Thursday, April 02, 2009


2009 marks the 150th anniversary of Edward Fitzgerald's landmark translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Why an arrangement of verses chosen to suggest the progress through the day of a hard-drinking, sceptical sensualist and amateur philosopher should appeal to me, I have no idea.

Two quatrains for the great and good of the G20 and the crusty anarchist protesters alike :

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.

And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

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