The Vain Pursuit
But if in vain, down on the stubborn floor
Of Earth, and up to Heav'n's unopening Door,
You gaze To-day, while You are You---how then
To-morrow, You when shall be You no more?

Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute;
Better be jocund with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.

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Vedder's note: As in the case of the alchemist who endeavours to extract the secret of life from the living plant, heedless the while of his own life, which is passing away like the smoke from his furnace.