It is unknown who wrote the poem "The Silver Swan," although it's said to have been written around 1600. I love it, though, and it's one of a cluster of poems that I've memorized. It keeps things in perspective for me with its timeless (and ironic) theme.
THE SILVER SWAN
The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approached, unlocked her silent throat;
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more:
Farewell, all joys; O death, come close mine eyes;
More geese than swans today live, more fools than wise.