Skip to main content
The worldly hope men set their hearts upon
turns ashes — or it prospers, and anon,
like snow upon the desert's fiery face,
alighting just a trice or two — it’s gone.
Think, in this battered caravanserai
whose portals are alternate night and day,
how sultan after sultan with his pomp
abode his destined hour, then went his way.
They say the lion and the lizard keep
the court where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep;
and Bahram the fabled hunter — the wild ass
stamps over his head but cannot break his sleep.
I sometimes think that never blows so red
the rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
that every hyacinth the garden wears
dropped in its lap from some once lovely head.
Ah, my beloved, fill the cup that clears
today of past regrets and future fears:
Tomorrow? — Why, tomorrow I may be
at one with yesterday's ten billion years.