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Looking Back
by [?]

Do the dancing leaves of summer
To the time of buds look back?–
Does the river moan regretful
For the brooklet’s mountain-track?
Does the ripened sheaf of summer,
Heavy with precious grain,
Ask for its hour of blossom,
And the breath of Spring again?

Does the golden goblet, brimming
With the precious, ruby wine,
Look back with weary longing
To the damp and dusky mine?
Is the sparkling coin, that beareth
A monarch’s image, fain
To seek the glowing furnace,
Where they purged its dross again?

Would the chiselled marble gather
Its rubbish back once more.
And lie down, undistinguished,
In the rough rock as before?
Does the costly diamond, blazing
On that crowned and queenly one,
Look back with sorrowful gazing
To the coarse unpolished stone?

And shall man, the grandly gifted,
Earth’s monarch, tho’ Earth’s son,
Turn back to court the shadows
Of existence scarce begun?
Nay; with strong arm and helpful
To aid the world’s great lack,
Press on, nor pause a moment,
Supinely to look back!