For Omar Khayyam, like Hafez, is one of the most Persian of Persian writers. There is in his Rubáiyát all the gorgeousness of the East: all the luxuray of the most refined civilization. Omar's bowers are always full of roses; the notes of the nightingale tremble through his stanzas. The intoxication of wine, and the bright eyes of lovely women are ever present to his mind. The feast, the revel, the joys of love, and the calm satisfaction of appetite make up the grosser elements in his song. But the prevailing note of his music is that of deep and settle melancholy, breaking out occasionally into words of misanthropy and despair. The keenness and intensity of this poet's style seems to be inspired by an ever-present fear of death. This sense of approaching Fate is never absent from him, even in his most genial moments; and the strange fascination which he exercises over his readers is largely due to the thrilling sweetness of some passage which ends in a note of dejection and anguish.


Omar Khayyam      House of Persia       Hafez Shirazi