It was published in 1844's "The Cypress Wreath: A Book of Consolation for Those Who Mourn", edited by yours truly. In my modesty I did not credit myself for the poem in my own volume, but it was later attributed to me when republished in an 1865 anthology entitled "Leaves of Consolation For the Afflicted, or Voices From the Silent Land".
WEEP NOT FOR THE PAST.
WEEP not for the past; ‘tis a dream that is fled;
Its sunshine has vanished, its garlands are dead;
Deep, deep in its shadows bright hopes are laid low;
O, call them not back to the land whence they go.
They came as the light that may gleam from on high,
From the wing of some spirit that passes us by,
So gently, we deemed that the fetters of earth
Had fallen away for a holier birth;
And they passed—but a voice lingers yet on the ear
In accents that fall from some sunnier sphere,
“Weep not, child of sorrow, for hopes that were thine;
Unblest are the gifts of an UNHALLOWED shrine.
Thy idol was earthly—thy life star has set;
Bright stars are in HEAVEN, that beam for thee yet!”
Weep not for the past, though it hold in its gloom
Loved forms that have sunk to their rest in the tomb,
Fond voices that rang in the laugh of the song,
And faces that smiled as they flitted along;
O, call them not back! for they went in their mirth,
Ere their hearts had been chilled by one frost of this earth;
And ‘tis sweet to lie down with the song yet unsung,
And wake its first notes in a heavenly tongue!
Then yield not to sorrow; life has not a day
That gives not some sunbeam to lighten our way;
But cull from the past, from each blessing that dies,
A gem to illumine the crown for the skies.
The future is o’er us; the present is ours,
To shroud it in sadness, or gild it with flowers;
To sink on life’s ocean, or find on its wave
A halo that wakes e’en the gloom of the grave.
Ah...They don't write them like that anymore, folks.