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Rubaiyat of Today – For Thinkers and Dreamers

July 6, 2014

Here is a note on another unusual Rubaiyat – sent to us by Bob Forrest, to whom many thanks.  The content has relevance, inter alia, to 21st century discussions on religion and science.  There is more information on Bob’s website – see the link at the end.

Walter E. Holloway’s Rubaiyat of Today, subtitled “For Thinkers and Dreamers”, was published in Los Angeles, in 1938. It looks forward to the establishment of a Utopian society of social equality to be achieved through the pursuit of Science and an adherence to Natural Law, and with the abolition of repressive artificial man-made institutions.

One of the repressive institutions to go, almost needless to say, is the Church, with its Priests. Here are verses 39-41 (there are 155 in all):

hollowayROK0714In looking back across the fear-filled Span
Of Time on Earth, since Man arose as Man,
We see him moulding Gods Today the same
As in old Asia where he first began.
And everywhere the Priests have been aligned
With Tyrants for the Plunder of Mankind:
The King could not have bound the Hands of Man
Had not the Priest put shackles on his Mind.
Whenever War has ridden East or West,
And Slaughter-lust has raged with savage Zest
The Priests of some mad God with shuttered Eyes
The bestial Carnival of Blood have blessed.


We need Scientists not Priests to build the New World, he tells us. Here is verse 98:

The patient Man of Science found the Way,
He banished Plagues that cursed the olden Day,
Death-dealing Plagues that still would rage unchecked
If Man depended on his Priests to pray.


On a less contentious front, here is one of Holloway’s nods to old Omar (verse 142):

Dear Omar, could I share a Jug with you,
I might not learn which is the False and True,
But I should hear your Song, and that methinks,
My failing Hope and Strength would soon renew.


For more details of this interesting little book, see the write-up on my website, in Appendix 12m (right at the end), at:

Better still, get a copy of the book itself – it doesn’t seem to be particularly rare, just little known.

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