The Old King's New Jester by Edwin Arlington Robinson
You that in vain would front the coming order With eyes that meet forlornly what they must, And only with a furtive recognition See dust where there is dust,— Be sure you like it always in your faces, Obscuring your best graces, Blinding your speech and sight, Before you seek again your dusty places Where the old wrong seems right.
Longer ago than cave-men had their changes Our fathers may have slain a son o two, Discouraging a further dialectic Regarding what was new; And after their unstudied admonition Occasional contrition For their old-fashioned ways May have reduced their doubts, and in addition Softened their final days.
Farther away than feet shall ever travel. Are the vague towers of our unbuilded State; But there are mightier things than we to lead us, That will not let us wait. And we go on with none to tell us whether Or not we’ve each a tether Determining how fast or how far we go; And it is well, since we must go together, That we are not to know.
If the old wrong and all its injured glamour Haunts you by day and gives your night no peace, You may as well, agreeably and serenely, Give the new wrong its lease; For should you nourish a too fervid yearning For what is not returning, The vicious and unfused ingredient May give you qualms—and one or two concerning The last of your content.