The Rubaiyat : Quatrain V










Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows;
But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.



This is the fifth quatrain of the Fitzgerald's The Rubaiyat. Unlike the last four where the passing of timeand change was significant, like the change from night to day or change of seasons, this quatrain can be interpreted as one where time passes, but some wonders remain (nature) and some become relics of the past. Time does not wait, it  just passes by bulldozing the crowning human achievements and demigods by the wayside but the humble and seemingly and ordinary ways of nature continue.

The quatrain first two lines mentions that Iram is lost and with it all its glory is also gone forever and Jamshid's fabled seven ringed cup (Jam-e-Jam) has been forgotten. Iram was an ancient city in Arabia that served as a trading post and consequently come to be known as a opulent city. The reputation of the city fell in later times and the city was abandoned and is now only mentioned as a footnote in the history books. King Jamshid (according to Persian mythology) was among the greatest king the world has ever seen. He owned a mythical cup (Jam-e-Jam) that was said to contain the elixir for immortality and one could see the entire universe by looking into it.The king later lost his glory as he become full of pride and lost the blessings of God. The next two lines state that even though the glories of the kings and the magnificence of human race has been lost in time, yet the ordinary garden by the river is still there blooming and the old vineyard is still producing those ruby shaped grapes. The banality of nature has outlived the grandeur of human existence. All human endeavors ultimately will be forgotten and will be outlived and survived by simple ways of nature. The critical element again as in last quatrains is time, not the change the time brings but the constantness of nature with time.

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