from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Random House, 1947 printing; original, 11th century; first English trans. by Fitzgerald, 1858)
Then to the rolling Heav’n itself I cried | Asking, “What Lamp had Destiny to guide | “Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?” | And– “A blind Understanding!” Heav’n replied.
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.”
And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press, | End in the Nothing all Things end in– Yes– Then fancy while Thou art but what | Thou shalt be– Nothing– Thou shalt be less.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky, | Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die |Lift not thy hands for It for help– for It | Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.
And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass | Among the Guests Star-scattered on the grass, | And in thy joyous Errand reach the Spot | Where I made one– turn down an empty glass
This printing was edited by Louis Untermeyer who provides a lovely, longish, history in the Introduction. He concludes that
(Wonder how many instapoets will like this?)