1829 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Rogers

Mary Ann Browne, "Lines written in a Blank Leaf of Rogers' Pleasures of Memory" Morning Post (6 November 1829).



"Pleasures of Memory!" it is well,
Fond Bard, if thou canst think them so;
Happy art thou who thus canst tell
Of years unstained by crime and woe.

Blessed art thou who thus canst feel
Joy to live o'er again thy years,
Many there are would fain conceal
Past times, and blot them out with tears.

It may be pleasure unto thee
To look on days and years well spent,
To cast a glance behind, and see
A path of virtue and content.

But is it pleasure for a heart
Like mine to look on years of woe,
And o'er again see joys depart—
Buds that had never time to blow?

To see Affection's vital spring
Pour'd on a wild and worthless waste,
And the last drop that grief could wring,
Wrung from a love so long misplaced?

To see the withered flowers of love
Lie severed from their native stem,
And still to feel, where'er I rove,
The wintery blast that blighted them?

Yet to feel life's unsevered link,
That too tenacious holds me yet,
Oh, my sole peace is not to think,
My only blessing — to forget!
Worton Lodge, Isleworth, Nov. 4, 1829.