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MEMORY.

87

I once felt affections, more gentle and fond,
That shone o'er my soul, like the stars o'er the

seas;
And think'st thou my spirit can ever despond,

While memory revives such emotions as these ? Oh! how many a smile and affectionate word Remain through long years on the woe-blighted

mind, When joy hath shot over its wastes, like a bird That hath left a bright gift from its plumage be

hind!

And what though the vision of happiness fies From the heart that had cherished it sondly be

fore? Ils flowers may be withered, but memory supplies

Their vigor and fragrance, and beauty once more. Oh! may my remembrances never deparı!

May I still feel a bliss in beholding the past While memory over the genis of the heart Shall, sentinel-like, keep her watch to the last.

MARY ANN BROWNE.

88

TO A

FRIEND.

TO A FRIEND,

ON HER BIRTH-DAY.

ONCE more, my gentle friend! has time's swift

fight (Suspended never) reached thy natal day; And that pure friendship which first bade me plight

My promise to devote to it a lay, Shall be fulfilled : what, though perchance it may

Bear token of the hour that gives it birth, Yet wilt thou not its sober tone gainsay;

For thou hast sojourned long enough on earth, Young as thou art, to know the emptiness of mirth. I mean that mirth, which, flashing but to fade,

Exhil'rates not, but soon exhausts the mind: And, transiently delighting, leaves a shade

Of self-engender'd dreariness behind. With such my clouded spirit oft has pined;

Until, disgusted with the treacherous gleam,
In which a moment's bliss it sought to find,

Despair has almost tempted me to deem
Joy an unreal shade-delight an empty dream.
Yet is there left us an alternative

In chastened cheerfulness, deriving birth
From other sources than the world can give,

Far, far superior to its heartless mirth;

TO A

FRIEND.

89

And though at times, while we remain on earth, Clouds may obscure this “sunshine of the

breast," Those who have truly known and prized its worth

Will own in gratitude, in hours deprest, Its memory boasts that charm left by a blameless

guest.

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This is thy birth-day! and for Friendship's sake,

Even in this gloomiest season of the year, Feelings as warm as spring could ever wake

Have chronicled, and bid me hold it dear. The heart hus in itself a hemisphere

That knows not change of season, day or night; For still when thoughts of those we love are near,

Their cherished forms arise before our sight, And o’er the spirit shed fresh sunshine and delight. Nature, who wore, when few months since we met,

Her summer garb, a different dress displays; Your garden walks may now be moss'd and wet: The jas’mine's star-like bloom, which in the

rays Of the bright moon seemed lovely to my gaze,

Has faded now; and the green leaves that grew So lightly on the acacia's topmost sprays,

Have lost, ere this, their glossy verdant hue, Shading no more the path their reliques soon must

strew

90

TO A

FRIEND.

Is there nought left then, loveliness to lend

Unto the spot my memory loves to trace ? Should I now find, were I to come and spend

A day with you, no beauty left to grace What seemed of quiet joy the dwelling place ?

Oh yes ! believe me, much as I admired Those charms which change of seasons can efface,

It was not such alone, when home retir'd, That memory cherish'd most, or most the muse

inspired. When nature sheds her leafy loveliness,

She does not die: her vital principle But seeks a while its innermost recess,

And there securely finds a citadel Which even winter owns impregnable ;

The sap retreating downward to the root Is still alive, as spring shall shortly tell, By swelling buds, whence blossoms soon will

shoot Dispensing fragrance round, and pledge of future

fruit.

And thus our best affections, those which bind

Heart unto heart by friendship's purest tie, Have an internal life, and are enshrined

Too deeply in our bosoms soon to die. Spring's opening bloom, and summer's azure sky,

Might borrow from them beauties not their own; But when November winds are loud and high,

TO A FRIEND.

91

And nature's dirge assumes its deepest tone, The joy of social hours in its full charm is known. For as the sap, whose quickening influence

Shall be in spring the birth of future flowers, Confined and concentrated, is from thence

More full of life, than in those brighter hours When birds sang sweetly in their shady bowers,

And all unclouded was heaven's vaulted dome; Thus is it with the mind's electric powers,

Forbid by winter's frowning skies to roam, Their radiance is condensed, their focus found at

home. Then stir the cheerful fire! and let its light

The rallying point of home-born pleasures be; Where spirit-sparkling eyes, and smiles as bright,

Their own fit emblem may delighted see; And let the overflow of innocent glee

Be like the exuberance of the Nile, and bless The seeds of future joy's fertility; That days, in years to come, may bear the im.

press or hours of blameless bliss and social happiness. Since such, dear friend! is the delightful season

When thou wast born, oh! let it, as it ought, Be kept with due observance, for that reason;

Not lighted up with borrow'd splendor caught From outward themes, which time or chance may

thwart :

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