sit down on the bank of a rippling river

Sit down on the bank of a rippling river:
you will see it flowing in a perpetual current,
and, rolling wave after wave in a thousand twists
and turns, outpouring its watery course through die meadows.

But you will see nothing of that first wave
which once flowed by. The water changes every day,
every day it passes and we still call it the same river,
and the same water, in the same way.

So does man vary, and tomorrow the strength
of the poor human body which time shortens
and consumes will not be the same as today:

The name follows us until death without changing and,
although today I am not the same man who was living yesterday,
yet am I still called the same.

Jean-Baptiste Chassignet

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