A lament for life’s brevity
I lament life’s brevity; I grieve that I cannot live more lives than one.
All men are right eager to take away my life; but tell me, how can I throw my life away?
Had I the lives to give, then I might bestow one on each lover, and reck little thereof.
Help there is none! Only with great pains have I preserved till this morning a single, tattered thread of life.
I cannot replace those impassioned ones who lost their lives for love of me.
Methinks, it was the finger of my fate which led them to find heart’s sweetness even in death.
I trow that to lose life in lust of flowers is the fault of youth-fullness.
In fine, human joyance must last to the end, e’er men can rival the red-beet which grows more beautiful with age.
Lo! Taurus and Virgo meet year by year; belike their tale of years is not short.
Ah! Their hearts are mirrors one of the other.
On the seventh night they are glad and laugh together.
Howbeit long life must tally with long love, e’er the Crows’ Bridge may be crossed.