A translation by E. FitzGerald of the rubais or quatrains of the 12th‐cent. Persian poet, first published anonymously in 1859; FitzGerald produced further editions, revised and with added quatrains, in 1868, 1872, and 1879. FitzGerald's translation preserved the stanza form of the original, but adapted the quatrains into a connected theme, sceptical of divine providence, mocking the transience of human grandeur, and concentrating on the pleasures of the fleeting moment. The felicitously phrased aphorisms of this cynical yet genial poetic sequence are among the most frequently quoted lines in English poetry.
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Edward Fitzgerald (1809—1883) writer and translator