Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam -11th century

Omar, following his father’s trade of tent-making he graduated to science and mathematics, and in his days he was far better known as a mathematician and astronomer than as a poet. He wrote a standard work on algebra; he revised the astronomical tables; he prompted the Persian Sultan Malik-Shah to make a drastic reform of the calendar.
During the few intervals when he was free of his computations, Omar indulged himself in the pleasures of poetry. He celebrated two intoxicants : verse and the vine. Before he died in 1123 he had composed some five hundred epigrams in quatrains, or rubais, peculiar in rhyme and pungent in effect.
— Louis Untermeyer
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A book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A jug of Wine, a Loaf of bread –and Though
Beside me singing in the Wilderness —
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
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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.
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With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow,
And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d–
“I came like Water. And like Wind I go.”
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There was the Door to which I found no key;
There was the Veil through which I might not see;
Some little talk awhile of ME and THEE
There was –and then no more of THEE and ME.
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Then of the THEE IN ME who works behind
The Veil, I lifted up my hands to find
A lamp amid the darkness; and I heard,
As from Without — ” THE ME WITHIN THEE BLIND.”
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