Sunday, July 20, 2014

Unvisited Tombs

And now having inscribed this brief record, I realize how difficult it is to write history.

A few names have been mentioned,
a few dates noted,
but how many threads must be dropped,
how many facts unwritten,
how many persons forgotten.

Faces vanish,
voices are hushed,
footsteps heard no more.

It may be events important in their results,
names potent for good or ill,
have found no place in this simple story . . .

And we deeply feel the truth of that beautiful saying of George Eliot:
The growing good of the world
is partly dependent on unhistoric acts;
and that things are not so ill
with you and me
as they might have been,
is half owing to the number
who lived faithfully a hidden life,
and rest in unvisited tombs.

Charles P. Kane (1850-1918)