'The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a line Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.' In the 'rubáiyát' (short epigrammatic poems) of the medieval Persian poet, mathematician, and philosopher Omar Khayyám, Edward FitzGerald saw an unflinching challenge to the illusions and consolations of mankind in every age. His version of Omar is neither a translation nor an independent poem; sceptical of divine providence and insistent on the pleasure of the passing moment, its 'Orientalism' offers FitzGerald a powerful and distinctive voice, in whose accents a whole Victorian generation comes to life. Although the poem's vision is bleak, it is conveyed in some of the most beautiful and haunting images in English poetry - and some of the sharpest- edged. The poem sold no copies at all on its first appearance in 1859, yet when it was 'discovered' two years later its first admirers included Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Swinburne, and Ruskin. Daniel Karlin's richly annotated edition does justice to the scope and complexity of FitzGerald's lyrical meditation on 'human death and fate'. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
New National Theatre, Wm. H. Rapley, manager, Wm. H. Fowler, treasurer. E.H. Sothern, management Daniel Frohman, in "If I Were King," a play, by Justin Huntly McCarthy. Produced under the direction of William Seymour, properties by E. Siedle, costumes by Hermann, designed by H.A. Ogden, scenery built by J. O'Brien.
In the dark main room of the Fircone Tavern the warm June air seemed to have lost all its delicacy, like a degraded angel. It was sodden through and through, as with the lees of wine; it was stained and shamed with the smells of hams and cheeses; it was thick and heavy as if with the breaths of all the rogues and all the vagabonds that had haunted the hostelry from its evil dawn. Such guttering lights and glimmering flames as lit the place - for there was a small fire on the wide hearth in spite of the fine weather - peopled the gloom with fantastic quivering shadows as of lean fingers that unfolded themselves to filch, or clenched themselves to stab in the back. But its patrons seemed to like the place well enough in spite of its miasma, and Master Robin Turgis, the fat landlord, drowsy with his own wine and dripping from the heat, surveyed them complacently, and wallowed as it were in the rattle and clink of mug and can, the full-throated laughter and the shrill chatter, crisply emphasized by oaths, which assured him of the Fircone's popularity with its intimates. Master Robin's intelligence was limited; his wit was simple; the processes of his mind moved easily along the lines of least resistance.
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