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Happy Khayyam Day

News Source: Mehr News Agency

May 18 marks the birthday of the great Iranian poet, astronomer, and mathematician Omar Khayyam (1048-1131). Iranians annually celebrate the occasion as Khayyam Day.

Khayyam is chiefly known to English-speaking readers through the translation of a collection of his quatrains in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859), by the English writer Edward FitzGerald.

H.J. Ford's watercolor painting of the Rubáiyát's most famous stanza, undated

Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center

Following are some of his quatrains translated by Fitz Gerald:

AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted - "Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more."

Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

Related Articles:

The Persian Sensation: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in the West

150-year anniversary of translation of Khayyam's Rubaiyat by Fitz Gerald

... Payvand News - 05/17/09 ... --

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