Let the Past Die

by William Ellery Leonard

Friends tell me (friends in life and books well read):
" Let your Past die with all its grief and riot. "
Let the Past die! — The past is never dead!
Not at high noon! Not in the starry quiet!
My Past is gesturing in this limp you pity,
And whitens in this scar against the blast,
And not a tree, a book, a song, a city,
But has to-day its meaning from my Past.
There is, good friends, scant wisdom in this " letting " ;
I am my past so long as I am I;
And in a brave reshaping, not forgetting,
Is my one hope and action not to die:
The Past that might have killed me if it could
I sternly mold to art and hardihood.