The finished product of which we are the raw material. The contents of the Taj Mahal, the Tombeau Napoleon and the Granitarium. Worms'-meat is usually outlasted by the structure that houses it, but 'this too must pass away.' Probably the silliest work in which a human being can engage is construction of a tomb for himself. The solemn purpose cannot dignify, but only accentuates by contrast the foreknown futility.
Ambitious fool! so mad to be a show! How profitless the labor you bestow Upon a dwelling whose magnificence The tenant neither can admire nor know.
Build deep, build high, build massive as you can, The wanton grass-roots will defeat the plan By shouldering asunder all the stones In what to you would be a moment's span.
Time to the dead so all unreckoned flies That when your marble is all dust, arise, If wakened, stretch your limbs and yawn -- You'll think you scarcely can have closed your eyes.
What though of all man's works your tomb alone Should stand till Time himself be overthrown? Would it advantage you to dwell therein Forever as a stain upon a stone?