Omar Khayyam, of Samarkand, was a scientist and a poet. The pic shows the ruins of the observatory where he worked.
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend:
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
No wine, no Song, no Singer, and no End!
Alike for those who for Today prepare,
And those that after a Tomorrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries:
‘Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There!’
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk: one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies:
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet’s Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!
The heavenly bodies that circle round the skies
Are full of mystery even to learned men;
Hold firm the thread of wisdom in your hand,
For those who plan their lives will be confused
Of all the travellers on this endless road
Not one returns to tell us where it leads.
There’s little in this world but greed and need;
Leave nothing here, for you will not return.
I am not here for ever in this world;
How sinful then to forfeit wine and love!
The world may be eternal or created;
Once I am gone, it matters not a scrap.