Omar Khayyam of Naishapur was a Persian poet that lived in the 12th Century. His well known work, The Rubaiyat, is a beautiful continuous poem comprised of seventy-five quatrains (stanzas). His poetry was translated by Edward Fitzgerald in 1859. Fitzgerald was responsible for selecting the material of the Rubaiyat from Khayyam’s work and wove it into the poems that we read today. The Rubaiyat is often presented with beautiful illustrations.
Khayyam’s observations of life are as meaningful in the present day as they were centuries ago.
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend’
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and sans End!
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise to talk;
One thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies:
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
‘Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays;
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.