I A BOOK of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness— O, Wilderness were Paradise enow! Some for the Glories of This World; and some Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come; Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go, Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum! Look to the blowing Rose about us—'Lo, Laughing,' she says, 'into the world I blow, At once the silken tassel of my Purse Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw.' 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. II Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai Whose Portals are alternate Night and Day, How Sultán after Sultán with his Pomp Abode his destined Hour, and went his way. They say the Lion and the Lizard keep The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep: And Bahrám, that great Hunter—the wild Ass Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep. I sometimes think that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled; That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head. And this reviving Herb whose tender Green Fledges the River-Lip on which we lean— Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen! Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears TO-DAY of past Regrets and Future Fears: To-morrow!—Why, To-morrow I may be Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n thousand Years. For some we loved, the loveliest and the best That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest, Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before, And one by one crept silently to rest. And we, that now make merry in the Room They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom, Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth Descend—ourselves to make a Couch—for whom? Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend, Before we too into the Dust descend; Dust unto Dust, and under Dust to lie, Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and—sans End! III Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide, And wash my Body whence the Life has died, And lay me, shrouded in the living Leaf, By some not unfrequented Garden-side…. Yon rising Moon that looks for us again— How oft hereafter will she wax and wane; How oft hereafter rising look or us Through this same Garden—and for one in vain! And when like her O Sákí, you shall pass Among the Guests star-scatter'd on the Grass, And in your joyous errand reach the spot Where I made One—turn down an empty Glass!
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