Men die like flies — as they have ever done,
And all our chaff of immortality
Is gloss and glaze on Death’s reality,
The plated silverware of races run.
What’s done is done — and we are all undone,
Our cruelty, our kindnesses and vanity,
Our cowardice and talents and urbanity,
The love we swore would long outlive the sun.
Donne’s ‘Mighty and dreadful... thou art not so,’
Rings subtly false, if noble in its power,
And yet I think though men may beg and cower
Beneath the certainty of Death’s last blow,
Still, to have lived in wonder, hour by hour,
Is recompense suffice for mortal woe.