"We Are Not Sure Of Sorrow, And Joy Was Never Sure"
Context: A well-known expression of weariness with life, this poem is the monologue of one who has found refuge, from all the vain activity and perpetual change of which life is composed, in the garden of Proserpine, queen of the regions of the dead. All things come at last to her: men, flowers, seasons, loves and hopes. But as the good in life withers and passes away, so does the evil; and at last all men must be grateful that all things have an end: Life even at its best is burdensome, for one must always fear unexpected change. Nothing is permanent, nothing is reliable or certain. Sorrow is often only a transient state of mind, and joys are ephemeral.
We are not sure of sorrow,And joy was never sure;To-day will die to-morrow;Time stoops to no man's lure;And love, grown faint and fretful,With lips but half regretfulSighs, and with eyes forgetfulWeeps that no loves endure.