Thursday, January 26, 2006
Old Omar's bones long past succumbed to Time,
Who now has tricked the pilgrim past his prime;
The rising moon no longer Khayyám finds,
And soon enough the traveler's bell will chime.
This sorry scheme our understanding taunts
As heaven high its stern duration flaunts;
And one by one the rose her petals drops
As Time upon the countless gravestones vaunts.
Like briefest flash of gold in life's bazaar,
Or siren's sultry voice half-heard afar–
The pilgrim knows how seldom and how short
The door to revelation stands ajar.
The wisdom of the sages and the seers
Is murmured down the corridors of years
But in the lonely night cannot dispel
The phantoms of the pilgrim's hopes and fears.
The gate to hell or heaven stands agape
Or is this but illusion of escape?
The fate of each is cast before his birth;
Nor tear nor tirade can these stars reshape.
So shall we then together, you and I
Enjoy what time we have beneath this sky
And revel in our love and in this wine:
Accept the what and where, and ask not why?
And since we cannot fail to pay what's due
That Innkeeper who tolls our evening through–
I hope he would permit a final cup,
And give me leave to drink it here with you.
© 2005 Jeffrey Hull