"Such," he said, "O King, seems to me the present life of men on earth, in comparison with that time which to us is uncertain, as if when on a winter's night you sit feasting with your earldormen and brumali --- and a simple sparrow should fly into the hall, and coming in at one door, instantly fly out through another. In that time in which it is indoors it is indeed not touched by the fury of the winter; but yet, this smallest space of calmness being passed almost in a flash, from winter going into winter again, it is lost to our eyes."
"Somewhat like this appears the life of man --- but of what follows or what went before, we are utterly ignorant."
--- The Venerable Bede
Ecclesiastical History, Book II