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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882). Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry. 1880.

Human Life

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

(From Tempest.)

OUR revels now are ended: these our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits, and

Are melted into air, into thin air;

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherits, shall dissolve,

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind: we are such stuff

As dreams are made of, and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep.