Perplext no more with Human or Divine,
Tomorrow's tangle to the winds resign,
And lose your fingers in the tresses of
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.


And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in what All begins and ends in--Yes;
Think then you are TODAY what YESTERDAY
You were--TOMORROW you shall not be less.


So when that Angel of the darker Drink
At last shall find you by the river-brink,
And, offering his Cup, invite your Soul
Forth to your Lips to quaff--you shall not shrink.


Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Were't not a Shame--were't not a Shame for him
In this clay carcass crippled to abide?


'Tis but a Tent where takes his one day's rest
A Sultán to the realm of Death addrest;
The Sultán rises, and the dark Ferrásh Strikes,
and prepares it for another Guest.


And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, and mine, should know the like no more;
The Eternal Saki from that Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour.


When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast.


A Moment's Halt--a momentary taste
Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste--
And Lo!--the phantom Caravan has reach'd
The NOTHING it set out from--Oh, make haste!


Would you that spangle of Existence spend
About THE SECRET--quick about it, Friend!
A Hair perhaps divides the False from True--
And upon what, prithee, may life depend?


A Hair perhaps divides the False and True;
Yes; and a single Alif were the clue--
Could you but find it--to the Treasure-house,
And peradventure to THE MASTER too;


FitzGerald's notes:

43. According to one beautiful Oriental Legend, Azrael accomplishes his mission by holding to the nostril an Apple from the Tree of Life.

This, and the two following Stanzas would have been withdrawn, as somewhat de trop, from the Text, but for advice which I least like to disregard.