Monday, August 13, 2007

After almost 1,000 years, it still moves

The (probably) best known quatrain from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám has been running through my head just recently:

The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

It appeals because it accepts the hard fact about our individual lives that is often difficult to accept - what is written is written, and that's it. Can't be changed. However, what will be written in the future is more in our hands. There is another quatrain:

And as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted - 'Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more.'

The good news is that the world has many taverns, and the cock crows every morning!