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 honors 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All forgotten or out of date;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,
Such glory, such honor," said Yet-to-be.

"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.

What ever has been, is a finished sum.
What ever 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 may,

And I think the secret of pleasure is this,
And this alone," said practical Is.

Poems of sentiment by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago, IL : W. B. Conkey Company, c1906.

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