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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

In a Copy of Omar Khayyám

By James Russell Lowell (1819–1891)

[Heartsease and Rue. 1888.]

THESE pearls of thought in Persian gulfs were bred,

Each softly lucent as a rounded moon;

The diver Omar plucked them from their bed,

Fitzgerald strung them on an English thread.

Fit rosary for a queen, in shape and hue,

When Contemplation tells her pensive beads

Of mortal thoughts, forever old and new.

Fit for a queen? Why, surely then for you!

The moral? Where Doubt’s eddies toss and twirl

Faith’s slender shallop till her footing reel,

Plunge: if you find not peace beneath the whirl,

Groping, you may like Omar grasp a pearl.