Poems of Sentiment: I. W AKE! And as the Cock crew, those who stood before. Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring. Some for the Glories of This World; and some. For some we loved, the loveliest and the best. Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,. Alike for those who for To-day prepare,. Why, all the Saints and Sages who discussed. Into this Universe, and Why not knowing,.
What, without asking, hither hurried Whence? There was the Door to which I found no Key;. Earth could not answer; nor the Seas that mourn. And not a drop that from our Cups we throw. And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,. Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,. But if in vain, down on the stubborn floor. PK A1 St. Michael's College Library.
FitzGerald's stanza, a pentameter quatrain with aaba rhyme, is similar in form to Omar's although less varied in its rhythm. The result is, as FitzGerald said, "a strange farrago of grave and gay," with recurring motifs but without essential unity or progression of theme or mood.
When he encountered difficulties in interpreting Omar, he consulted his friend and unofficial tutor, E. Cowell who later became a distinguished Sanskrit scholar but who, in the 's, was rather a keen and gifted student of Oriental languages than an authoritative guide. The poem underwent extensive revision for successive editions in with quatrains , quatrains , and The text printed here is that of the first edition. Textual notes in quotation marks are FitzGerald's notes from that edition. The best recent edition of the version is A. Comparison of a literal translation of the Persian original of lines with FitzGerald's successive versions will exemplify his method of translation and recension: Literal: The sun has thrown the lassoo of dawn over the roof; the emperor of day has thrown the stone into the cup.
Back to Line. The Persian year began with the vernal equinox.
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Such images, of course, have a basis in fact. There might, too, be a hermit; but in that case the roof must not be so ruinated as to let in the rain; a ghost was less trouble. Rose Macaulay, incidentally, was related to Thomas Babington Macaulay — the famous historian, of particular relevance to us in this essay on account of his role in the saga of the New Zealander see note 40 of the main essay : her grandfather, Samuel Herrick Macaulay, was a cousin of the famous historian.
But to get back to verse 17, for Jamshyd, see the note on verse 5 above. As for Bahram, he is not a legendary king but a real one, and one of the most popular kings of Iranian history — namely, the Sasanid king Bahram V AD.
The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam - Iranian Archives
His name is sometimes rendered Varahran in English. One legend has it that he actually earned his nickname by slaying a lion and an onager with a single arrow! According to one account he even died whilst out hunting, though another account does say that he died a natural death in the summer of AD. According to another story, before Bahram became king there was a second claimant to the throne, and in order to decide who should become king, Bahram suggested that the royal crown should be placed between two lions, and whoever could retrieve it by killing the beasts should become king.
The second claimant withdrew, but Bahram slew the two lions and thus gained the crown. This episode is to be found in The Shahnameh and also in the Haft Peykar — see below. As FitzGerald says in the notes to his first edition onwards see also II. One of the principal accounts of all this is to be found in the Haft Peykar Seven Beauties of Nizami. In brief, Bahram Gor acquires seven mistresses, one from each of the seven regions of the World. He is advised by a learned architect, geometer and astrologer to build a domed pavilion for each of them, and, in order to ensure good fortune, he is advised that each of the pavilions should be of the colour that is associated with the region of the World from which its occupant comes, and with its ruling planet.
The story is thus riddled with sevens — seven mistresses, seven pavilions or castles , seven colours, seven regions of the world and seven planets. Nor is that the end of the sevens, for a large part of the poem is taken up with the seven tales that are told to the appropriately dressed colour-coded! Bahram Gor by each of the mistresses in turn, these stories being told on the seven successive days of the week, the particular day being the one associated with the planet that governs the region from which the mistress comes.
Thus, for example, the Russian mistress is installed in the Red Pavilion, this being the colour associated with Mars, which governs her region of the world; and Bahram Gor, dressed in red, is told her story on Tuesday, which is the day associated with the planet Mars! Needless to say, many a Persian ruin with the slightest hint of colour came to be associated with this extraordinary story. Thus, Sir William Ouseley, in his Travels see note 42 of the main essay , tells of being shown the ruins of three of these pavilions by his guides: the Green one vol.
Wilson , in two volumes, vol. Finlayson-Samsour translator , Persian Miniatures ? The Red palace miniature is shown by way of example in Gallery 7F , Fig. Teimourian note 1i, p. Talking of their visit to the Pyramids of Gizeh they write:.
Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
Vain pride of human pomp and power! Their monuments remain unto this day, the wonder of all time; but themselves, their history and their very names, have been swept away in the dark tide of oblivion! Harriet Martineau also visited the pyramids, describing her experience in her book Eastern Life, Past and Present 3 vols, , in vol. Leaving her ear-trumpet behind so as to keep her hands free for climbing, she clambered to the top of the Great Pyramid, then down again to explore the interior.
Nile shall pursue his changeless way; Those Pyramids shall fall. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear — "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away. There has been much controversy over what inspired Shelley to write this poem.
The chosen theme, plus some overlap of the two poems, shows that something specific prompted the competition. Certainly the title and the words which Shelley puts on the pedestal show that Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian of the first century BC, was a primary source.
Diodorus describes a huge statue of a seated pharaoh:.
If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works. Oldfather, Loeb Beyond Diodorus Siculus, disagreement reigns as to the precise source s of inspiration. But an engraving of which broken statue and in which book exactly? The candidates are legion.
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See, for example, D. Another view of the time-ravaged statuary of ancient Egypt is provided by.
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We arrived one night at nine, in brilliant moonlight that flooded the columns. Dogs were barking, the great white ruins looked like ghosts, and the moon on the horizon, completely round and seeming to touch the earth, appeared to be motionless, resting there deliberately. Karnak gave us the impression of a life of giants. I spent a night at the feet of the Colossus of Memnon, devoured by mosquitoes. The old scoundrel has a good face and is covered with graffiti. Graffiti and bird-droppings are the only two things in the ruins of Egypt that give any indication of life. That is from the vultures, who have been coming there to shit for centuries.
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It is a very handsome effect and has a curious symbolism. You will not nourish the seed of the lichen? Eh bien, merde. It is an apt observation that has a modern parallel. In any large English city there are statues of the good and great of past times, most of them now quite unknown to the people who pass them by today, and all of them seem to be the ignominious haunt of pigeons.
Even Queen Victoria is not exempt. Sic transit gloria mundi, as they say.