We live in exclamation and die in cipher;
Life's manuscript we write with plan and care.
Down through the years our acts we hope to share
With those unborn, from prints our deeds decipher.
Fame, wealth, and power -- goals we in life pursue;
Euphoria sniffed out of a pipe's wild dream.
Who can withstand slow Time's eroding stream
With vanities washed out from mortal view!
Fame's but an annotation for a few,
Inscribed in books of histories unread.
Wealth, accumulating aim renew
Our pride of gain, to what use has it led?
And power, that intoxicating lust,
That too must pass in transient, noisy gust!