Verse > Anthologies > George Willis Cooke, ed. > The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology
George Willis Cooke, comp.  The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology.  1903.
‘The Future is better than the Past’
By Eliza Thayer Clapp (1811–1888)
NOT where long-passed ages sleep
  Seek we Eden’s golden trees;
In the future, folded deep,
  Are its mystic harmonies.
All before us lies the way,        5
  Give the past unto the wind;
All before us is the day,
  Night and darkness are behind.
Eden with its angels bold,
  Love and flowers and coolest sea,        10
Is not ancient story told,
  But a glowing prophecy.
In the spirit’s perfect air,
  In the passions tame and kind,
Innocence from selfish care,        15
  The real Eden we shall find.
It is coming, it shall come,
  To the patient and the striving,
To the quiet heart at home,
  Thinking wise and faithful living.        20
When all error is worked out
  From the heart and from the life;
When the sensuous is laid low,
  Through the spirit’s holy strife;
When the soul to sin hath died,        25
  True and beautiful and sound;
Then all earth is sanctified,
  Up springs Paradise around.
Then shall come the Eden days,
  Guardian watch from seraph-eyes;        30
Angels on the slanting rays,
  Voices from the opening skies,
From this spirit-land afar
  All disturbing force shall flee;
Stir nor toil nor hope shall mar        35
  Its immortal unity.

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