Memory (Sigourney)

For works with similar titles, see Memory.
by Lydia Sigourney

Printed in The Southern and Western Literary Messenger and Review. October 1846. Page 586.

The past she ruleth. At her touch
   Its temple-valves unfold,
And from their gorgeous shrines descend
   The mighty men of old:
At her deep voice the dead reply,
   Dry bones are cloth'd and live,—
Long perished garlands bloom anew,
   And buried joys revive.

When o'er the future, many a shade
   Of saddening twilight steals,
Or dimm'd present to the soul,
   Its emptiness reveals,
She opes her casket, and a cloud
   Of cheering perfume streams,
Till with a lifted heart we tread
   The pleasant land of dreams.

Make friends of potent memory,
   Oh! young man in thy prime,
And with her jewels bright and rare,
   Enrich the board of Time;
Yet if thou mockest her with weeds,
   A trifler 'mid her bowers,
She'll send a poison through thy veins,
   In life's disastrous hours.

Make friends of potent Memory,
   Oh! maiden, in thy bloom,
And bind her to thine inmost heart,
   Before the days of gloom;
For sorrow softeneth into joy
   Beneath her wand sublime,
And she immortal robes can weave
   From the frail threads of Time.

                                   L. H. S.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.