Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LIFE'S PAST AND FUTURE, by WILLIAM HANKINS CHITWOOD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

LIFE'S PAST AND FUTURE, by                    
First Line: Did I exist before my birth?'
Last Line: I'll do again.
Subject(s): Birth; Life; Mystery; Child Birth; Midwifery

"Did I exist before my birth?
It is absurd to think it so.
Shall I exist, then, when the earth
Reclaims me? No!

"The infinite and paradise
Are only myths. I have the choice
To suffer and to sacrifice,
Or to rejoice.

"To eat or to be eaten seems
The rule. As long as life shall last
I choose to eat. There'll be no dreams
When it is past.

"A little clay, I'll line a brook
Perhaps, or lie beneath some cobble."
Thus speaks the Count in Hugo's book,
"Les Miserables."

Although the future, I confess,
Remains a total mystery,
I do not think that nothingness
Was meant for me.

I do not think spontaneous force
Directs the world; that it was wrought
By chance. Nor do I think my source
Was merely naught.

But if I did from nothing come,
It matters not; for, all the same,
When time struck up its pendulum
For me -- I came.

And when it calls, and I once more
Return to nothing, surely, then,
The very thing I did before
I'll do again.

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