HAD we the present—only that, no more!
Were the past, hidden by Oblivion's door,
Impenetrable to our backward gaze,
Its lessons lost, its joyful, tearful days!
Were there no vision of untrodden ways,
No distant fields of morn, no blooms unfound,
No skyey hopes to beckon from the ground,—
No loves whose waiting welcome ne'er betrays!
Were there no promise of returning Spring
When Autumn preens a migratory wing,
And on earth's hearth the fire is burning low!—
Were there no future with romance aglow,
When the chilled blood within the vein moves slow,
No dream of a fair dawning, in the night,—
No fond expectancy,—no pledge of light
Fairer than cloud-veiled days of winter know!
To-morrow!—mystic word of the Ideal!
What were all else, wert thou not there to heal
The deepest hurt that e'er the present gave?
Friend! Ever wise consoler! We are brave
Because of thee! Trusting thy might to save,
We journey onward toward an unknown land,
And close, and closer still, we clasp thy hand,—
Nor will be parted from thee at the grave.