Keep Out of the Past

Keep out of the Past! for its highways
Are damp with malarial gloom;
Its gardens are sere and its forests are drear,
And everywhere molders 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 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 hilltops
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.
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