Check out Robert Graves translation, "The Original Rubaiyyat of Omar
Khayaam." Should be availalbe from your local library. It is
apparently much closer to the original Farsi (language of Persia).
Graves worked with Khayaam scholar Omar Ali-Shah whose family has
owned the manuscript used in translation for around 800 years.
The Google team has given you the standard English translation by
Fitzgerald of the Rubaiyyat. As Fitzgerald did not speak or read
Farsi, he ended up making an original poem that had very little to do
with Khayaam's original and was doomed to pulping had it not been
discovered, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, remaindered in a bargin bin
placed in front of a bookshop. With such a champion, it quickly went
into multiple reprints.
It should be noted that Fitzgerald did keep the form of a
rubay'i'yat, which has a rhyme scheme: A/A/x/A. He also produced
nothing else in his lifetime, working his version of the Rubaiyyat
over again through at least five editions.
As much as Fitzgerald can sometimes muster one's interest with a
beautifully turned phrase, his version remains unintelligible at
worst. Graves was clearly a superior scholar (e.g., wrote the standard
modern text of Greek mythology) and more in tune with the poetic
spirit (c.f. "The White Godess"). His word choice and lines carry more
I'll leave you with a comparison versions:
Khurshid kamandi sobh bar bam afgand
Kai Khusro i roz badah dar jam afgand
Mai khur ki manadi sahri gi khizan
Awaza i ishrabu dar ayam afgand.
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to flight:
And lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.
While Dawn, Day's herald straddling the whole sky,
Offers the drowsy world a toast 'To Wine',
The Sun spills early gold on city roofs--
Day's regal Host, replenishing his jug.