If we could roll back History
A century, let's say,
And start from there, I'm sure that we
Would find things as to-day:
In all creation's cosmic range
No vestige of a change.
Turn back a thousand years, the same
Unchangement we would view;
Cause and Effect their laws proclaim,
The truest of the true,
And in life's mechanistic groove
The Universe would move.
Grim is the grip of the Machine
And everything we do
Designed implacably has been
Since earth was virgin new:
We strut our parts as they were writ,--
That's all there is to it.
Curse on such thinking! let us play
At Free Will, though we be
The gnatlike creatures of the day,
The dupes of Destiny . . .
The merle is merry in the may--
Tommorow's time to pray.