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rubaiyat 135.3-4Go, sit in the shade of the rose, for every rose
That springs from the earth, again to earth soon goes away!

Omar Khayyám (1048-1123) Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer [عمر خیام]
Rubáiyát [رباعیات], Bod. # 135, ll. 3-4 [tr. M. K. (1888)]

Alternate translations:

And look -- a thousand Blossoms with the Day
Woke -- and a thousand scatter'd into Clay
[tr. FitzGerald, 1st ed. (1859), # 8]

Morning a thousand Roses brings, you say;
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of yesterday?
[tr. FitzGerald, 2nd Ed (1868), # 9]

Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say:
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
[tr. FitzGerald, 3rd ed. (1872), # 9; same in later editions]

Sit in the shade of the rose, for many times this rose from earth has come, and unto earth has gone.
[tr. McCarthy (1879), # 463]

Sit we beneath this rose, which many a time
Has sunk to earth, and sprung from earth again.
[tr. Whinfield (1883), # 414]

Sit in the shade of the rose, for, by the wind, many roses
have been scattered to earth and have become dust.
[tr. Heron-Allen (1898), # 135]

Sit we 'neath this rose shade, for many a rose
Wind strewn in earth has turned to earth again!
[tr. Thompson (1906), # 522]

Sit in her fragrant bower, for oft the wind
Hath strewn and turn'd to dust such flowers as these.
[tr. Talbot (1908), # 135]

Rest in the shadow of the rose, for many of its leaves will the rose
Shed on the earth while we lie under the earth.
[tr. Rosen (1928), # 270]

Stay, Dearest One! beneath the rosy shade,
The roses bloom for Thee but soon would blight.
[tr. Tirtha (1941), # 3.7]

Sit in the rose's shadow, for oftentimes this rose shall spill upon the dust, when we are dust.
[tr. Bowen (1976), # 5a]

The Rosetree spills her petals in the dust,
And nothing of her fragrant harvest saves;
And yet this Rose, a plaything of the breeze,
Will bloom each year when we are in our graves.
[tr. Bowen (1976), # 5b]

Added on 21-Mar-24 | Last updated 21-Mar-24
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All flesh is grass, and all its glory fades
Like the fair flower dishevell’d in the wind;
Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream;
The man we celebrate must find a tomb,
And we that worship him, ignoble graves.

William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet
The Task, Book 3 “The Garden,” l. 261ff (1785)
Added on 21-Aug-23 | Last updated 21-Aug-23
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Civilization is a perishable commodity.

Helen MacInnes
Helen MacInnes (1907-1985) Scottish-American writer
The Venetian Affair, ch. 11 [Fenner] (1963)
Added on 3-Aug-22 | Last updated 3-Aug-22
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The mortality of all inanimate things is terrible to me, but that of books most of all.

William Dean Howells (1837-1920) American author, literary critic, and playwright
Letter to Charles Eliot Norton (6 Apr 1903)
Added on 4-Apr-22 | Last updated 4-Apr-22
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Everything passes, everything breaks, everything palls, everything gets replaced.

[Tout passe, tout casse, tout lasse, et tout se remplace.]

(Other Authors and Sources)
French proverb

Sometimes given without the final clause. The second and third clauses are sometimes reversed.
Added on 18-Aug-17 | Last updated 18-Aug-17
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We may dig in our heels and dare life never to change, but, all the same, it changes under our feet like sand under the feet of a sea gazer as the tide runs out. Life is forever undermining us. Life is forever washing away our castles, reminding us that they were, after all, only sand and sea water.


Eric Jong
Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
Parachutes and Kisses (1984)
Added on 13-Oct-16 | Last updated 13-Oct-16
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