The Rubaiyat : Quatrain XXIV

The Rubaiyat : Quatrain XXIV

Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after a To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There!"

This is the twenty-fourth quatrain of the Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat. The subtext is not very clear from reading it. The first two lines states that those who are living in today and those who stare on the tomorrow and think about the future. They are the same. The muzzein (i.e the prayer leader) from his high tower cries out that rewards of your effort is neither in This world or the world Thereafter. Not very forthcoming I must say. Here is how I read it. Those who are working hard today to make their wishes come true or those who are thinking about the future (or the life thereafter). They are both in same situation. The muezzin from the tower of darkness (probably Death itself personified from his liar) would laugh at both of them and say your reward is neither in this world or the world thereafter. He is telling there is no further reward is awaiting you whatever way you live your life and any expectation of it is just foolishness. The life lived is the reward itself and there is no more to come.

Again, the lines are very obtuse to be sure what the poet meant.

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