THOUGH adversity should harm thee,
Still thy equal mind maintain;
Though prosperity should charm thee,
Be not insolently vain:
For whether clogged with sadness, life's brief moments pass us by,
Or winged with wine and gladness, still, my Delius we must die.
Where the pine and poplar blending,
Fling their hospitable shade,
And the limpid stream descending,
Gently murmurs through the glade,
Bring the wine, and perfume rare, with the rose's short-lived flower,
While the fatal sisters spare, and life lends a summer hour.
For soon the world resigning,
Thou shalt leave thy house and lands,
And the well-piled treasures shining,
To thy heir's delighted hands:
Nor shall fields, dear bought, avail thee, lashed by Tiber's yellow wave,
Nor thy noble birth preserve thee, from the dark and narrow grave.
Oh! think not then 'twill matter thee,
How low soe'er thy lot;
Nor deem that death would flatter thee,
Though royally begot!
Whether palace, rich and rare, should receive thy every breath,
Or it flit in open air; it is all the same to Death.
To his rule, we all are destined
Whether soon or late our turn:
Nor may its lot be questioned--
That inexorable urn;
Nor the boat that wafts us over, to that undiscovered shore,
From whose eternal exile, we return again no more.