« PreviousContinue »
was connected with it either in time or place, or which can be compared or contrasted with it. Hence arises our attachment to inanimate objects; hence, also, in some degree, the love of our country, and the emotion with which we contemplate the celebrated scenes of antiquity. Hence a picture directs our thoughts to the original: and, as cold and darkness suggest forcibly the ideas of heat and light, he who feels the infirmities of age, dwells most on whatever reminds him of the vigor and vivacity of youth.
The associating principle, as here employed, is no less conducive to virtue than to happiness; and, as such, it frequently discovers itself in the most tumultuous scenes of life. It addresses our finer feelings, and gives ex-ercise to every mild and generous propensity.
Not confined to man, it extends through all animated nature; and its effects are peculiarly striking in the domestic tribes.
THE PLEASURES OF MEMORY.
TWILIGHT'S Soft dews steal o'er the village-green
With magic tints to harmonize the scene,
Still'd is the hum that thro' the hamlet broke,
When round the ruins of their ancient oak
The peasants flock'd to hear the minstrel play,
games and carols clos'd the busy day.
Her wheel at rest, the matron charms no more
All, all are fled; nor mirth nor music flows
To chase the dreams of innocent repose....
All, all are fled; yet still I linger here!
Mark yon old mansion, frowning thro' the trees, Whose hollow turret woos the whistling breeze.... That casement, arch'd with ivy's brownest shade, First to these eyes the light of heaven convey'd....
The mouldering gateway strews the grass-grown court,
See thro' the fractur'd pediment reveal'd, Where moss inlays the rudely-sculptur'd shield, The martin's old hereditary nest;
Long may the ruin spare its hallow'd guest!
As jars the hinge, what sullen echoes call!
Now stain'd with dews, with cobwebs darkly hung, Oft has its roof with peals of rapture rung; When round yon ample board, in due degree, We sweeten'd every meal with social glee. The heart's light laughter crown'd the circling jest, And all was sunshine in each little breast.
'Twas here we chas'd the slipper by its sound; And turn'd the blindfold hero round and round. 'Twas here, at eve, we form'd our fairy ring; And fancy flutter'd on her wildest wing.
Giants and Genii chain'd the wondering ear;
Ye Houshold Deities! whose guardian eye Mark'd each pure thought, ere register'd on high; Still, still ye walk the consecrated ground, And breathe the soul of inspiration round.
As o'er the dusky furniture I bend, Each chair awakes the feelings of a friend, The storied arras, source of fond delight, With old achievement charms the wilder'd sight; And still, with heraldry's rich hues imprest, On the dim window glows the pictur❜d crest. The screen unfolds its many-colour'd chart. The clock still points its moral to the heart: That faithful monitor 'twas heaven to hear! When soft it spoke a promis'd pleasure near;
And has its sober hand, its simple chime,
Those once-lov'd forms, still breathing thro' their dust,
As through the garden's desert paths I rove, What fond illusions swarm in every grove! How oft, when purple evening ting'd the west, We watch'd the emmet to her grainy nest; Welcom❜d the wild-bee home on wearied wing, Laden with sweets, the choicest of the spring! How oft inscrib'd, with friendship's votive rhyme, The bark now silver'd by the touch of time; Soar'd in the swing, half pleas'd and half afraid, Thro' sister elms that wav'd their summer shade; Or strew'd with crumbs yon root-inwoven seat, To lure the red-breast from his lone retreat!
Childhood's lov'd group revisits every scene, The tangled wood-walk, and the tufted green!