Mortal joys, however pure,
Soon their turbid source betray;
Mortal bliss, however sure,
Soon must totter and decay.
You who now, with footsteps keen,
Range through Hope's delusive field,
Tell us what the smiling scene
To your ardent grasp can yield?
Other youths have often before
Thought their joys would never fade,
Until themselves were seen no moreŚ
Swept into oblivion's shade.
Who, with health and pleasure gay,
Before his fragile state could know,
Were not age and pain to sayŚ
Man is just the child of woe?