"Sic Transit Gloria Mundi"

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"Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
by Don Marquis

CONQUERORS leonine, lordly,
Princes and vaunting kings,
Ye are drunk with the sound of your braggart
trumps—
But lo! ye are little things!

Earth . . . it is charnel with monarchs!
And the puffs of dust that start
Where your war steeds stamp with their ringing hoofs
Were each some warrior's heart.

Peoples imperial, mighty,
Masterful, challenging fate,
The tread of your cohorts shakes the hills—
But lo! ye are not great!

Nations that swarm and murmur,
Ye are moths that flutter and climb—
Ye are whirling gnats, ye are swirling bees,
Tossed in the winds of time!

Earth that is flushed with glory,
A marvelous world ye are!
But lo! in the midst of a million stars
Ye are only one pale star!

A breath stirs the dark abysses. . . .
The deeps below the deep
Are troubled and vexed . . . and a thousand worlds
Fall on eternal sleep!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1937, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.