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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William Douw Schuyler-Lighthall b. 1857

Præterita ex Instantibus

HOW strange it is that, in the after age,—

When Time’s clepsydra will be nearer dry,

That all the accustomed things we now pass by

Unmarked, because familiar, shall engage

The antique reverence of men to be;

And that quaint interest which prompts the sage

The silent fathoms of the past to gauge

Shall keep alive our own past memory,

Making all great of ours, the garb we wear,

Our voiceless cities, reft of roof and spire,

The very skull whence now the eye of fire

Glances bright sign of what the soul can dare.

So shall our annals make an envied lore,

And men will say, “Thus did the men of yore.”