Half a world away, and about 12 centuries earlier, the Greek poet Callimachus (c. 310 BC- c. 240 BC) expressed similar thoughts about our human lot.
Stranger, whoe'er thou art, found stranded here,
O'er thee Leontichus heaped up this grave,
Whilst at his own hard lot he dropped a tear:
He too, a restless sea-bird, roams the wave.
Callimachus (translated by Henry Wellesley), in Henry Wellesley (editor), Anthologia Polyglotta: A Selection of Versions in Various Languages, Chiefly from The Greek Anthology (1849).
For purposes of reference, a prose translation from a 20th-century edition of The Greek Anthology may be helpful:
"Who art thou, shipwrecked stranger? Leontichus found thee here dead on the beach, and buried thee in this tomb, weeping for his own uncertain life; for he also rests not, but travels over the sea like a gull."
Callimachus (translated by W. R. Paton), in W. R. Paton, The Greek Anthology, Volume II (Heinemann 1919).
Samuel Bough, "Edinburgh from Leith Roads" (1854)
Here is another versified translation of Callimachus's poem:
Whoe'er thou art that on the desert shores,
Leontichus has found, he lays to rest;
While his own life of peril he deplores,
With sweet repose, oh never, never blest:
Condemn'd to travel o'er the watry plain,
And, like the corm'rant, rove about the main.
Callimachus (translated by William Todd), in William Todd, The Hymns of Callimachus, Translated from the Greek into English Verse (1755).
I am particularly fond of "with sweet repose, oh never, never blest." I suspect this takes some liberty with the Greek original, but it is very fine nonetheless.
Samuel Bough, "Dutch Lugger Entering the Thames"
Wellesley limits himself to four lines; Todd takes six lines; the following version expands to eight lines.
Whoe'er thou art in tempests lost
And driv'n ashore by surges tost,
Leontichus laments thy doom,
And lays thy body in this tomb;
But mourns his own unhappy state,
Expos'd, like thee, to certain fate;
Expos'd to plow the wat'ry plain,
Or, like a sea-mew, skim the main.
Callimachus (translated by H. W. Tytler), in H. W. Tytler, The Works of Callimachus, Translated into English Verse (1793).
The English versifications by Wellesley, Todd, and Tytler no doubt contain some flourishes that are at variance with the Greek original. Still, I cannot say that this is to be regretted. (Easy for me to say, with my absence of Greek!) I think that all three versions are lovely, and I find it difficult to choose a favorite between them.
An aside: in a footnote to his translation, Tytler provides some cultural background to the setting of the poem:
"As the ancients imagined no misfortune so great as remaining unburied after death, so no pious act was reckoned equal to that of bestowing the rites of sepulture on a dead body when found by accident. Because it was the common opinion that the souls of the deceased were obliged to wander from place to place, upon the banks of the river Styx, till their bodies had received the funeral rites."
Ibid, page 267.
Samuel Bough, "Fishing Boats Running Into Port: Dysart Harbour" (1854)