Life

WE are born; we laugh; we weep;
We love; we droop; we die!
Ah! wherefore do we laugh or weep?
Why do we live, or die?
Who knows that secret deep?
Alas, not I!

Why doth the violet spring
Unseen by human eye?
Why do the radiant seasons bring
Sweet thoughts that quickly fly?
Why do our fond hearts cling
To things that die?

We toil,—through pain and wrong;
We fight,—and fly;
We love; we lose; and then, ere long,
Stone-dead we lie.
O life! is all thy song
“Endure and—die”?

by Barry Cornwall

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