The rubai is a Persian verse form consisting of a quatrain written in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme AABA. The most famous collection of these quatrains (rubaiyat) is the one written by Omar Khayyam.

A Rubai

The rubai is a Persian form of verse;
Its quatrain painted Omar's universe.
The simple rhyme consists of A's and B.
Iambic lines prevail... Are you averse?.

Classical Rubaiyat

A Saturnalian Rubaiyat

December's chill is in the air once more,
And Saturn's ship is seen approaching shore.
Thus Rome will ring anew with cries of "Io!"
Her people know full well what lies in store.

The time to sow and reap is now behind;
To cares of past and future all are blind.
Remember now the Golden Age of yore;
Enjoy the simple pleasures you may find.

Relax the rules and social strata blur.
Play host to friends; to slaves, for now, defer.
This time will pass and all too soon be o'er.
The best of times is now ... Don't you concur?

example 2

[ back to poetry page ]