Omar by Wilbur D. Nesbit

A Poem for children about Omar Khayyam

A Poem about Omar Khayyam

 Old Omar, in a Tent he had to live,
Yet gave to Verse such Time as he could give;
Whereat the Critics rose and Hurled at Him:
“The Stuff you write is only Tentative.”

Yet Khayyam never worried over that—
He kept his Troubles underneath his Hat
Except such Times as when he worked them up
Into an Apt and Pleasing Rubaiyat.

Fitzgerald, the Translator, took his Pen
And made a flowing Version; yes, and then
To show that he could keep it up a While,
Translated all the Rubaiyat again.

Now, is there any Home that Don’t reveal
O. Khayyam’s volume resting by “Lucille,”
Bound in Limp Leather, with each Edge uncut,
To show the Literary Sense we feel?

And is there any town from York to Butte
Wherein some Maiden fair don’t Elocute
Through Khayyam’s easy-speaking poetry,
With Musical Accomp’niment to suit?

Aye, verily! And where the Parodist
Who does not seek through all upon his List
And come back at the last to Khayyam’s work
Each time to find New Chances he has missed?

A Good Cigar, a ready Fountain Pen
Or a Typewriter one can use, and then
A book of Omar whence to draw the Thought—
Oh, Parodies one will turn out again!

Some black initial letters here and there,
Perchance he also had E. Hubbard Hair—
But anyhow old Khayyam set a Task
To fill all his Successors with despair!