Mutability (Shelley, 1824)

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Mutability
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

  The flower that smiles to-day
       To-morrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
       Tempts and then flies.
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
       Brief even as bright.

  Virtue, how frail it is!
       Friendship how rare!
Love, how it sells poor bliss
       For proud despair!
But we, though soon they fall,
Survive their joy, and all
       Which ours we call.

  Whilst skies are blue and bright,
       Whilst flowers are gay,
Whilst eyes that change ere night
       Make glad the day;
Whilst yet the calm hours creep,
Dream thou—and from thy sleep
       Then wake to weep.

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.