Phantoms by Adelaide Anne Procter

Back, ye Phantoms of the Past;
In your dreary caves remain:
What have I to do with memories
Of a long-forgotten pain?

For my Present is all peaceful,
And my Future nobly planned:
Long ago Time’s mighty billows
Swept your footsteps from the sand.

Back into your caves; nor haunt me
With your voices full of woe;
I have buried grief and sorrow
In the depths of Long-ago.

See the glorious clouds of morning
Roll away, and clear and bright
Shine the rays of cloudless daylight–
Wherefore will ye moan of night?

Never shall my heart be burthened
With its ancient woe and fears;
I can drive them from my presence,
I can check these foolish tears.

Back, ye Phantoms; leave, oh leave me
To a new and happy lot;
Speak no more of things departed;
Leave me–for I know ye not.

Can it be that ‘mid my gladness
I must ever hear you wail,
Of the grief that wrung my spirit,
And that made my cheek so pale?

Joy is mine; but your sad voices
Murmur ever in mine ear:
Vain is all the Future’s promise,
While the dreary Past is here.

Vain, oh worse than vain, the Visions
That my heart, my life would fill,
If the Past’s relentless phantoms
Call upon me still!

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