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We are as 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 for ever;
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 woe, 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.