Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sic Vita - Henry King

Like to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew,
Or like a wind that chafes the flood,
Or bubbles which on water stood:
Even such is man, whose borrowed light
Is straight called in, and paid to night.

The wind blows out, the bubbles dies,
The spring entombed in autumn lies,
The dew dries up, the star is shot,
The flight is past, and man forgot.

The omnipresent repetition of the first stanza of the poem serves to really highlight the incredible variety that life encompasses.  It's an effective strategy for emphasizing diversity, though in this case, I find it grows somewhat wearisome and tedious.  The second, shorter stanza, avoids this problem entirely, due largely to its brevity.

I like the concept of man being a "borrowed light."  We are highly emphemeral, though in our time, we burn brightly, and for a time, light the world.  It's somehow reassuring to know that we do burn brightly, even if we are, in time, forgot.  We do grow old and pass, but in that short span, we live every facet of life.  It's a wonderful diversity.

No comments:

Post a Comment