Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Paradise Lost / James Lewis Milligan

Paradise Lost

Christmas days in visions rise,
Days before my years were seven,
Ere I grew so worldly wise,
When I saw with other eyes,
And this earth was heaven.

I have grown into a man,
And discarded every toy,
Yet the child I never can,
He is there like Peter Pan
An immortal boy !

Still he hangs on Christmas Eve
His wee stockings on the bed,
Falls asleep in make-believe,
While the happy fairies weave
Dreams about his head.

Though I've studied Nature's laws,
Probed the world unto the heart;
Trac'd life to its primal cause
That old mystic Santa Claus
Smiles at all my art!

All our fine philosophy,
All the wisdom of the wise,
Is but that old fatal tree;
And our early infancy
Our lost Paradise!

James Lewis Milligan (1876-1961)
from Songs in Time's Despite, 1910

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

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