Friday, March 12, 2010

And it came to pass

One of my favorite poems (typed from memory, so I may have a word or two wrong):

Once, in Persia, reigned a king
Who, upon his signet ring
'Graved a maxim true and wise
Which, if brought before his eyes,
Gave him council at a glance,
Fit for any change and chance.
Timeless words, and these are they:
"Even this shall pass away."

Trains of camels through the sands
Brought him gems from Samarkand.
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to match with these.
But he counted not his gain,
Wealth of mine or main.
"What is wealth?" the king would say.
"Even this shall pass away."

In the revels of his court,
At the zenith of his sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
Said he, among figs and wine,
"Oh living friends of mine,
Pleasure comes, but not to stay.
Even this shall pass away."

Fighting on a furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield.
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tent.
Bleeding from his tortured side,
"Pain is hard to bear," he cried.
"But, with patience, day by day
Even this shall pass away."

Standing in the public square
30 meters in the air
Rose his statue made of stone.
Then disguised and unknown
The king stood before his engraved name.
He pondered, "What is fame?
'Tis nothing but a slow decay.
Even this shall pass away."

Struck with palsy, sere and old,
Waiting at the gates of gold
Said he, with life's last breath,
"Life is done. But what is death?"
Then, in answer to the king,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray:
Even this shall pass away.

[Sadly, it won't let me tag this with every tag I have: there's a size limit. It will all pass away, so it is relevant to any search you might have, including: Fun, Derrill, Celebrities, Conflict, Constitution, Crime, Disaster, Diseases, Health, Institutions, Language, Marginalization, Markets, MDG, NGO, Nobel, Pledges, Political Will, Politics, Africa, Agriculture, Aid, Asia, Auto, Bangladesh, Behavioral, Biodiversity, Books, China, Christmas, cons/lib, Development, Demand, Cornell, DRC, Economics, Energy, Environment, Ethics, Europe, Food Quality, Governance, Food Policy Book, food, FDI, Exchange Rates, Evolution, Food Safety, Forecasting, Ghana, Growth, Haiti, Inputs, Informal, Inequality, India, Hunger, History, Insurance, Kenya, LDS, Lit, Livestock, Local Food, Monetary, Methods, Malawi, Madagascar, Macro, Nigeria, North America, Nutrition, Rwanda, Resource Curse, Risk, Property Rights, Poverty, Population, Science, Soils, South America, Statistics, Tanzania, Tax, Trade, Traps, Zimbabwe, WTO, Water, US, Uganda ...]

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