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But the world and its occupations give a mechanical im.
pulse to the passions, which is not very favourable to the indulgence of this feeling. It is in a calm and wellregulated mind that the Memory is most perfect; and solitude is her best sphere of action..... With this sentiment is introduced a Tale, illustrative of her influence in solitude, sickness, and sorrow. And the subject having now been considered, so far as relates to man and the animal world, the Poem concludes with a conjecture, that superior beings are blest with a nobler exercise of this faculty.
SWEET MEMORY, wafted by thy gentle gale, Oft up
the tide of Time I turn my sail, To view the fairy-haunts of long-lost hours, Blest with far greener shades, far fresher flowers. t.
Ages and climes remote to Thee impart
The friends of Reason, and the guides of Youth,
These still exist, by Thee to Fame consign'd,
From Thee sweet Hope her airy colouring draws; And Fancy's flights are subject to thy laws. From Thee that bosom-spring of rapture flows, Which only Virtue, tranquil Virtue, knows.
When Joy's bright sun has shed his evening-ray, And Hope's delusive meteors cease to play ; When clouds on clouds the smiling prospect close, Still thro' the gloom thy star serenely glows; Like yon fair orb, she gilds the brow of night With the wild magic of reflected light.
The beauteous maid, that bids the world adieu, Oft of that world will snatch a fond review; Oft at the shrine neglect her beads, to trace Some social scene, some dear, familiar face, Forgot, when first a father's stern control Chas'd the gay visions of her opening soul : And ere, with iron tongue, the vesper-bell, Bursts through the cypress-walk, the convent-cell,
Oft will her warm and wayward heart 'revive,
But not till Time has calm'd the ruffled breast, Are these fond dreams of happiness confest. Not till the rushing winds forget to rave, Is heaven's sweet smile reflected on the wave.
From Guinea's coast pursue the lessening sail, And catch the sounds that sadden every gale. Tell, if thou canst, the sum of sorrows there ; Mark the fixt gaze, the wild and frenzied glare, The racks of thought, and freezings of despair! But pause not then....beyond the western wave, Go, view the captive barter'd as a slave! Crush'd till his high heroic spirit bleeds, And from his nerveless frame indignantly recedes. Yet here, e'en here, with pleasures long resign'd, Lo! Memory bursts the twilight of the mind : Her dear delusions soothe his sinking soul, When the rude scourge presumes its base control; And o'er Futurity's blank page diffuse The full reflection of their vivid hues. 'Tis but to die, and then, to weep no more, Then will he wake on Congo's distant shore; Beneath his plantain's ancient shade, renew The simple transports that with Freedom flew; Catch the cool breeze that musky Evening blows, And quaff the palm's rich nectar as it glows; The oral tale of elder time rehearse, And chant the rude traditionary verse, With those, the lov'd companions of his youth, When life was luxury, and friendship truth.