Ralph Waldo Emerson
SHINES the last age the next with hope is seen
To-day slinks poorly off unmarked between:
Future or Past no richer secret folds
O friendless Present! than thy bosom holds.
There is a finished feeling
Experienced at Graves --
A leisure of the Future --
A Wilderness of Size.
By Death's bold Exhibition
Preciser what we are
And the Eternal function
Enabled to infer.
No Bobolink -- reverse His Singing
When the only Tree
Ever He minded occupying
By the Farmer be --
Clove to the Root --
His Spacious Future --
Best Horizon -- gone --
Whose Music be His
Only Anodyne --
Brave Bobolink --
Walter Savage Landor
Proud word you never spoke, but you will speak
Four not exempt from pride some future day.
Resting on one white hand a warm wet cheek,
Over my open volume you will say,
'This man loved me'—then rise and trip away.
The future: time's excuse
to frighten us; too vast
a project, too large a morsel
for the heart's mouth.
Future, who won't wait for you?
Everyone is going there.
It suffices you to deepen
the absence that we are.
Pain -- has an Element of Blank --
It cannot recollect
When it begun -- or if there were
A time when it was not --
It has no Future -- but itself --
Its Infinite contain
Its Past -- enlightened to perceive
New Periods -- of Pain.
Oh Future! thou secreted peace
Or subterranean woe --
Is there no wandering route of grace
That leads away from thee --
No circuit sage of all the course
Descried by cunning Men
To balk thee of thy sacred Prey --
Advancing to thy Den --
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
IF thou wouldst live unruffled by care,
Let not the past torment thee e'er;
As little as possible be thou annoy'd,
And let the present be ever enjoy'd;
Ne'er let thy breast with hate be supplied,
And to God the future confide.
Henry Van Dyke
The shadow by my finger cast
Divides the future from the past:
Before it, sleeps the unborn hour
In darkness, and beyond thy power:
Behind its unreturning line,
The vanished hour, no longer thine:
One hour alone is in thy hands,--
The NOW on which the shadow stands.
The stars are filtering through a tree
outside in the moon's silent era.
Reality is moving layer over layer
like crystal spheres now called laws.
The future is right behind your head;
just over all horizons is the past.
The soul sits looking at its offer.
This Dust, and its Feature --
Accredited -- Today --
Will in a second Future --
Cease to identify --
This Mind, and its measure --
A too minute Area
For its enlarged inspection's
Comparison -- appear --
This World, and its species
A too concluded show
For its absorbed Attention's
Remotest scrutiny --
As for a moment he stands, in hardy masculine beauty,
Poised on the fircrested rock, over the pool which below him
Gleams in the wavering sunlight, waiting the shock of his plunging.
So for a moment I stand, my feet planted firm in the present,
Eagerly scanning the future which is so soon to possess me.
The Future -- never spoke --
Nor will He -- like the Dumb --
Reveal by sign -- a syllable
Of His Profound To Come --
But when the News be ripe --
Presents it -- in the Act --
Forestalling Preparation --
Escape -- or Substitute --
Indifference to Him --
The Dower -- as the Doom --
His Office -- but to execute
Fate's -- Telegram -- to Him --
In what other lives or lands
Have I known your lips
Your Laughter brave
Those sweet excesses that
I do adore.
What surety is there
That we will meet again,
On other worlds some
Future time undated.
I defy my body's haste.
Without the promise
Of one more sweet encounter
I will not deign to die.
George (Lord) Byron
I would to heaven that I were so much clay,
As I am blood, bone, marrow, passion, feeling -
Because at least the past were passed away -
And for the future - (but I write this reeling,
Having got drunk exceedingly today,
So that I seem to stand upon the ceiling)
I say - the future is a serious matter -
And so - for God's sake - hock and soda water!
Hanging from the beam,
Slowly swaying (such the law),
Gaunt the shadow on the green,
The cut is on the crown
(Lo, John Brown),
And the stabs shall heal no more.
