I've written many verses
Of our yesterdays and home;
I've wandered through the sacred past,
My vagrant mem'ries roam
Back to the days of childhood,
Back through the fruitful years;
But now, somehow with magic touch
A fairer day appears.

The past is gone forever,
Life's book is almost read.
There's naught can change the days that were,
Can we not look ahead
With cheering sunshine in our souls,
With love and friendships strong;
Can we not treasure priceless hours,
And in our hearts a song?

We all are prone to hoard with care
The blessings we have known;
But mentally refuse, reject
Each heartache's bitter moan.
So why not banish, disregard
Each present grief or care;
For healing time will cure the hurt,
And joy replace despair.

'Tis not too long we'll tarry here,
Our time is running out.
Our memories will not suffice
Or future put to route.
I climbed a hill when just a lad;
Each step enhanced the view,
And onward, upward in my gaze
Were wondrous vistas new.

But if our gaze is on the ground,
Enthusiasm wanes;
We'll sadly view the rough terrain
And losses count, not gains.
And all devoid of normal urge,
One foot on the backward trail;
We've lost our chance, our chance to LIVE,
And bitterly we fail.

Of little use to fondly nurse
Each searing battle-scar;
We'll not be gauged by what we've been,
But judged by what we are.
The past to us is precious;
Heart-warming instincts pure,
And darkly seen the future years;
Of the present we are sure.

Now we have built an altar here,
We've worshipped at this shrine.
The magic of our childhood's home
Is in your hearts and mine.
Sweet memories beyond compare,
They dedicate, endow;
But we dare ne'er lose the forward look
And the living, breathing NOW.

By: H. B. Austin
May 28, 1955