Omar's Horoscope
34
I tell you this---When, started from the Goal,
Over the flaming shoulders of the Foal
Of Heav'n Parwín and Mushtari they flung,
In my predestin'd Plot of Dust and Soul

35
The Vine had struck a fibre: which about
If clings my Being---let the Dervish flout;
Of my Base metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without.

36
And this I know: whether the one True Light
Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me quite,
One Flash of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.


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Vedder's note: [Omar's Horoscope] presented symbolically. The vine entwining Jupiter and the Pleiades, the stars under whose ascendency we are told Omar was born.* With the poet's tendency of mind, one can easily see how he would compare favorably the absolute freedom and sincerity of the search for truth within the Tavern with the stagnation and ultimate petrifaction of thought within the Temple. *If it is remembered that the constellation of the Pleiades was also called by the ancients "The Cluster of Grapes," it may throw a little more light on the metaphor.