Years That Are To Be.

A poem by Freeman Edwin Miller

Wild years that are to be
The sad completion of my weary life,
In ghostly mantles of despairing strife
Your phanton dimness darkly shadows me!
Gaunt demons dancing from your horrid halls
Entwine my soul in gloomy arms of woe,
While mystic fancies to my madness show
The monsters on your walls.

Your forms are skeletons,
Whose bony hands with mortal fingers play,
Where grinning skulls are heaping on the way,
And airy specters meet the timid ones;
Death drops his arrows from your sullen skies,
Destruction dances in your noisome shades,
And in the dreadful darkness of your glades
The horrid shriekings rise.

There in your cycles are
Dark valleys where my weary feet must go,
Though devils of disaster hurl and throw
Their awful sorrows from the fortunes far;
No hands of pleasure can presume to part
The clouded curtains of impending care,
And hissing serpents of insane despair
Pour poison in my heart.

O, years that are to be,
Among your solitudes I, dreaming, grope;
My life's the shade of unaccomplished hope,
My heart's a ghoul that feeds on agony!
No strains of music call my tears away,
No smiling star illumes the awful night;
Ambition weeps; my soul draws without light
My shameless feet astray!

No soothing welcome floats
Between your marble lips, nor sweetly rise
The tender songs of gentle melodies
From croaking caverns of your iron throats;
But from your dirges of destructive pain,
Wild clash of wretched sound is borne to me,
Where death and failure, tears and misery,
In robes or anguish reign.

But my heart hopes to find
Some infant joy for woes that sorrow did,
Some faded garland on some coffin lid,
To cheer the wildness of my broken mind;
Some angel pleasures in your realms must roll,
Some laughing life, some music, in your glooms,
Shall gladness give, amid your ghostly tombs,
Mad Future, to my soul!

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