Omar Khayyam (149) “nothing left of good times but the name”

Now that nothing is left
of good times but the name;
and save for wine itself,
not a single 
old drinking buddy
is around any more;
don’t decline the joy of 
the vintage you’re offered,
since today your hand is empty
save for the glass.

Translated by Juan Cole
from Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, [pdf] Whinfield 149

7 Responses

  1. “since” is maybe the wrong word .. it sets up a meaning that is not coherent with the rest of the poem… imo

  2. He is explaining why you should go ahead and have that drink even though your carousing days are over; since=because

  3. Sounds like Hank Williams Jr. “Nobody wants to get drunk and get loud…
    I myself have seen my wilder days
    I have seen my name at the top of the page
    But I need to find a friend just to run around
    But nobody wants to get high on the town
    And all my rowdy friends have settled down”

  4. It is also helpful to consider events in Khayyam’s life, Brilliant childhood friends, one a famous prime minister “Nizam-ul-mulk” and the other who plots and finally assassinate the Prime Minister “Hassan ibn Sabbah” on top of the ordinary every day grief a radical freethinker of his time must have endured.

  5. I love these translations. Is there some place/link where one can read all of them? (All that you have translated?)

    • You can put Omar Khayyam in the search window at the blog. I’ll eventually revise them into a book.

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