baritone and piano
In the first place, my being was given me without my consent,
which makes my own existence a lasting problem to me.
Then, we leave this world
without having reached the aim of our coming,
of our stay,
of our departure.
Oh! for the time when we shall be no more
and the world shall still be here!
There will remain no fame.
There will remain no trace of us.
The world was not unfinished when we came;
naught will be changed when we have gone.
- Omar Khayyam
translation by J.B. Nicolas, adapted by the composer