Vanity of Vanities, Ecclesiastes and Robert Fuller Murray, American Poet, 19th Century.

SolomonkingrehoboamWhen Solomon, king of Israel, saw, by the spirit of prophecy, that the kingdom of Rehoboam his son would be divided with Jeroboam, the son of Nebat; and that Jerusalem, and the house of the sanctuary, would be destroyed, and the people of the children of Israel would be carried captive; he said, by his word, Vanity of vanities in this world, vanity of vanities; all that I and my father David have laboured for, all is vanity!” Ecclesiastes. Be ye happy, if ye may, In the years that pass away. Ye shall pass and be forgot, And your place shall know you not. Other generations rise, With the same hope in their eyes, That in yours is kindled now, And the same light on their brow. They shall see the selfsame sun That your eyes now gaze upon, They shall breathe the same sweet air, And shall reck not who ye were. Yet they too shall fade at last In the twilight of the past, They and you alike shall be Lost from the world’s memory. Then, while yet ye breathe and live, Drink the cup that life can give. Be ye happy, if ye may, In the years that pass away, Ere the golden bowl be broken, Ere ye pass and leave no token, Ere the silver cord be loosed, Ere ye turn again to dust. And shall this be all,’ ye cry, `But to eat and drink and die? If no more than this there be, Vanity of vanity!’ Yea, all things are vanity, And what else but vain are ye? Ye who boast yourselves the kings Over all created things. Kings! whence came your right to reign? Ye shall be dethroned again. Yet for this, your one brief hour, Wield your mockery of power. Dupes of Fate, that treads you down Wear awhile your tinsel crown Be ye happy, if ye may, In the years that pass away.

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