[74] Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane

by Omar Khayyam

English version by Edward FitzGerald
Original Language Persian/Farsi

Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
     How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me -- in vain!

-- from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, by Omar Khayyam / Translated by Edward FitzGerald

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I went for an early evening walk last night. The moon is growing full, hovering just above the treetops...

In this quatrain, Khayyam speaks of the moon that does not wane--

Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane

The state of mystical realization reveals itself as a shining light, as a luminescence permeating the still field of the mind. There is a sense of light from an undefined "above," silence, a fullness of vitality, and deep rest. This is the light of enlightenment.

Sacred poets throughout the world often use the metaphor of the full moon in the night sky to describe this. The full moon is the soft light that illumines the land below when all is at rest.

And Khayyam's moon is a moon of "Delight" -- the supreme contentment and bliss that permeates us in that eternal moment of awakening.

Khayyam also has the enigmatic line suggesting that this moon can't find him--

How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me -- in vain!


This is a playful reference to how the sense that the individual self -- the little self or the ego -- disappears in the light of illumination. The moon rises, it shines, but there is no "you" to be found within that light.

Spend a quiet moment in the moonlight tonight. See if you're still there when you're done. :-)



Recommended Books: Omar Khayyam

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained The Sufism of the Rubaiyat or the Secret of the Great Paradox Wine of the Mystic: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan: A Spiritual Interpretation The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Illustrated Edition)
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74] Ah, Moon of my