Keep out of the Past! for its highways
    Are damp with malarial gloom;
Its gardens are sere and its forests are drear,
    And everywhere moulders a tomb.
Who seeks to regain its lost pleasures
    Finds only a rose turned to dust;
And its storehouse of wonderful treasures
    Are covered and coated with rust.

Keep out of the Past. It is haunted:
    He who in its avenues gropes
Shall find there the ghost of a joy prized the most,
    And a skeleton throng of dead hopes.
In place of its beautiful rivers,
    Are pools that are stagnant with slime;
And these graves gleaming white in a phosphoric light,
    Hide 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 tomb, life's hopes are in bloom,
    And to-day holds a prize to be won.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

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