John Kenyon Poems
Past And Future
Our Past—how strangely swift! Its years—mere months!
Months—clipped to weeks! and longest day—an hour!
But oh! how slow the Future; slow to all
Of every age and being. Yon school-urchin,
Fresh from his Christmas-home, as now he bends him
With saddened brow o'er the black greasy slate;
Or strains himself, at stroke of early clock,
His all-unwelcome bedtime, to confront
Cold touch of wiry sheet, ah! not like home's;
How vainly would he pierce the dim half year
To his next holidays; and asks himself,
'And will they—will they—can they ever come?'
Youth too, ...
If, as they say, the Dead erewhile return,
Sent or permitted, from their shadowy bourn;
Yet not, or so we trust, shall every ghost,
In his old guise, reclaim our mortal coast.
Let Spurio, if once more among us thrown,
Come back in any shape—except his own.
While, Phyllis! you, the frank and debonnair,—
Do you return—the very thing you were.