Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Barry Cornwall 1787–1874



WE are born; we laugh; we weep;

We love; we droop; we die!

Ah! wherefore do we laugh or weep?

Why do we live, or die?

Who knows that secret deep?

Alas, not I!

Why doth the violet spring

Unseen by human eye?

Why do the radiant seasons bring

Sweet thoughts that quickly fly?

Why do our fond hearts cling

To things that die?

We toil,—through pain and wrong;

We fight,—and fly;

We love; we lose; and then, ere long,

Stone-dead we lie.

O life! is all thy song

“Endure and—die”?