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By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Oh could I raise the darken’d veil,

Which hides my future life from me,

Could unborn ages slowly sail,

Before my view—and could I see

My every action painted there,

To cast one look I would not dare.

There poverty and grief might stand,

And dark Despair’s corroding hand,

Would make me seek the lonely tomb

To slumber in its endless gloom.

Then let me never cast a look,

Within Fate’s fix’d mysterious book.


Source: The Spectator (1820)

  • Living

Poet Bio

Nathaniel Hawthorne
New England writer Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, where his paternal ancestors had been prominent since the founding generation. When he began writing fiction, he was drawn into a search for material in the careers of his early ancestors and in the history of colonial New England. Through both direct statement and example, he helped define for his age the literary sketch, the tale, and long fiction that fuses romance and psychological realism. See More By This Poet

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