The Rubaiyat: Quatrain XXXIV

Then to this earthen Bowl did I adjourn
My Lip the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd--"While you live
Drink!--for once dead you never shall return."

This is the thirty-fourth quatrain of the FitzGerald's Rubaiyat and the quatrain does not give itself easily to interpretation. The poet holding the earthen bowl (made of mud and full of his favourite wine) is just about to drink from it. But then he stops and ponders over it. Holding it close to his lips, he seeks from the bowl, to reveal the secret (a well being the store of) of life. My lips want to learn that secret knowledge of our short lives. And the lip (the rim of the bowl) murmured to my lips, that don't worry about it. Drink and enjoy while you are alive - for once you are dead, one shall never return. One has this one life only to live for and while one has it, one should live it fully for once it ends it gone forever never to return!

No comments:

Post a Comment