A gravestone lasts longer than a god.
Therefore empires crumble like vampires
in the sun. And when the men of science
uncover the essence of the universe like a stone’s
private parts, the essence is not made of itself
but of pure transience—light as a dustmote floating
in a bead of sweat that drops from the strongman’s brow:
the last strongman, trembling with ungiven
orders, his armies routed, his cities burning,
who works the unconquered earth with his toe
and nods acceptance of the terms of peace.

—Michael Collins