The Moving Finger writes, and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash out a Word of it.
Here with a little bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, A Book of Verse--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavor and dispute;
Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.
Oh, Thou, who Men of baser Earth didst make,
And ev'n with Paradise devise the Snake:
For all the Sin the Face of Wretched Man
Is black with-Man's forgiveness give--and take!
And much as Wine has played the Infidel,
And robbed me of my Robe of Honor--Well,
I often wonder what the Vintner's buy
One half so precious as the wares they sell.
-The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam