would I stray,
And drink the Juice that has forgot the Press,
(A Pot, the Potter shaped but Yesterday --
To-morrow will it be but broken Clay?)
With only Thee the toilsome road to bless,
Beside me singing in the Wilderness.

When Thou dost scorn the waste and mourn the Rose,
That dies upon the world's too sinful breast,
In thy disdain a wondrous beauty glows,
Unfolding visions of a Life more blest.
I seem to wander, though I know not how,
Within the glittering gates of JENNISTAN,
Supreme SHADUKIAM I wondering scan:
Though still I walk in the Wilderness, I wow --
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!