Rolph David

All Is Vain! - A Sonnet

Upon this stage, mere vanities do reign,
Where man's creations crumble 'neath time's hand;
Today's proud towers, tomorrow's ruins plain,
As time's relentless march o'er all does stand.

In splendour's bloom, all glory soon must fade,
And lofty boasts to dust shall be conveyed;
No marble nor ore can claim eternity,
For time's stern grip bestows its brevity.

Fortune's bright smile, a transient guest, we greet,
Yet trials soon come, our folly to defeat;
Deeds once renowned dissolve like morning mist,
Why chase ephemeral joys, then, and persist?

Oh, vanity! A mask so frail and thin,
A fading flower, death's cold grasp doth win.

Today I reread the poem by Gryphius about the vanity and transience of everything created by humans and of life itself, which spontaneously inspired me to write my sonnet. Even after more than 394 years, we should daily reflect on our actions on this ball of earth and learn from what people went through a long time ago. History repeats itself, as we know. It is high time to change our perspectives!

Based on:

Gryphius' All is Vanity

You will see wherever you look only vanity on this earth.
What one man builds today, another tears down tomorrow;
Where now cities stand, a meadow will be,
Upon which a shepherd’s child will play with the herds.

What now blooms in magnificence, will soon be tread asunder;
What today pounds with defiance, tomorrow is ash and bone;
There is nothing which is eternal, neither ore nor marble.
Now fortune smiles upon us, but soon troubles will thunder.

The fame of great deeds must pass like a dream.
Why should the game of time, the simple human, persist?
Oh, what is all of this that we hold to be exquisite,

But wicked vanities, as shadow, dust and wind
But a meadow flower which one can find no more!
Yet not a single man wants to contemplate what is eternal.



All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Rolph David.
Published on on 04/18/2024.


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