Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam / Bird Parliament by Edward FitzGeraldThe Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
--From the Rubaiyat
The best-selling poem of all time, Omar Khayaams Rubaiyat (Quatrains), was first published in the West in 1859 by translator Edward FitzGerald. Excerpts from his well-loved version appear here, accompanied by Bird Parliament, a delightful work by Khayyams contemporary, the influential mystic poet Farrid Ud-Din Attar.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, First Edition
Published by London: Bernard Quaritch, Seller Rating:. About this Item: London: Bernard Quaritch, , Condition: Fine. First edition of one of the most celebrated poetical rarities of 19th-century English literature. Only a handful of the copies printed sold at first, so the publisher consigned the balance to the bargain bin, with the price reduced from five shillings to one penny.
Published by Little Brown and Company Seller Rating:. About this Item: Little Brown and Company, Condition: Good. First Edition. Former Library book.
Translated by Edward Fitzgerald.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is said to be one of the ten best known poems in the world, and probably the most popular piece of Oriental literature in the Western World. A number of auspicious events were necessary for this phenomenon to occur. These romantic verses kept gaining in popularity, necessitating more and more editions to be printed. There are a startling array of sizes, bindings, illustrations and printing materials. The most common editions are based on the four versions of translation by Fitzgerald. The first edition consisted of 75 quatrains stanzas ; the second edition was expanded to quatrains; the third and fourth editions had quatrains.
FitzGerald's work at first was unsuccessful commercially. But it was popularised from onward by Whitley Stokes , and the work came to be greatly admired by the Pre-Raphaelites in England. In FitzGerald had a third edition printed, which increased interest in the work in the United States of America. The authenticity of the poetry attributed to Omar Khayyam is highly uncertain. Omar was famous during his lifetime not as a poet but as an astronomer and mathematician. The earliest reference to his having written poetry is found in his biography by al-Isfahani , written 43 years after his death.
Translated Into English Verse. Towards me he 'ever turned an eye of favour and kindness, and as his pupil 'I felt for him extreme affection and devotion, so that I 'passed four years in his service. Now, even if we all do not attain 'thereto, without doubt one of us will; what then shall be 'our mutual pledge and bond? Years rolled on, and I went 'from Khorassan to Transoxiana, and wandered to Ghazni 'and Cabul; and when I returned, I was invested with 'office, and rose to be administrator of affairs during the 'Sultanate of Sultan Alp Arslan. The Vizier was generous and kept his word. Hasan de- manded a place in the government, which the Sultan granted at the Vizier's request; but discontented with a gradual rise, he plunged into the maze of intrigue of an oriental court, and, failing in a base attempt to supplant his bene- factor, he was disgraced and fell.