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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Sonnet: ‘Men change,—that heaven above not more’

By William Ellery Channing (1818–1901)

[From Poems. 1843.—Poems. Second Series. 1847.]

MEN change,—that heaven above not more,

Which now with white clouds is all beautiful,

Soon is with gray mists a poor creature dull;

Thus, in this human theatre, actions pour

Like slight waves on a melancholy shore;

Nothing is fixed, the human heart is null,

’Tis taught by scholars, ’tis rehearsed in lore;

Methinks this human heart might well be o’er.

O precious pomp of eterne vanity!

O false fool world! whose actions are a race

Of monstrous puppets; I can’t form one plea

Why any man should wear a smiling face.

World! thou art one green sepulchre to me,

Through which, mid clouds of dust, slowly I pace.