Monday, July 4, 2011

Some of the translated thoughts of Omar Khayyam

Photo by Michael Melford of Chikuminuk Lake, Alaska
National Geographic
Omar Khayyam who was known as a Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet. He was born in 1048 and died in 1131.  He is most known for his quatrains (rubaiyaas) in Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam which are rather free-wheeling English translations by Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883). 
The following are a few of the translations from his works.

 In life devote yourself to joy and love
Behold the beauty of the peaceful dove
Those who live, in the end must all perish
Live as if you are already in heavens above.

O friend, for the morrow let us not worry
This moment we have now, let us not hurry
When our time comes, we shall not tarry
With seven thousand-year-olds, our burden carry.

O hark, let us not think of the morrow
Cherish this moment, far from sorrow
Life is a temporal gift that we borrow
Whether dead for ages, or leave tomorrow.

 Why was I given life? Why was my seed ever sown?
Why having to leave all alone with moan and groan?
If the universal wisdom received mine on loan
I’d never be born, stay or leave, let it be known.

 I watched the birds on nature’s stage
Playful, in flight, page after page
Thus opened the doors of my cage
& learnt each moment to fully engage.

 When events unfold with calm and ease
When the winds that blow are merely breeze
Learn from nature, from birds and bees
Live your life in love, and let joy not cease.

 There was a Door to which I found no Key:
There was a Veil past which I could not see:
Some little Talk awhile of ME and THEE
There seemed--and then no more of THEE and ME.

The only secret that you need to know
The passage of time is a one way flow
If you understand, joyously you’ll grow
Else you will drown in your own sorrow.

One is great
Who faces fate
Before it’s late,
The destined state
No matter how much we debate
Oppose, engage, or calculate
Even try to accelerate
Fate only moves at its own rate.
Futile is worry, anger and hate
Joy is the only worthy mate.

Anxiously I opened my eye
Understanding, try, try, try
Reluctantly agreed to die
Come, stay and leave, I only ask why?

 The only constant is time’s passage
Which is the same for both fool and sage
To young and old time’s only message
Engage in joy, put away your rage
From the unknown set foot upon the stage
And leaving this cage one day is your wage.

Every creature honor and respect
Bird or beast, plant or insect
If you look at life you will detect
From dust to dust, divine intellect.

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

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