Man is not a star, but a quick coal. In this life. In the life after this, we will outlast the stars.
HE that is weary, let him sit.
My soul would stirre
And trade in courtesies and wit,
Quitting the furre
To cold complexions needing it.
Man is no starre, but a quick coal
Of mortall fire;
Who blows it not, nor doth controll
A faint desire,
Lets his own ashes choke his soul.
When th’ elements did for place contest
With him, whose will
Ordain’d the highest to be best;
The earth sat still,
And by the others is opprest.
Life is a business, not good cheer;
Ever in warres.
The sunne still shineth there or here,
Whereas the starres
Watch an advantage to appeare.
Oh that I were an Orenge-tree,1
That busie plant!
Then should I ever laden be,
And never want
Some fruit for him that dressed me.
But we are still too young or old;
The man is gone,
Before we do our wares unfold:
So we freeze on,
Untill the grave increase our cold.
George Herbert, The Temple, 1633