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Myself when young did eagerly frequent
doctor and saint, and heard great argument
about the why of life, but always I
came out the selfsame door where in I went.
With them the seed of wisdom I did sow,
with my own hands I toiled to make it grow;
yet this was all the harvest that I reaped:
“I came like water, and like wind I go.”
Into this world, and why not knowing,
nor whence, like water willy-nilly flowing;
and then away like wind along the waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.
There was a door to which I found no key;
there was a veil thru which I could not see;
some little talk there was of me and thee —
and then there was no more of thee and me.
Unto the lip of this poor earthen urn
I leaned, the secret of my life to learn:
And lip to lip it murmured, “While you live,
Drink! — Once gone, you never shall return.”