The Burden of the Past

By George Sterling

Fool that I was to dream I loved before!
    But now a sweeter worship lets me know
    What ghosts I followed in the long ago.
What weeds my heart's neglected garden bore.
Where now one rose is splendid evermore,
    And where I wander ministrant and slow,
    As those incomparable petals glow.
And give my soul their beauty o'er and o'er.

Craig, ever thus I wander and repent,
    Slave of a thousand ecstasies and fears.
        Too humble to be sure, too glad to flee.
And all too glad in love's one punishment—
    The heart's slow scorn, augmenting with the years.
        For all that had not birth and life in thee.


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