The Slight and Degenerate Nature of Man

Antediluvianus loquitur.

Pitiful post-diluvians! from whose hearts
The print of passions by the tide of hours
Is washed away for ever and for ever,
As lions’ footmark on the ocean sands;
While we, Adam’s coevals, carry in us
The words indelible of buried feelings,
Like the millennial trees, whose hoary barks
Grow o’er the secrets cut into their core.

[Kelsall, 1851]