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Rubaiyat


Don't give your money, not one penny spend
To learn the secret of your life, my friend
One little hair divides the false and true
And on that little hair, it starts and ends

One hair, I guess, divides the false and true (the false and true)
Find this one hair no matter what you do (what you do)
This hair will lead you to the drinking room
And to the wives of your great landlord too

I rolled in pain down on that sawdust floor (the drinkin' floor)
I prayed to heaven to open its golden door
I groaned and yelled: How long must I here roll? (roll here)
You must roll here till you are you no more (you no more)

I wasted lots of hours in the hot pursuit
Of this and that argument and dispute
Better to kiss the lip with laughin' grapes
Than eating sad or proud or bitter fruit

I'm glad I went off on my big carouse
And took my second wife into my house
Divorced old dried-up reason out of my bed
Took this daughter of the vine to spouse

What is and is not proof I rule in line (I rule in line)
And up and down by logic I define
I guess you thought I was a deep wise man
I never went deep in anything but wine

My drinkin' door eased open late last late (last night late)
I saw a lady with an angel shape (pretty girl)
She handed me a glass of wisdom juice
I drank it down and found the juice was grape

This grapy juice can prove a billion things
Can make our racial haters dance in rings
Can make our seventy-two fightin' priests and princes
Sing sinful songs, and tease my kings and queens (queens and kings both)

If God roiled my good wine, then would he dare (he wouldn't dare)
To make my viney grape a trap an' a snare
I drink my wine and I bless your sweet red mouth
If wine's a curse, well then, who set it there?

(1951)

 






 
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