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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Never Is, but Always to Be

By Martial (c. 40–c. 104 A.D.)

YOU always say “to-morrow,” “to-morrow” you will live;

But that “to-morrow,” prithee, say when will it arrive?

How far is’t off? Where is it now? Where shall I go to find it?

In Afric’s jungles lies it hid? Do polar icebergs bind it?

It’s ever coming, never here; its years beat Nestor’s hollow!

This wondrous thing, to call it mine, I’ll give my every dollar!

Why, man, to-day’s too late to live—the wise is who begun

To live his life with yesterday, e’en with its rising sun!