Ah, well, the thing that lived lives on,
And who are we to say it nay?
When Vandal and when Goth had gone,
Long, long beyond great Caesar’s day,
The Arts that sought for heights sublime,
Still scaled Olympus, scorning time.
And we who tread this little earth,
Seeking for profit or for fame,
And count one life’s poor efforts worth
The meed of all the world’s acclaim –
How do we count? What do we bring
To earth’s great final reckoning?
Oh, are we not as little boys
Striving to conquer sea and air,
Playing a while with futile toys
To fight the bogey of despair?
While, in the end, invention’s lure
Finds us relief – but never cure.
Invention? Men may, late or soon,
Thro’ high ambition’s urge, aspire,
And, so aspiring, win the boon
Of great and ultimate desire.
But art? Or talkies? Nothing loth,
I’m game to own there’s room for both.