Do not inquire, we are not allowed to know,
what end the gods have assigned either to me or to you,
Leuconoe, nor consult the Babylonian tables. How much better
to patiently endure whatever comes whether Jupiter grants us more winters,
or whether this one, now crashing Tyrrhenean waves against the rocks,
shall be the last. Be wise. Water your wine. Life is so brief: cut short far-reaching hopes.
Even as we speak, envious time is ﬂeeing: Seize the day: entrusting as little as possible to tomorrow.
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
We are but dust and shadow…