Oh, come with old Khayyám, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower than once has blown for ever dies.
Though it's difficult to imagine, these 12th-century stanzas-oft quoted and frequently looked to for inspiration by those seeking to live life to the fullest-did not come to the public's attention until Edward FitzGerald published them in English in 1859... and even then they were ignored until the painter Dante Rossetti discovered a remaindered copy two years later and excitedly spread news of it around his intellectual and artistic circles.
Not a direct translation, these liberal interpretations make Khayyám's verse accessible to readers in the English language. Several editions of FitzGerald's work are included in this volume, allowing the reader multiple approaches to their wisdom and beauty.
Persian astronomer and poet OMAR KHAYYÁM (1048-1131) also authored works on music and mathematics.
British poet and translator EDWARD FITZGERALD (1809-1883) also wrote Polonius: A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances (1852) and translated from the Spanish Six Dramas of Pedro Caulderon (1853).