Mystery of Time

“Ah, fill this cup:- what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn, Tomorrow, and dead Yesterday ,
Why fret about them if Today be sweet!”

It is the 37th quatrain from the First Edition of Edward FitzGerald’s translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and it is my favorite quatrain from the Rubaiyat.

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The Rubaiyat’s message of living in the present was way ahead of its time, considering it was written at a time when many people did things in order to appease a ‘God’ and in hope of afterlife paradise. Now we live in an age where people are finally able to understand their lives and their live their lives with a sense of fulfillment rather than having to look forwards or backwards in time for their meaning.
The most famous quatrain from the Rubaiyat is:

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to Cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.” (71, Fifth Edition)

This has a similar message but I prefer the previous one because it is less cryptic and therefore easier to understand.


time, future, today, past, present, yesterday, tomorrow, omar, rubaiyat, khayyam


  • Philosophy Lee
    Philosophy Leeabout 6 years ago

    Time is my friend,
    None are my foe.
    May your dreams come true,
    This I wish for yo.
    Note: ‘yo’ is an American slang for you, or hey there, and is the Spanish word for me (too) :)
    Well done Master barnsy.

  • like your uplifting quatrain lee.
    don’t worry about the slang, i understand well enough – i watch enough american tv and films to know the basics of american slang!
    ceers for the comment

    – barnsy

  • butchart
    butchartabout 6 years ago

    we are time… without us it doesn’t exist and has no meaning…………b

  • very true….time is relative and only humanity can give relative entities names like good and bad, colour and time

    – barnsy

  • butchart
    butchartabout 6 years ago

    and sin and morality…. the list is endless… ha.. much like time……….:)

  • mtda
    mtdaabout 6 years ago

    Some neat concepts here, glad I checked this out…

  • thanks for checking it out!

    – barnsy

  • maka1967
    maka1967over 5 years ago

    Thank you for the brilliant writing. I agree with most of the ideas in your description.

    Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam is one of the books I like best. To be honest, I prefer a recent version, by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs. Cheers!

  • cheers for checking it out…i’ll look out for the avery and heath-stubbs version

    – barnsy

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