by William Cullen Bryant
They talk of short-lived pleasure --be it so --
Pain dies as quickly: stern, hard-featured Pain
Expires, and lets her weary prisoner go.
The fiercest agonies have shortest reign;
And after dreams of horror, comes again
The welcome morning with its rays of peace.
Oblivion, softly wiping out the stain,
Makes the strong secret pangs of shame to cease:
Remorse is virtue's root; its fair increase
Are fruits of innocence and blessedness:
Thus joy, o'erborne and bound, doth still release
His young limbs from the chains that round him press.
Weep not that the world changes -- did it keep
A stable, changeless state, 'twere cause indeed to weep.
New York: D. Appleton And Co.