Hidden in the cap
Is the anguish none can draw;
So your future veils its face,
But the streaming beard is shown
(Weird John Brown),
The meteor of the war.
When I was young my teachers were the old.
I gave up fire for form till I was cold.
I suffered like a metal being cast.
I went to school to age to learn the past.
Now when I am old my teachers are the young.
What can't be molded must be cracked and sprung.
I strain at lessons fit to start a suture.
I go to school to youth to learn the future.
Than Heaven more remote,
For Heaven is the root,
But these the flitted seed.
More flown indeed
Than ones that never were,
Or those that hide, and are.
What madness, by their side,
A vision to provide
Of future days
They cannot praise.
My soul, to find them, come,
They cannot call, they're dumb,
Nor prove, nor woo,
But that they have abode
Is absolute as God,
And instant, too.
Edgar Allan Poe
At morn- at noon- at twilight dim-
Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
In joy and woe- in good and ill-
Mother of God, be with me still!
When the hours flew brightly by,
And not a cloud obscured the sky,
My soul, lest it should truant be,
Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;
Now, when storms of Fate o'ercast
Darkly my Present and my Past,
Let my Future radiant shine
With sweet hopes of thee and thine!
HUMID seal of soft affections,
Tenderest pledge of future bliss,
Dearest tie of young connections,
Love’s first snowdrop, virgin kiss!
Speaking silence, dumb confession,
Passion’s birth, and infant’s play,
Dove-like fondness, chaste concession,
Glowing dawn of future day!
Sorrowing joy, Adieu’s last action,
(Lingering lips must now disjoin),
What words can ever speak affection
So thrilling and sincere as thine!
In me, past, present, future meet
To hold long chiding conference.
My lusts usurp the present tense
And strangle Reason in his seat.
My loves leap through the future’s fence
To dance with dream-enfranchised feet.
In me the cave-man clasps the seer,
And garlanded Apollo goes
Chanting to Abraham’s deaf ear.
In me the tiger sniffs the rose.
Look in my heart, kind friends, and tremble,
Since there your elements assemble.
A Wife -- at daybreak I shall be --
Sunrise -- Hast thou a Flag for me?
At Midnight, I am but a Maid,
How short it takes to make a Bride --
Then -- Midnight, I have passed from thee
Unto the East, and Victory --
Midnight -- Good Night! I hear them call,
The Angels bustle in the Hall --
Softly my Future climbs the Stair,
I fumble at my Childhood's prayer
So soon to be a Child no more --
Eternity, I'm coming -- Sire,
Savior -- I've seen the face -- before!
THINE be the volumes, Jessy fair,
And with them take the Poet’s prayer,
That Fate may, in her fairest page,
With ev’ry kindliest, best presage
Of future bliss, enroll thy name:
With native worth and spotless fame,
And wakeful caution, still aware
Of ill—but chief, Man’s felon snare;
All blameless joys on earth we find,
And all the treasures of the mind—
These be thy guardian and reward;
So prays thy faithful friend, the Bard.
DUMFRIES, June 26, 1769.
I know the plans that I have for you,
Plans for prosperity and peace
Never for evil or calamity,
But a future hope never to cease
Then you shall come and call upon me
And will bow your knee to pray
And I will hear you and heed your call
To be by your side right away
Then you will find me when you seek,
If you seek with all your heart
For I shall reveal myself to you,
From you, I will not depart.
Scripture Poem © Copyright Of M.
the slime of all my yesterdays
rots in the hollow of my skull
and if my stomach would contract
because of some explicable phenomenon
such as pregnancy or constipation
I would not remember you
or that because of sleep
infrequent as a moon of greencheese
that because of food
nourishing as violet leaves
that because of these
and in a few fatal yards of grass
in a few spaces of sky and treetops
a future was lost yesterday
as easily and irretrievably
as a tennis ball at twilight