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Stops of Various Quills/Statistics

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 047 large a.jpg


SO many men, on such a date of May,
Despaired and took their hopeless lives away
In such another place, it would appear
The assassinations averaged so and so,
Through August after August, scarce below
A given range; and in another one,
March after March, it seems there were undone
So many women still about the same,
With little varying circumstance in their shame;
Burglaries, arsons, thefts, and forgeries
Had their own averages as well as these;
And from these figures science can discern
The future in the past. We but return
Upon our steps, although they seem so free.
The thing that has been is that which shall be.
Dark prophet, yes! But still somehow the round
Is spiral, and the race's feet have found
The path rise under them which they have trod.
Your facts are facts, yet somewhere there is God.

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 049 large a.jpg