Wine and Spirits

“The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible, but there arriving, she is sure of bliss, and forever dwells in paradise.”




The image above is a scan of one page from a favorite copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that I came across by chance a few years back.  It is a simple facsimile of the priceless manuscript copy with jeweled binding that was lost with the sinking of the Titanic 99 years ago this April.  One of its creators, Francis Sangorski, also drowned in 1912.

The book of Persian quatrains looks unabashedly at Death, for having enjoyed a full life, one cannot shy from its restful counterpart.


But still the Vine her ancient Ruby yields,
And still a garden by the water blows…


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Graham
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 04:08:42

    I know you posted this a while back, and i’m not entirely sure how I stumbled upon it, but this line of plato’s truly touches my soul in such a unique way. The words assure me, in a way, and allow me to feel at ease for a moment. At the same time, I cannot deny the lingering mystery of this quote. The excitement for the flight of death, but also the anxiety. For me, this quote is everything yet I lack words for its explanation. Thank you for acknowledging it, it made my day much brighter :)


    • arrowclaire
      Mar 05, 2012 @ 20:44:08

      Thank you so much for your comment, Graham!

      I felt very much the same way when I heard it for the first time, and I am so glad I got to pass that along. It reminds me also of a quote from the Venerable Bede, who described a king’s banquet hall, warm and bright, protected from the wintry storms outside. A sparrow flies through the door into the hall, escaping the dark and cold for the moment as it crosses the length of the hall, then flies out a window on the other side. This he compared to man’s existence, which we can perceive for only a short time, but of the mysterious and endless time before and after, we know nothing, or only very little.

      Thank you again for commenting, and for reminding me of this exactly one year later. Best wishes!


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