"Mutability"
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)



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

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

9   We rest.---A dream has power to poison sleep; 
10      We rise.---One wandering thought pollutes the day; 
11   We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep; 
12      Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away: 

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