A couple of days ago I used a tongue-in-cheek version of the above title, and now people are coming to my blog in search of the quote. So here it is, along with several other well-known quatrains from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:
The Moving Finger writes, and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash out a Word of it.
Here with a little bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, A Book of Verse—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
Into this Universe and Why not knowing
Nor whence, like Water, willy-nilly flowing;
And out of it, as wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly flowing.
Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavor and dispute;
Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.
Heaven but the Vision of fulfilled Desire,
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire,
Cast in the Darkness into which ourselves,
So late emerged from shall so soon expire.
Ah, Love! could you and I with Him conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things Entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then
Re-mold it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!
Oh, Thou, who Men of baser Earth didst make,
And ev’n with Paradise devise the Snake:
For all the Sin the Face of Wretched Man
Is black with—Man’s forgiveness give—and take!