Monday, December 7, 2015

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: Second Edition, Quatrain LIII

This is another of the quatrains that first appeared in the Second Edition.


Second Edition:  Quatrain LIII

A moment guess'd--then back behind the Fold
Immerst of Darkness round the Drama roll'd
    Which, for the Pastime of Eternity,
He does Himself contrive, enact, and behold.




Fifth Edition:  Quatrain LII
A moment guess'd--then back behind the Fold
Immerst of Darkness round the Drama roll'd
    Which, for the Pastime of Eternity,
He doth Himself contrive, enact, and behold.

As far as I can tell, there's only one minor difference between the Second and Fifth Editions:  "does" in the Second becomes "doth" in the Fifth Edition.  Why?  Perhaps he prefers the more Biblical or at least archaic sounding "doth" to the more contemporary "does."

This is the fourth in a series of linked quatrains that began with Quatrain L. It's "The Master"  who takes all shapes throughout Creation and then retreats back into the "Darkness."   The Master is the Dramatist who creates, enacts, and then watches the drama unfold.

It's a bleak answer to the perennial questions that have plagued humanity from the beginning:  why are we here?  where did we come from, and where are we going?  Is there a design or is it all chance? 

We are mere puppets, created to entertain The Master, to ease the boredom of eternity or the loneliness of being a solitary being.  This certainly relieves the burden placed upon us by some who insist that this immense, incredible universe was created solely as a testing ground for us, a means of determining whether we shall spend eternity in divine bliss or cursed by divine displeasure.  If we are just puppets, created for entertainment, then eating, drinking, and making merry seems a reasonable course of action.

10 comments:

  1. Are we determined by the Wizard of Oz? If so, we should enjoy travelling the yellow brick road? Am I being too frivolous?

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  2. R.T.,

    And what's behind the curtain in the Wizard's throne room?

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  3. I guess it depends on your beliefs and experiences.

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  4. madamevauquer,

    Sorry, the allusion went over my head. I know who Elton John is, but I don't catch the relationship here.

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    1. It's nothing to do with the Wizard of Oz, but when R.T. mentioned the yellow brick road, all I could think of is Elton John's song "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." A favorite of mine.

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  5. madamevauquer,

    And the song has nothing to do with the Wizard of Oz? Upon seeing the title, I would immediately jump to the conclusion that there would be some relationship.

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    1. One would think. Maybe it does in a way if "follow the yellow brick road" has become a symbol for following your dreams or something like that. The path made of gold, maybe?

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    2. madaevauquer,

      I would agree with you for I think that is exactly what following "the yellow brick road" is symbolic of. And the only source for that road that I can think of is The Wizard.

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