To-day's most trivial act may hold the seed
Of future fruitfulness, or future dearth;
Oh, cherish always every word and deed!
The simplest record of thyself hath worth.
If thou hast ever slighted one old thought,
Beware lest Grief enforce the truth at last;
The time must come wherein thou shalt be taught
The value and the beauty of the Past.
Not merely as a warner and a guide,
"A voice behind thee," sounding to the strife;
But something never to be put aside,
A part and parcel of thy present life.
Not as a distant and a darkened sky,
Through which the stars peep, and the moon-beams glow;
But a surrounding atmosphere, whereby
We live and breathe, sustained in pain and woe.
A shadowy land, where joy and sorrow kiss,
Each still to each corrective and relief,
Where dim delights are brightened into bliss,
And nothing wholly perishes but Grief.
Ah, me! -- not dies -- no more than spirit dies;
But in a change like death is clothed with wings;
A serious angel, with entranced eyes,
Looking to far-off and celestial things.
Henry Timrod's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The Past by Henry Timrod )
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
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