John Hartley

(1839-1917 / England)

Looking Back - Poem by John Hartley

I've been sitting reviewing the past, dear wife,
From the time when a toddling child,--
Through my boyish days with their joys and strife,--
Through my youth with its passions wild.
Through my manhood, with all its triumph and fret,
To the present so tranquil and free;
And the years of the past that I most regret,
Are the years that I passed without thee.

It was best we should meet as we did, dear wife,--
It was best we had trouble to face;
For it bound us more closely together through life,
And it nerved us for running the race.
We are nearing the end where the goal is set,
And we fear not our destiny,
And the only years that I now regret,
Are the years that I passed without thee.

'Twas thy beauty attracted my eye, dear wife,
But thy goodness that kept me true;
'Twas thy sympathy soothed me when cares were rife,
'Twas thy smile gave me courage anew.
Thy bloom may be faded by time, but yet,
Thou hast still the same beauty to me,
And no part of my past do I now regret,
Save the years that I passed without thee.

We have struggled and suffered our share, dear wife,
But our joys have been many and sweet;
And our trust in each other has taken from life,
The heartaches and pangs others meet.
I still bless the day, long ago, when we met,
And my prayer for the future shall be,
That when the call comes and thy life's sun has set,
I may never be parted from thee.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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