Was, Is, And Yet-To-Be
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Was, Is, and Yet-to-Be
Were chatting over a cup of tea.
In tarnished finery smelling of must,
Was talked of people long turned to dust;
Of titles and honours and high estate,
All forgotten or out of date;
Of wonderful feasts in the long ago,
Of pride that perished with nothing to show.
I loathe the present, said Was, with a groan;
I live in pleasures that I have known.
The Yet-to-be, in a gown of gauze,
Looked over the head of musty Was,
And gazed far off into misty space
With a wrapt expression upon her face.
Such wonderful pleasures are coming to me, said Yet-to-be.
Such glory, such honour,
No one dreamed, in the vast Has-Been,
Of such successes as I shall win.
The past, the present -- why, what are they?
I live for the joy of a future day.
Then practical Is, in a fresh print dress,
Spoke up with a laugh,
I must confess
I find to-day so pleasant, she said,
I never look back, and seldom ahead.
Whatever has been, is a finished sum;
Whatever will be -- why, let it come.
To-day is mine. And so, you see,
I have the past and the yet-to-be;
For to-day is the future of yesterday,
And the past of to-morrow. I live while I may,
"And I think the secret of pleasure is this,
And this alone," said practical Is.
Source:Poems of Sentiment
Gay And Hancock, Ltd., London