One Hundred Years Hence

One hundred years hence, what a change will be made
In politics, morals, religion and trade,
In statesmen who wrangle or ride on the fence,
These things will be altered a hundred years hence.

Our laws then will be uncompulsory rules,
Our prisons converted to national schools,
The pleasure of sinning ’tis all a pretense,
And people will find that, a hundred years hence.

All cheating and fraud will be laid on the shelf,
Men will not get drunk, nor be bound up in self,
But all live together, good neighbors and friends,
As Christian folks ought to, a hundred years hence

Then woman, man’s partner, man’s equal shall stand,
While beauty and harmony govern the land,
To think for oneself will be no offense,
The world will be thinking, a hundred years hence.

Oppression and war will be heard of no more
Nor blood of a slave leave his print on our shore,
Conventions will then be a useless expense,
For we’ll go free-suffrage a hundred years hence.

Instead of speech-making to satisfy wrong,
We’ll all join the chorus to sing Freedom’s song;
And if the Millennium is not a pretense,
We’ll all be good [neighbors] a hundred years hence.

— Frances Dana Barker Gage (1852) (from the UU Hymnal)


A hundred years hence
Who it is
With such curiosity
Reads my poems
A hundred years hence?
Shall I be able to send you
An iota of joy of this fresh spring morning
The flower that blooms today
The songs that the birds sing
The glow of today’s setting sun
Filled with my feelings of love?

Yet for a moment
Open up your southern gate
And take your seat at the window
Look at the far horizon
And visualize in your mind’s eye —
One day a hundred years ago
A restless ecstasy drifted from the skies
And touched the heart of this world
The early spring mad with joy
Knew no bounds
Spreading its restless wings
The southern breeze blew
Carrying the scent of flowers’ pollen
All on a sudden soon
They coloured the world with a youthful glow
A hundred years ago.
That day a young poet kept awake
With an excited heart filled with songs
With so much ardour
Anxious to express so many things
Like buds of flowers straining to bloom
One day a hundred years ago.

A hundred years hence
What young poet
Sings songs in your homes!
For him
I send my tidings of joy of this spring.
Let it echo for a moment
In your spring, in your heartbeats,
In the humming of the bees
In the rustling of the leaves
A hundred years hence.

— Rabindranath Tagore (1895), tr Kumud Biswas

Rabindranath Tagore

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