Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

The Past


The debt is paid,
The verdict said,
The Furies laid,
The plague is stayed,
All fortunes made;
Turn the key and bolt the door,
Sweet is death forevermore.
Nor haughty hope, nor swart chagrin,
Nor murdering hate, can enter in.
All is now secure and fast;
Not the gods can shake the Past;
Flies-to the adamantine door
Bolted down forevermore.
None can reenter there, -
No thief so politic,
No Satan with a royal trick
Steal in by window, chink or hole,
To bind or unbind, add what lacked
Insert a leaf, or forge a name,
New-face or finish what is packed,
Alter or mend eternal Fact.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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