How can we be proud of anything, I say,
when every day is a gift, unless we presume
a lifetime is our birth-right, or some fixed period
where nothing can affect our proud achievement.
Nature from whom we spring sets the example,
the seasons are predictable and sustained,
the mighty oak has proceeded from an acorn,
a charmed existence, forms a template of life.
The great names of history have their fixed quota
of years, it appears, in hindsight, their term
arbitrarily decided, so as to leave out any say
of theirs, but that ordained by providence.
Yes, it is one thing to claim one’s achievements,
to regret not having accomplished more, to
look back on years gone by as though owed to one,
and not to realise one could have done no more.