Keep out of the past ! for its highways
Are damp with malarial gloom,
Its gardens are sere, and its forests are drear,
And everywhere molders a tomb.
Who seeks to regain its lost pleasures
Finds only a rose turned to dust,
And its storehouse of wonderful treasures
Is covered and coated with rust.
Keep out of the past, it is haunted.
He who in its avenues gropes
Shall find there the ghosts of a joy prized the most
And a skeleton throng of dead hopes.
In place of its beautiful rivers
Lie pools that are stagnant with slime,
And those graves gleaming bright in phosphorous light
Cover dreams that were slain in their prime.
Keep out of the past ! It is lonely
And barren and bleak to the view.
Its fires have grown cold and its stories are old.
Turn, turn to the present, the new !
To-day leads you up to the hill tops
That are kissed by the radiant sun,
To-day shows no tomball lifes hopes in bloom
And to-day holds a prize to be won.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Akron City Times 6 Jul. 1887: 1.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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