... To all of us the thought of heaven is dear--
Why not be sure of it and make it here?
No doubt there is a heaven yonder too,
But 'tis so far away--and you are near.
Men talk of heaven,--there is no heaven but here;
Men talk of hell,--there is no hell but here;
Men of hereafters talk, and future lives,--
O love, there is no other life--but here...
... The Koran! well, come put me to the test--
Lovely old book in hideous error drest--
Believe me, I can quote the Koran too,
The unbeliever knows his Koran best.
And do you think that unto such as you,
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew,
God gave the Secret, and denied it me?--
Well, well, what matters it! believe that too.
Old Khayyám, say you, is a debauchee;
If only you were half so good as he!
He sins no sins but gentle drunkenness,
Great-hearted mirth, and kind adultery.
But yours the cold heart, and the murderous tongue,
The wintry soul that hates to hear a song,
The close-shut fist, the mean and measuring eye,
And all the little poisoned ways of wrong.
So I be written in the Book of Love,
I have no care about that book above;
Erase my name, or write it, as you please--
So I be written in the Book of Love...
...To me there is much comfort in the thought
That all our agonies can alter nought,
Our lives are written to their latest word,
We but repeat a lesson He hath taught.
Our wildest wrong is part of His great Right,
Our weakness is the shadow of His might,
Our sins are His, forgiven long ago,
To make His mercy more exceeding bright...
... Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám