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Medieval Sourcebook:
Omar Khayyam:
The Vanity of Regret, c. 1100

Nothing in this world of ours
Flows as we would have it flow;
What avail, then, careful hours,
Thought and trouble, tears and woe?
Through the shrouded veil of earth,
Life's rich colors gleaming bright,
Though in truth of little worth,
Yet allure with meteor light.
Life is torture and suspense;
Thought is sorrow-drive it hence!
With no will of mine I came,
With no will depart the same.


From: Charles F. Horne, ed., The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East, (New York: Parke, Austin, & Lipscomb, 1917), Vol. VIII: Medieval Persia, pp. 15-16 (Translated by E. H. Whinfield).

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, October 1998