Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face,
Lighting a little hour or two - is gone.
Edward Fitzgerald (1859)

Omar Khayyám (1048-1131, Neyshapur, Khorassan) was a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet. He spent his early childhood in Balkh, Smarkand and then Bukhara and later taught  when he returned to Neyshapur. A selection of his rubaiyas (4 line poems known as quantrains) are collected in Edward Fitzgerald's The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám are in fact transmogrifications of the Farsi rather than translations. 

A closer translation of the rubaiya shared above is shown here:

Take all the worldly goods, but in lieu
Let the beauty of nature renew
And at night on the grass like dew
And in the morn take me away from view

ایدل همه اسباب جهان خواسته گیر

باغ طربت به سبزه آراسته گیر

و آنگاه برآن سبزه شبی چون شبنم

بنشسته و بامداد برخاسته گیر

Omar Khayyám

aidal hama asbab jehan khoasta geer 
baagh tarbat ba sabza aarasta geer
wa aanga baraan sabza shab-e chon shabnam
banishta wa bamdad barkhasta geer

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