The brief year of mortal life
takes everything with it, mocking the dash,
the brave steel, the cold marble
which pits its hardness against time.
Before the foot learns to walk, it travels
the road of death, upon which I am sending
my obscure life: a poor and muddy river
that the black sea swallows with its high waves.
Every short moment is a long step
which I take, to my regret, on this journey,
since, standing or sleeping I always spur on.
Brief breath, and final, and bitter,
is death, unavoidable heritage;
but if it is the law and not punishment, why do I complain?