|Image via El Wik|
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
You are familiar with the Rubáiyát, probably the most popular literary work of the Sufi mystics of old. Dating to around 1100 A.D. - the same time as the great troubador epics of the West - Omar Khayyám's poetry has entered the English language's great store of popular expression.
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou ...
Edward Fitzgerald's translations are without doubt the most famous in the Mother Tongue, dating to the second half of the 19th Century. They caused a sensation, and influenced many other writers including Eugene O'Neill, Agatha Christie, and H. P. Lovecraft (!).
It also captured the imagination of Arthur Foote, perhaps the first American composer who wasn't trained in Europe. Indeed, Foote was a Harvard man, one of the "Boston Six" group of composers. He is entirely unknown today, which is a crying shame because his music has a lush, late romantic style reminiscent of Mahler. Today's gem was written in 1900, and is offered in celebration of Khayyám's birthday on this day in 1048 A.D.