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Whether at Nishapur or Babylon,
whether the cup with sweet or bitter run,
the wine of life is seeping drop by drop,
the leaves of life are falling one by one.
To have a book of verse beneath a tree,
a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thee
beside me singing in the wilderness —
what paradise that wilderness would be!
Some yearn for glory in this world, and some
await the Prophet's paradise to come;
my friends, I choose the land of here and now;
there’s scarce a drink in death’s imperium.
Look to the blowing rose about us — “Lo!”
she says, “into the world with laughter I go,
the silken tassel of my purse I tear,
my treasure on the garden I bestow.”
All those who husbanded the golden grain
and those who flung it to the winds like rain,
alike to no such fertile earth are turned
as, buried once, men want dug up again.