"Man, born of woman, is short-lived and full of trouble. Like a flower that springs up and fades, swift as a shadow that does not abide, even so he wastes away like a rotten thing; like a garment that the moth has consumed."
"In the midst of life we are in death."
Anglican Prayer book
"To Whoever is Reading Me"
by Jorge Luis Borges
YOU are invulnerable. Have they not granted you,
translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid
those powers that preordain your destiny,
the certainty of dust? Is not your time
as irreversible as that same river
where Heraclitus, mirrored, saw the symbol
of fleeting life? A marble slab awaits you
which you will not read -- on it, already written,
the date, the city, and the epitaph.
Other men too are only dreams of time,
not indestructible bronze or burnished gold;
the universe is, like you, a Proteus.
Dark, you will enter the darkness that awaits you,
doomed to the limits of your traveled time.
Know that in some sense you are already dead.