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"Our Little Systems Have Their Day"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The poet, having recovered much of his balance after suffering extreme shock from the death of his friend, Arthur Hallam, looks back upon his protracted grief and sees that it was excessive. He had fallen into the common human error of trusting too much in the things of the earth and neglecting to maintain faith in God. Those who trust only in people and things are left helpless when friends and possessions are taken from them. Men should look not to earth, but to eternity, and must never forget that everything in human life is made by God, and will last only a short time.

Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be;
They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.