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 Post subject: Isn't it romantic
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 2:58 pm 
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Where can I find the quote "A loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and thou"?


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 3:55 pm 
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It's the first line of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Translations, of course, vary: "jug" in some, "flask" in others, etc. The most popular in English is probably Edward Fitzgerald's.


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 5:57 pm 
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Well, interesting. Sorry, Luna, but these are not the opening lines.
I happen to own a rather delicate copy of the Rubaiyat that was printed June 1948, and it contains the first and fifth (the last) editions of Fitzgerald's translations. This information is from that, not from the internet.

In the first edition, quatrain 1 begins:
"Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight;"

Later in the first edition, it is quatrain 11 that reads:
"Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
And Wilderness is Paradise enow."

In the fifth (and last) edition, quatrain 1 begins:
"Wake! For the Sun, who scatter'd into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,"

Later in the fifth edition, it is now quatrain 12 that reads:
"A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!"

I say this is "interesting" because I had not noticed these differences before. It is evident that the Rubaiyat went through several changes to arrive at Fitzgerald's final version.


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 6:20 pm 
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Ah, how the memory fades as the years jet by. Thanks for the correction, thenostromo -- I was relying on memory to cite the source, but copied and pasted the passage from a Web site for convenience.

It IS interesting to compare various translations. I remember pouring over an illustrated edition of the Fitzgerald edition my parents had when I was a kid, quite possibly the same edition you're referring to. I think there are a number of other famous, familiar lines from that poem. Since you have your edition handy, maybe you can verify: "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die" (not "we may die," as is often misquoted), and "the bird is on the wing" (I've lost the context of that fragment over the years, but I know it's there). Maybe there are some others . . .


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 6:22 pm 
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Now that I see it again, how could I have ever forgotten that exquisite "bowl of night"? What excellent poetry.


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 8:27 pm 
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I'm not getting paid enough to do this, but for this one time, here goes:

There are only very slight differences between quatrain 7 of the first and fifth editions of Fitzgerald's translations, so here is only the fifth:
"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 flutter - and the Bird is on the Wing."

Your other mention is a stretch, for I have been "all over that one."
But, if you must:

The first edition quatrain 34:
"Then to this earthen Bowl did I adjourn
My Lip the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd - "While you live,
Drink! - for once dead you never shall return."

The fifth edition quatrain 74:
"Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare:
To-morrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why;
Drink! for you know not why you go nor where."


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 8:50 pm 
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Thanks!

Now that I think of it, "eat, drink and be merry" may be Biblical, either Isaiah or Ecclesiastes. I associate the phrase with the Rubaiyat because of the carpe diem philosophy (speaking of ol' Epicurus), but the same premise certainly appears in a lot of other literature of the same era.

(P.S. -- I've been all over that one, too, friend -- a lifelong struggle, I fear.)


Last edited by Luna on Thu May 16, 2002 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 8:51 pm 
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Hey, mgm -- it's 40.


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 9:29 pm 
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Oh yeah. It looks like I set the ranks at 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 posts. So you've got a way to go for the next one unless I change my mind. :)

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Owner and maintainer, The Quotations Page


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2002 9:19 am 
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I guess this is way off topic.
This is what I meant by having been "all over that one."
That complete quote (without the "merry") appears in:

And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
~First Corinthians, [[1 Corinthians,15:30-33] Holy Bible

the "tomorrow we die" part is hinted at in:

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.
~Bible (KJV), Old Testament, Ecclesiastes chapter 8, vs. 15

Again, the "tomorrow we die" part is hinted at again in:

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
~(LUKE 12:19-20)

"Is that so?" exclaimed Minerva, "then you do indeed want Ulysses home again. Give him his helmet, shield, and a couple lances, and if he is the man he was when I first knew him in our house, drinking and making merry, he would soon lay his hands about these rascally suitors, were he to stand once more upon his own threshold.
~Odyssey - Homer (tr. Samuel Butler) (Book I)

Such a man, nevertheless, was the Reverend Samuel Pentecost, and such a woman was the Reverend Samuel's mother; and in the dearth of any other producible guests, there they were, engaged to eat, drink, and be merry for the day at Mr. Armadale's pleasure party to the Norfolk Broads.
~Armadale - Wilkie Collins

. . .for this day he is not a God of miracles: he hath done his work. Yea, and there shall be many which shall say, eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. And there shall also be many which shall say, eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God. . .
~Book of Mormon - 1830 Edition

If this life were all, we should be led to query, whether or not there was really any substance in existence, and we might with propriety say, "Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for to morrow we die!" But if this life is all, then why this constant toiling, why this continual warfare, and why this unceasing trouble?
~History of the L.D.S. Church - 7 volumes

What is the purpose of my existence? Why am I here in this world at all? What is the end and aim of life? How shall I employ my time and talents? Shall I live only for today, eat, drink, and be merry? What after death? Do I perish like the beasts of the field, or is the grave the portal into another world? If so, whither am I bound?
~Inspiration - Arthur W. Pink

And then the red faces made their way through the black biting frost to their own homes, feeling themselves free for the rest of the day to eat, drink, and be merry, and using that Christian freedom without diffidence.
~Silas Marner - George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

Yom Kippur fast spring cleaning of inside.
Peace and war depend on some fellow's digestion.
Religions. Christmas turkeys and geese.
Slaughter of innocents. Eat, drink and be merry.
Then casual wards full after. Heads bandaged.
Cheese digests all but itself. Mighty cheese.
-- Have you a cheese sandwich?
-- Yes, sir.
Like a few olives too. . .
~Ulysses - James Joyce

If this were all, we should be led to query, whether there was really any substance in existence: and we might with propriety say, "Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die!" If this were really so, then why this constant toiling, why this continual warfare, and why this unceasing trouble?
~Evening and Morning Star - 1832-1834
Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith

The Twenty-Third Chapter
Thoughts on Death
VERY soon your life here will end; consider, then, what may be in store for you elsewhere. Today we live; tomorrow we die and are quickly forgotten. Oh, the dullness and hardness of a heart which looks only to the present instead of preparing for that which is to come!
~Imitation of Christ by Thomas 'a Kempis

Plain and loved, loved for ever, they say. Ugly: no woman thinks she is.
Love, lie and be handsome for tomorrow we die. See him sometimes walking about trying to find out who played the trick.
~Ulysses - James Joyce


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2002 11:25 am 
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Is this an example of what one would refer to as the meat and potatoes of quotations research? (This is really quite impressive.)

"There is first the literature of of knowledge, and secondly, the literature of power. The function of the first is--to teach; the function of the second is--to move."

--De Quincey, Essays on the Poets: Pope


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2002 3:58 pm 
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Way cool research, thenostromo -- this is a keeper. Fascinating the exact phrase is in the Book of Mormon.

Thanks for your hard work.


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