The Rubaiyat : Quatrain XVII

They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep;
And Bahram, that great Hunter--the Wild Ass
Stamps o'er his Head, and he lies fast asleep.

As with other previous quatrains, the recurring theme is one of frailty of the human glories in the face of the passage of time.Khayyam says that the mighty lion and the lowly lizard inhabit the land which once used to be the courts of the greatest king the land has ever seen, King Jamshed. In these lands where once Jamshed basked in his glory and hunted and drank, are no more his fiefdom any more. Nature has taken over it and the mighty and the lowly thrive unconcerned of past glories of human conquest. Same has happened with King Bahram who was known as a great hunter of the wild ass in ancient Persia. Now, the wild ass stamps on his grave as if to wake him up from his perpetual sleep, but it can not break his sleep.The human glories, the human conquests are just specks in the arrow of time that waits for no one. Newer glories will replace older ones and the march of time continues. The heroes of one era will be dust in the next and in all this tumult, time will be never-ending like a wave that comes over and over again, washing away the footprints on the sand.

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