Mutability ["The flower that smiles to-day"]

The flower that smiles to-day
          To-morrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
          Tempts and then flies.
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
          Brief even as bright.

   Virtue, how frail it is!
          Friendship how rare!
Love, how it sells poor bliss
          For proud despair!
But we, though soon they fall,
Survive their joy, and all
          Which ours we call.

   Whilst skies are blue and bright,
          Whilst flowers are gay,
Whilst eyes that change ere night
          Make glad the day;
Whilst yet the calm hours creep,
Dream thou—and from thy sleep
          Then wake to weep.


More Poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley