The sparks fly upward from the frantic flame,
And catch the evening breeze, and pass away:
Born of a moment, passionless and tame
And impotent, they flee and cannot stay;
The foamy surges fling themselves to shore,
But cannot hold; reversion counteracts,
But cannot overcome; the oceans roar
With helpless rage, and beat the sandy tracts.
We strive! we strain! but powerless to resist,
We drift as sparks before the slightest breeze.
We rage! we howl! but scatter as the mist
Suspended o’er the tempest-driven seas.
O fleeting life! it glimmers, and is gone:
A gleam, a flicker, compassed by the night,
Its course no sooner started than is done –
And by its very brevity less bright.