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Lewis Morris (Льюис Моррис)

The Living Past

FAITHFUL souls that watch and yearn,
Expectant of the coming light,
With kindling hearts and eyes that burn
With hope to see the rule of right;

The time of peace and of good will,
When the thick clouds of wrong and pain
Roll up as from a shining hill,
And never more descend again;

The perfect day, the golden year,
The end of sorrow and of sighs;
Whether the heavenly change be here,
Or far beyond the sunset skies,—

I cherish you, I love your faith,
I long with you that this may be;
But hark, a dreary voice which saith,
'Vain dreamer, what were it to thee!'

For though the blest hour strike before
Another sunrise vex the earth,
And pain and evil rule no more,
But vanish in the newer birth,—

Though war and hatred come to cease,
And sorrow be no more, nor sin,
And in their stead an endless peace
Its fair unbroken reign begin,—

What comfort have ye? What shall blot
The memories of bitter years,
Of joys which have been, but are not,
And floods of unforgotten tears?

The painful records graven clear
On carven rock or deathless page;
The long unceasing reign of fear,
The weary tale of lust and rage;

The ills whose dark sum baffles thought,
Done day by day beneath the sun?
'That which is done,' the old sage taught,
'Not God Himself can make undone.'

For that which has been, still must live,
And 'neath the shallow Present last.
Oh, who will sweet oblivion give,
Who free us from the dreadful Past?

Lewis Morris's other poems:
  1. Waking
  2. The Apology
  3. A Yorkshire River
  4. A Hymn in Time of Idols
  5. A Cynic's Day-Dream

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