No single thing abides, but all things flow.
Fragment to fragment clings; the things thus grow
Until we know and name them. By degrees
They melt, and are no more the things we know.
Globed from the atoms, falling slow or swift
I see the suns, I see the systems lift
Their forms ; and even the systems and their suns
Shall go back slowly to the eternal drift.
Thou too, O Earth—thine empires, lands and seas
Least, with thy stars, of all the galaxies,
Globed from the drift like these, like these thou too
Shalt go. Thou art going, hour by hour, like these.
Nothing abides. Thy seas in delicate haze
Go off ; those mooned sands forsake their place;
And where they are shall other seas in turn
Mow with their scythes of whiteness other bays.
From De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things)
Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 99 BC – c. 55 BC)