These are just a few of my favourite verses:
One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One Moment, of the Well of Life to taste -
The Stars are setting and the Caravan
Starts for the Dawn of Nothing -
Oh, make haste!
Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days,
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the closet lays.
For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and- sans End!
And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in -Yes -
Then fancy while Thou art, but what
Thou shall be - Nothing- Thou shall not be less.
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is lies:
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
This has claim to be one of the greatest poems in the English language as Edward Fitzgerald wrote most of this great poem freshly; very little actually came from Omar Khyyam