. . . Once more within the Potter's house alone
I stood, Surrounded by the Shapes of Clay.
Shapes of all Sorts and Sizes, great and small.
That stood along the floor and by the wall;
And some loquacious Vessels were; and some
Listen'd perhaps, but never talked at all.
Said one among them -- "Surely not in vain
My substance of the common Earth was ta'en
And to the Figure molded, to be broke,
Or trampled back to shapeless Earth again."
Then said a Second -- "Ne'er a peevish Boy
Would break the Bowl from which he drank in joy;
And He that with his hand the Vessel made
Will surely not in after Wrath destroy."
After a momentary silence spake
Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make;
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry:
What! did the hand then of the Potter shake?"
Whereat some one of the more loquacious Lot --
I think a Sufi pipkin -- waxing hot --
"All this of Pot and Potter -- Tell me then,
Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"
"Why," said another, "Some there are who tell
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless Pots he marr'd in making -- Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."
from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Edward Fitzgerald.
My mother had a copy, left over from her college days in the Thirties. I devoured it in the Fifties when I was in high school, memorizing great swathes with which I annoyed people.
I still find myself doing it now and then.
More about Fitzgerald and The Rubaiyat HERE.