All the striving, all the failing,
To the silent Nothing sailing.
Swiftly, swiftly passing by!
For the land of shadows leaving,
Where a wistful hand is weaving
Thy still woof, Eternity!
Gloomy thoughts in me awaken,
And with fear my breast is shaken,
Thinking: O thou black abyss;
All the toil and thrift of life,
All the struggle and the strife,
Shall it come at last to this?
With the grave shall be requited
Good and evil, and united
Ne'er to separate again?
What the light hath parted purely,
Shall the darkness join more surely?--
Was the vict'ry won in vain?
O mute and infinite extension,
O time beyond our comprehension,
Shall thought and deed ungarnered fall?
Ev'rything dost take and slay,
Ev'rything dost bear away,
Silent Nothing, silent All!...