Alice Cary

(1820-1871 / USA)

Pictures Of Memory - Poem by Alice Cary

Among the beautiful pictures
That hang on Memory's wall,
Is one of a dim old forest,
That seemeth best of all:
Not for its gnarled oaks olden,
Dark with the mistletoe;
Not for the violets golden
That sprinkle the vale below;
Not for the milk-white lilies
That lean from the fragrant hedge,
Coqueting all day with the sunbeams,
And stealing their shining edge;
Not for the vines on the upland
Where the bright red berries be,
Nor the pinks, nor the pale, sweet cowslip,
It seemeth the best to me.

I once had a little brother,
With eyes that were dark and deep -
In the lap of that old dim forest
He lieth in peace asleep:
Light as the down of the thistle,
Free as the winds that blow,
We roved there the beautiful summers,
The summers of long ago;
But his feet on the hills grew weary,
And, one of the autumn eves,
I made for my little brother
A bed of the yellow leaves.

Sweetly his pale arms folded
My neck in a meek embrace,
As the light of immortal beauty
Silently covered his face:
And when the arrows of sunset
Lodged in the tree-tops bright,
He fell, in his saint-like beauty,
Asleep by the gates of light.
Therefore, of all the pictures
That hang on Memory's wall,
The one of the old dim forest
Seemeth the best of all.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 11, 2014

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