Yearning for The Past
David William Paley
That first love that seared our souls
Will come no more nor be renewed.
We have loved and lost, then, loved another
Without the passion that we knew
Consigned to realms now sunk from view.
Though thick the veil across the scene,
We reach through shrouded dark
To find the light within our bones
That brightly shines on what has been
And will not fade despite our moans.
I remember buds that burst in spring,
Despite the seasons that have passed,
And, in the fulsome summer of advancing age,
Fear the winds of autumn, soon, will bring
The chill of winter to my rage.
Time has flowed around my cheeks
And, now, is flying ever faster.
It drives the years like windblown leaves
Borne on blasts not felt hereafter,
Whilst thickly piled in blackened heaps,
Lies all the green of carefree youth
On narrow paths that duty keeps.
Where, once, the blossoms waved reward,
We scuff our shoes through wreaths of laurel
And trample exploits underfoot
That lie disturbed in silent stare
In trails abandoned to disrepair
No longer smoothed by trees, now, bare.
We are drawn by constant flame
That lights the darkened ways
Through that forgotten maze
Wherein, we can reclaim
The joys of that delirious daze.
That longed for resurrection
Of those dear, delightful hours
Shall resolve the cause of our dejection
But dismiss the praise we earned
And betray the virtue that now sours
Owed to those we shall have spurned.
But could we find that golden dawn
When, first, we were aware
Of worlds beyond ourselves?
We can hold the fleeting moment
Cradled in our tender care
But not retrace the course we took
And, thus, unroll our torment.
We cast away our reason
Into depths of icy cold
In pursuit of those ecstatic lives
We knew in times of old
And break our bond with duty's call
To gaze upon that distant gold.
Less pure than when we did aspire
To sing our songs to chaste desire,
We throw our caution to the winds
With anguished sighs that now expire
As those days we left in smoking fire,
Wreathing from their funeral pyre,
Are found to glow in new attire.
But would that re-encounter
Be as brief as that before
And end in pains of parting
That we would then deplore?
Could we then return
To the barren life we left
And find without a stain
The comfort we discarded
And, of all creations, be bereft?
What lies would we be forced to tell
That our conscience would regret!
What pretence would we adopt
In our desire to be discreet!
And what would be the sordid means
To which we stoop in our deceit!
It would be ourselves that we betray
When we practise to deceive
Convinced that the course we follow
Would need no wondrous web
To hold the stories we conceive.
Let life roll by; let judgement be;
What e'er we do is flawed.
To seek our dreams in mists
Or to forge a way ahead
May each provide reward:
But the past has been withdrawn
Beyond our restoration;
And the future not been born
To enable exploration.