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                  Mutability (Publ. 1816)

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
     How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly! - yet soon
     Night closes round; and they are lost for ever;

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
     Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
     One mood or modulation like the last.

     We rest.- A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise. - One wandering thought pollutes the day;
     We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;


Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same! - For, be it joy or sorrow,
    The path of its departure still is free:
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
     Nought may endure but Mutability. 

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