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JAN KOCHANOWSKI - On Human Life
ON HUMAN LIFE
Everything we think is but a trifle,
Everything we do is but a trifle
In this world there's no dependable thing,
In vain man cares here about anything.
Esteem, beauty, power, money, greatness,
All this will pass away like the field grass
We and our arrangements will be laughed at,
And, treated like puppets, tossed in a sack
Translated by Michael J. Mikoś
"All is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1, 2).
"All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field" (Isaiah 40, 6).
Cf. "(...) they are to play their play, win heaven's favor for it, and so live out their lives as what they really are - puppets in the main, though with some touch of reality about them, too" (Plato,
, 804 B,
The Collected Dialogues of Plato
, ed. by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns, New York, Pantheon Books, 1961, 1375).