With me along the strip of Herbage strownby Omar Khayyam
English version by Edward FitzGerald
Original Language Persian/Farsi
With me along the strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot --
And pity Sultan Mahmud on his Throne!
|-- from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, by Omar Khayyam / Translated by Edward FitzGerald|
/ Photo by Andy Hay /
I've always liked this quatrain from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. With its lyric language, it beautifully evokes that mystic stillpoint in which all polarities are reconciled and balanced.
Khayyam invites us to walk with him "along the strip of Herbage strown" -- that slender path of life -- "That just divides the desert" -- the barren places of the untended soul -- "from the sown" -- those places of the mind so heavily cultivated and patterned that, though it contains life, it has become artificial. It is the wild place, the natural place, the place of uncontained life in between the two we must find.
In this place, the "name of Slave and Sultan is forgot." In this state of spiritual poise, all dichotomies, social divisions, mental dissections, and perceptual separations fall away. No one kneels below you and no one stands above you; everyone and everything profoundly IS, and it is all ONE.