The King’s Ring

Once in Persia, reigned a King, who, upon his signet‑ring, graved a maxim, strange and wise; which, when held before his eyes, gave him counsel at a glance, fit for every change or chance: solemn words, and these are they—"Even this will pass away."

Trains of camels, through the sand, brought him gems from Samarcand; fleets of galleys, o’er the seas, brought him pearls to rival these: but he counted little gain, treasures of the mine or main: "What is wealth?" the King would say,—"even this will pass away."

’Mid the pleasures of his court, at the zenith of their sport, when the palms of all his guests burned with clapping at his jests; seated ’midst the figs and wine, said the King, "Ah, friends of mine, pleasure comes, but not to stay—even this will pass away."

The Call of the Bride, Theodore Tilton