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 ...