That his charm’d hand the careless rein resign’d,
And doubts and terrors vanish’d from his mind.
Recall the traveller, whose alter’d form
Has borne the buffet of the mountain-storm;
And who will first his fond impatience meet?
His faithful dog’s already at his feet!
Yes, tho’ the porter spurn him from the door,
Tho’ all, that knew him, know his face no more,
His faithful dog shall tell his joy to each,
With that mute eloquence which passes speech.—
And see, the master but returns to die!
Yet who shall bid the watchful servant fly?
The blasts of heav’n, the drenching dews of earth,
The wanton insults of unfeeling mirth,
These, when to guard Misfortune’s sacred grave,
Will firm Fidelity exult to brave.
Led by what chart, transports the timid dove
The wreaths of conquest, or the vows of love?
Say, thro’ the clouds what compass points her flight?
Monarchs have gaz’d, and nations bless’d the sight.
Pile rocks on rocks, bid woods and mountains rise,
Eclipse her native shades, her native skies;—
‘Tis vain! thro’ Ether’s pathless wilds she goes,
And lights at last where all her cares repose.
Sweet bird! thy truth shall Harlem’s walls attest, [t]
And unborn ages consecrate thy nest.
When, with the silent energy of grief,
With looks that ask’d, yet dar’d not hope relief,
Want, with her babes, round generous Valour clung,
To wring the slow surrender from his tongue,
’Twas thine to animate her closing eye;
Alas! ’twas thine perchance the first to die,
Crush’d by her meagre hand, when welcom’d from the sky.
Hark! the bee winds her small but mellow horn, [u]
Blithe to salute the sunny smile of morn.
O’er thymy downs she bends her busy course,
And many a stream allures her to its source.
’Tis noon, ’tis night. That eye so finely wrought,
Beyond the search of sense, the soar of thought.
Now vainly asks the scenes she left behind;
Its orb so full, its vision so confin’d!
Who guides the patient pilgrim to her cell?
Who bids her soul with conscious triumph swell?
With conscious truth retrace the mazy clue
Of varied scents, that charm’d her as she flew?
Hail, memory, hail! thy universal reign
Guards the least link of Being’s glorious chain.
THE PLEASURES OF MEMORY
Delle cose custode, e dispensiera.
Analysis of the second part.
The Memory has hitherto acted only in subservience to the senses, and so far man is not eminently distinguished from other animals: but, with respect to man, she has a higher province; and is often busily employed, when excited by no external cause whatever. She preserves, for his use, the treasures of art and science, history and philosophy. She colours all the prospects of life: for ’we can only anticipate the future, by concluding what is possible from what is past.’ On her agency depends every effusion of the Fancy, whose boldest effort can only compound or transpose, augment or diminish the materials which she has collected and retained.