In Waste Places (Poem by Gilbert Parker)

Suggested Poem

In Waste Places
By Gilbert Parker


The new life is fief to the old life,
And giveth back pangs at the last;
The new strife is like to the old strife
A token and tear of the Past.
We change, but the changes are only
New forms of the old forms again,
We die and some spaces are lonely,
But men live in lives of new men.

We hate, and old wrongs lift their faces,
To fill up the ranks of the new;
We love, and the early love’s graces
Are signs of the false and the true;
We clasp the white hands that are given
To greet us in devious ways,
But meet the old sins, all unshriven,
To sadden the burden of days.

Though we lose the green leaves of the first days,
Though the vineyards be trampled and red,
We know, in the gloom of our worst days,
That the dead are not evermore dead:
December is only December,
A space, not the infinite whole;
Though the hearthstone bear but the one ember,
There still is the fire of the soul.

The end comes as came the beginning,
And shadows fail into the past;
And the goal, is it not worth the winning,
If it brings us but home at the last?
While over the pain of waste places
We tread, ‘tis a blossoming rod
That drives us to grace from disgraces,
From the plains to the Gardens of God.

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