The Rubaiyat: Quatrain XXXIX










How long, how long in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.









This is the thirty-ninth quatrain of the FitzGerald's Rubaiyat. The poet opens up with a question asking us, for how long we are going pursue in our endeavors and wishes for these pursuits are infinite. For how long we will continue to resolve the disputes and challenges of life for they are also endless. These pursuits and challenges of life are infinite and unsolvable. It is better to be merry with the fruitful grape instead of wasting your time and energy over nothing or worse, a bitter fruit. Instead of bound to life's spiritual endeavor and earthly disputes that go on for ever, why not merry oneself with the modest and fleshy grape growing in the backyard than with nothing in hand or worse, a bitter fruit. Be happy with what you have and enjoy it rather than pursue infinite and life consuming tasks that may lead to disappointment or no time to enjoy what you already have.

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