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Oh could my mind, unfolded in my page,
Yet should this Verse, my leisure's best resource,
When thro' the world it steals its secret course,
Revive but once a generous wish supprest,
Chase but a sigh, or charm a care to rest ;
PLEASURES OF MEMORY.
IN TWO PARTS.
VIVERE BIS, VITÂ POSSE PRIORE FRUI.-MART.
J. J. PART I.
Twilight's soft dews steal o'er the village-green, Dolce sentier,
With magic tints to harmonize the
Stilled the hum that thro the hamlet broke,
When round the ruins of their 'ancient dak
The peasants flocked to hear the minstrel play,
Her wheel at rest, the matron thrills no inore
With treasured tales, and legendary lore.
All, all are fled ; nor mirth nor music flows THE Poem begins with the description of an obscure To chase the dreams of innocent repose. village, and of the pleasing melancholy which it excites All, all are fled ; yet still I linger here! on being revisited after a long absence. This mixed sen
What secret charms this silent spot endear ? sation is an effect of the Memory. From an effect we naturally ascend to the cause; and the subject proposed is
Mark yon old Mansion frowning thro' the then unfolded with an investigation of the nature and
trees, leading principles of this faculty.
Whose hollow turret wooes the whistling breeze. It is evident that our ideas flow in continual succession,
That casement, arched with ivy's brownest shade, and introduce each other with a certain degree of regu
First to these eyes the light of heaven conveyed. larity. They are sometimes excited by sensible objects, The mouldering gateway strews the grasst-grown and sometimes by an internal operation of the mind. Of
court, the former species is most probably the memory of brutes;
Once the calm scene of many a simple sport ; and its many sources of pleasure to them, as well as to us, When nature pleased, for life itself was new, are considered in the first part. The latter is the most And the heart promised what the fancy drew. perfect degree of memory, and forms the subject of the See, thro' the fractured pediment revealed, second.
Where moss inlays the rudely sculptured shield, When ideas have any relation whatever, they are attract
The martin's old, hereditary nest. ive of each other in the mind; and the perception of any Long mây the ruin spare its hallowed guest
! object naturally leads to the idea of another, which was connected with it either in time or place, or which can be
As jars the hinge, what sullen echoes call ! compared or contrasted with it. Hence arises our attach
Oh haste, unfold the hospitable hall ! ment to inanimate objects;' hence also, in some degree, That hall, where once, in antiquated state, the love of our country, and the emotion with which we The chair of justice held the grave debate. contemplate the celebrated scenes of antiquity. Hence a Now stained with dews, with cobwebs darkly picture directs our thoughts to the original: and, as cold hung, and darkness suggest forcibly the ideas of heat and light, Oft has its roof with peals of rapture rung ; he, who feels the infirmities of age, dwells most on whatever reminds him of the vigour and vivacity of his
When round yon ample board, in due degree, youth.
We sweetened every meal with social glee.
The heart's light laugh pursued the circling jest ; The associating principle, as here employed, is no less conducive to virtue than to happiness; and, as such, it
And all was sunshine in each little breast. frequently discovers itself in the most tumultuous scenes
'Twas here we chased the slipper by the sound ; of life. It addresses our finer feelings, and gives exercise
And turned the blindfold hero round and round. to every mild and generous propensity.
'Twas here, at eve, we formed our fairy ring; Not confined to man, it extends through all animated
And Fancy fluttered on her wildest wing. nature; and its effects are peculiarly striking in the
Giants and genii chained each wondering ear; domestic tribes.
And orphan-sorrows drew the ready tear.'