Poetry of Kansas

The Past And I

DO GAY hearts come from sadness?
    Is life a flirtant dream?
From all our grief can gladness
    Now crown the anguished scene?
Dare we in human weakness
    Outride the troubled sea,
Where in our bosom surges
    Sorrows no eye can see?
Can memory forget it___
    The past with sacred vows,
Determined as the heavens,
    Despite this world of woes?
Can surging storms of sorrows
    Thus pass as wind away,
And leave the waters quiet
    Where storms had rent their way?
Can human forms we cherish,
    We love more dear than life,
Fade into faint, dim shadows,
    E'en in a world of strife'.)
Can things we once called beauty
    Lose all their charming power,
And seem as vain, deceitful,
    And fleeting as the hour?
If so I have not felt it,
    Nor feel as others feel;
For in my meditation
    Old sorrows cannot heal.
The past, as true old pictures,
    In turn pass through my brain;
And oft I gaze upon them,
    In pleasure and in pain.
Forget? ah! no, no never;
    The past, those fertile hours,
Hath given as my portion
    Of earth's sweet blooming flowers!
I'll e'er recall the visage,
    Which truly is my own;
Because what mem'ry gives me
    No power can e'er dethrone.
While some light minds are wayward,
    And float on every wind,
Yet deep within the waters
    I'd slowly float behind.
Thus deep and still my wooing
    My anxious soul would run;
And cherish dreams supernal
    Only on earth begun.
While ne'er the light and frivol,
    The transient things of time,
Erase the recollections
    My soul would dare combine.
In death more bright than ever,
    On mem'ry's wall will hang
The past in pleasing beauty,
    Events sublime and grand.

__James A. DeMoss


Kansas Zephyrs
James A. DeMoss
(Thayer, Kansas: ___. 1892)
Pages 34-35

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July 8, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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