Both the foolish and the wise;
None forever can remain,
Each must leave his hoarded gain.
Yet within their heart they say
That their houses are for aye,
That their dwelling places grand
Shall for generations stand.
To their lands they give their name
In the hope of lasting fame,
But man’s honour quickly flies,
Like the lowly beast he dies.
Though such folly mark their way,
Men approve of what they say;
Death their shepherd, they the sheep,
He within his fold will keep.
O’er them soon shall rule the just,
All their beauty turn to dust;
God my waiting soul shall save,
He will raise me from the grave.
Let no fear disturb your peace
Though one’s house and wealth increase;
Death shall end his fleeting day,
He shall carry naught away.
Though in life he wealth attained,
Though the praise of men he gained,
He shall join those gone before,
Where the light shall shine no more.
Crowned with honour though he be,
Highly gifted, strong and free,
If he be not truly wise,
Man is like the beast that dies.