Vanitas Vanitatum, song-cycle from "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" in the translation of Edward Fitzgerald

Song Cycle by Elisabeth Charlotta Henrietta Ernestina Sonntag (1866 - 1950)

Word count: 158

1. Wake! For the Sun who scatter'd into flight

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Wake! For the Sun [who]1 scatter'd into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heav'n, and strikes
The Sultán's Turret with a Shaft of Light.

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1 Headlam-Morley: "that"

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller


Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling.
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly -- and lo, the Bird is on the wing!

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2. Whether at Naishápúr or Babylon[sung text checked 1 time]

Whether at Naishápúr or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.

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3. I sent my Soul through the Invisible

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I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some [letter]1 of that After-life to spell,
And by and by my Soul return'd to me
And answer'd: I myself am Heav'n and Hell.

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1 Lehmann: "secret"

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Heav'n but the vision of fulfilled Desire
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire,
Cast on the Darkness into which ourselves,
So late emerged from, shall so soon expire.

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Oh threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise! 
One thing at least is certain -- This Life flies: 
One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
The Flower that once [is]1 blown for ever dies.

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1 Headlam-Morley: "has"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears[sung text checked 1 time]

Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
TO-DAY of past Regrets and future Fears:
To-morrow! Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n thousand Years.

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5. For some we loved, the loveliest and the best[sung text checked 1 time]

[For some]1 we [loved]2, the loveliest and [the]3 best 
That [from his Vintage rolling Time has prest]4,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before, 
And one by one crept silently to rest.

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1 first edition: "Lo! some"; Lehmann: "Lo, some"
2 Lehmann: "lov'd"
3 omitted in the first edition; also omitted by Lehmann.
4 first edition: "Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend[sung text checked 1 time]

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and -- sans End!

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7. Yon rising Moon that looks for us again[sung text checked 1 time]

Yon rising Moon that looks for us again --
How oft hereafter will she wax and wane;
How oft hereafter rising look for us
Through this same Garden -- and for one in vain!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]