When history has unfolded the patchwork quilt of fate
When we can see, by looking back, what was the crucial date
Then, only then, can we be sure what it was that we did
To shape the way the world became, that in the present’s hid.

And every generation carves upon the rock of time
The why and wherefore they see, giving reason to their rhyme
But when we read the pages of the history they made
Things they counted highly might to nugatory fade.

We pick the flowers of the past and call it history
But most of what has been and gone remains a mystery.
The long-forgotten monuments to long-forgotten ways
Have their reason for a season that is lost in later days.

E.M. Swift-Hook

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