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Oh threats of Hell and hopes of Paradise;

One thing at least is certain: this life flies.

One thing at least is certain, the rest is lies.

The flower that once has blown forever dies.


I sent my soul through the Invisible,

Some letter of that afterlife to spell,

And by and by it returned to me

To answer: I myself am Heaven and Hell.


Heaven but the vision of fulfilled desire.

Hell but the shadow of a soul on fire.

Cast onto darkness into which we -

So late emerged - shall so soon expire!

(From The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam - Edward Fitzgerald Translation)

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Part One


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