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The big teetotum twirls And epochs wax and w

The big teetotum twirls
And epochs wax and wane
As chance subsides or swirls
But of the loss and gain
The sum is always plain.
Read on the mighty pall
The weed of funeral
That covers praise and blame
The isms and the anities
Magnificence and shame
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

The Fates are subtle girls!
They give us chaff for grain.
And Time the Thunderer hurls
Like bolted death disdain
At all that heart and brain
Conceive or great or small
Upon this earthly ball.
Would you be knight and dame?
Or woo the sweet humanities?
Or illustrate a name?
O Vanity of Vanities!

We sound the sea for pearls
Or drown them in a drain
We flute it with the merles
Or tug and sweat and strain
We grovel or we reign
We saunter or we brawl
We search the stars for Fame
Or sink her subterranities
The legend""s still the same
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

Here at the wine one birls
There some one clanks a chain.
The flag that this man furls
That man to float is fain.
Pleasure gives place to pain
These in the kennel crawl
While others take the wall.
She has a glorious aim
He lives for the inanities.
What come of every claim?
O Vanity of Vanities!

Alike are clods and earls.
For sot and seer and swain
For emperors and for churls
For antidote and bane
There is but one refrain
But one for king and thrall
For David and for Saul
For fleet of foot and lame
For pieties and profanities
The picture and the frame
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

Life is a smoke that curls
Curls in a flickering skein
That winds and whisks and whirls
A figment thin and vain
Into the vast Inane.
One end for hut and hall!
One end for cell and stall!
Burned in one common flame
Are wisdoms and insanities.
For this alone we came
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

Prince pride must have a fall.
What is the worth of all
Your state""s supreme urbanities?
Bad at the best""s the game.
Well might the Sage exclaim
"O Vanity of Vanities!".

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