THE PREACHER

The sun ariseth every morn,
And soon doth set;
The generation newly born
Abideth yet;

Long history, though,
doth forewarn,
Its hopes, its dreams,
will come to scorn:
The earth beholds man come and pass forlorn,
Nor doth abet.

What profit hath a man of all His labor done?
What toilsome trouble doth befall; –
What sorrows run!
What foolish hope in vain doth call!
Man’s sweetest cup, wormwood and gall;
The crooked cannot be made straight, of all Under the sun.
All rivers run down to the sea,
Yet seas run dry;
All things that man doth strive to see,
Sate not the eye;
That which is past is what shall be;
The future holds no memory;
Eat, drink, be merry, for all is vanity,
 – And soon we die.


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