KEEP OUT OF THE PAST

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.


Back to Poem Index