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Memory And Hope.

By Grace Aguilar.

“The Future is more present than the Past,
For one look back, a thousand on I cast,
And Hope doth even Memory outlast.”

Is’t so with thee? Thou’rt happy, gentle friend;
Such blissful visions floating o’er thy way,
That I Hope and Phantasy do sweetly blend,
To bless the present with a future day.

That Hope for thee, is sweeter e’en than those
Fond ling’ring mem’ries of a joyous past;
And as Life’s rippling streamlet with thee flows,
No shrouding mists its silv’ry waves o’ercast.

Not so with me—I may not forward glance,
I dare not list those brightly glistening dreams,
That oft would people Fancy’s wide expanse
With fair and lovely, but how fleeting gleams!

‘Tis all too sweet, the voice of Hope for me,
Too fresh the garlands that her smile would weave,
Too wild and thrilling, her full notes of glee,
That erst had wooed my spirit to believe.

I listened then, and dared the pain she left;
But now my spirit shrinks within its cell,
And rather rests, of her sweet joys bereft,
Than find her false, whom I have loved so well.

Oh, no, I may not hope! and then my gaze
Turns in fond love on visions of the past,
Where Memory’s sportive sunbeam glist’ning plays,
With rainbow hues, that cannot be o’ercast.

Oh, ‘tis at times such sweet sad joy to call
Back to my soul the gladness that hath fled,
Whose rosy radiance o’er all things would fall,
In laughing light, from its own fountain shed;

To wander o’er again, with smile and jest,
Or deeper thought, where’er my fancy willed,
With gentle friends whose love my spirit blessed,
Hearts, whom I deemed not, could be changed, or chilled.

E’en to the phantasies that woo’d me then,
Sweet Memory wakes from their long dreamless night,
And calls back to my inmost soul again,
Joys that flashed up in ever-sparkling light.

And one by one they rise, until a wreath
Of phantom flow’rs doth with sweet fancy twine,
More pure, more lovely thus, as Memory seeth,
Than e’en when their full cloudless bloom was mine.

I know them phantoms, fading all away
Too soon, too sadly, for a lasting joy,
But still they give no promise, while they stay,
No sparkling rays, the future may destroy.

And better then, than Hope’s too thrilling voice,
Wooing my soul with such soft siren tone,
I dare not clasp her visions and rejoice;
For oh they do but glisten! and are flown.

Bid Me LOOK UP, NOT FORWARD; then, oh then,
My yearning soul its weary wings may rest,
And lovely visions form and senile again,
And Hope her dwelling make within my breast.

And one sweet dream she weaves, which owns no past,
But as Earth’s future dimm’d, the lovelier smiles,
Hope—that a Father’s arm is round me cast!
A Father’s blessing will protect His child!

1841.