Rubaiyat on the vine

We owe the English poet Edward FitzGerald a toast for translating the lovely quatrainsOmar that comprise “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam [left].” Among the wine-soaked passages:

“Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness,
And Wilderness is Paradise now.”

“Today is the time of my youth
I drink wine because it is my solace;
Do not blame me, although it is bitter it is pleasant,
It is bitter because it is my life.”

“Drink wine, this is life eternal.
This, all that youth will give you:
It is the season for wine, roses, and friends drinking together,
Be happy for this moment – it is all life is.”

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