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Description Did the Hand then of the Potter shake
Date 1905, 1912
Source Omar Khayyam, tr. Edward Fitzgerald: “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” (1905, 1912) [1]
Author Adelaide Hanscom and Blanche Cumming (fl. 1902 - 1924).
(Reusing this file)
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A boy or young man kneels, wearing only a loin-cloth: he is bare-chested and barefoot. He is a potter, holding a cup.

“Listen again. One Evening at the Close
Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter’s Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.
And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried—
“Who *is* the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?”
Then said another—“Surely not in vain
“My Substance from the common Earth was ta’en,
“That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
“Should stamp me back to common Earth again.”
Another said—“Why, ne’er a peevish Boy,
“Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
“Shall He that *made* the Vessel in pure Love
“And Fancy, in an after Rage destroy!”
None answer’d this; but after Silence spake
A Vessel of a more ungainly Make:
“They sneer at me for learning all awry;
“What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?”
Said one—“Folk of a surly Tapster tell
“And daub his Visage with the Smoke of Hell;
“They talk of some strict Testing of us—Pish!
“He’s a Good Fellow, and ’t will all be well.”

Public Domain


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