A Query.

Oh, the wonder of our life,1
Pain and pleasure, rest and strife,2
Mystery of mysteries,3
Set ’twixt two eternities !4
Lo, the moments come and go,5
E’en as sparks, and vanish so,6
Flash from darkness into light,7
Quick as thought are quenched in night.8
With an import grand and strange9
Are they frought in ceaseeless change10
As they post away, each one11
Stands eternally alone.12
This scene, more fair than words can say,13
I gaze upon, and go my way ;14
I turn, another glance to claim,15
Something is changed, ’tis not the same.16
The purple flush on yonder fell,17
The tinkle of that cattle-bell,18
Came, and have never come before,19
Go, and are gone for evermore.20
Our life is held as with a vice,21
We cannot do the same thing twice ;22
Once we may, but not again :23
Only memories remain.24
What if memories vanish too,25
And the past be lost to view ;26
Is it all for naught that I27
Heard and saw and hurried by ?28
Where are childhood’s merry hours,29
Bright with sunshine, crossed with showers ?30
Are they dead, and can they never31
Come again to life for ever ?32
No—’tis false, I surely trow ;33
Though awhile they vanish now,34
Every passion, deed, and thought,35
Was not born to come to nought !36
Will the past then come again,37
Rest and pleasure, strife and pain,38
All the heaven and all the hell ?39
Ah, we know not : God can tell.40