What use is the defensive stance to man?
One crouches like a snail, stands still as wood.
What purpose to be gained in mending sense?
All things must pass, and none are quite so good.
What use is wasting breath on being right?
One makes the body small and backs away.
What purpose to be gained in rhetoric?
All things are heartache, sullen lachrymae.
What use is talk, or writ, or page, or word?
One is as mute as if one's all but gone.
What purpose to be gained from constancy?
All things must be destroyed, unmade, undone.
But I'm still here; my work still here remains.
The night still hastens, and the day still gains.