Seeing no path before me,
I wished to become stone
and freeze here,
never to live, never to die.
But were I stone, solid, solitary,
Still I would be less than secure.
In time I would wear away.
The stones wear down to sand.
The mountains wear down to stones,
The lakes wear down to ponds,
The trees, to wood,
The birds, to bones,
The river, to streams, to dust.
The villages wear down to towns,
The cities, to kingdoms, to empires,
The people wear down to antiquity,
The persons, to maturity.
And nothing is the same, not even in the next moment.
The river of yesterday is not the river of today.
The bird of yesterday is today a little more tired,
As much as the stone of yesterday is a little smaller.
Yesterday's tree has lost a piece of bark;
Yesterday's lake has lost a little water.
In the river is a little more sand from the mountain.
In the river is a fish from the late,
a few tears from me,
As I grew a little older yesterday,
A little wiser, a little harder.
The river washes it all to the sea.
The sea is a little saltier each day
From all the tears of all the people growing wiser.
The sea wears down to salt.
The earth rolls on
Knowing it, too, will run down.
The sun spins on knowing it, too will run down.
The universe twists on,
Unable to remember what there was before it,
Knowing only that it, too, must run down,
When Time itself ends.
In spite of this end --
springs bubble up,
I arise and set forth again.
The end is far off yet.