We are the clouds that veil the midnight moon;
     How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!–yet soon
     Night closes round, and they are lost forever:

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
     Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
     One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest.–A dream has power to poison sleep;
     We rise.–One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
     Embrace fond foe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same!–For, be it joy or sorrow,
     The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
     Nought may endure but Mutability.




Percy Bysshe Shelley


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