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Hope And Memory - Poem by Joanna Baillie


NAY , sister, what hast thou to boast
Of joy? a poor reciter thou,
Whose happiest thought is but the ghost
Of some past pleasure vanish'd now.
When better things may not be found,
By sad reflecting, weary men,
They on thy records look around,
Their only friend, and only then.

Then on delight for ever fled
They cast a melancholy view,
Where, as on pictures of the dead,
The likeness makes the sorrow true.
But could'st thou from thy page efface
What brings regret, remorse, or shame,
Nor all our wandering steps retrace,
Then mortals might endure thy name.


And what art thou, vain Hope? a cheat:
For didst thou ever promise make,
That either time did not defeat
Or some intruding evil break?
Or say that chance has prov'd thee true,
The expected joy shall be thy own;
No sooner comes the good in view,
But Hope herself is lost and gone.

Soon as the hop'd-for thing appears,
That was with such delight pursued,
Another aspect then it wears,
And is no more the fancied good.
So 'tis in dreams, men keenly chase
A something lov'd, desir'd, caress'd;
They overtake, and then embrace
That which they loathe, despise, detest.

True, sister, true! in every age
Will men in thy delusions share;
And thou a lasting war wilt wage
With Wisdom's joy and Reason's care.
Who comes to thee? the rash, the bold,
The dreaming bard, the sighing youth:

For what? for fame, for love, for gold,
And they receive thy tales for truth.

Emmas and Lauras at thy shrine
Attend, and deem thy answers true,
And, calling Hope a power divine,
Their Corydons and Damons view.
And girls at school, and boys at taw,
Seduced by thy delusive skill,
Think life is love, and love is law,
And they may choose just whom they will.


Say is not mine the early hold
On man? whose heart I make my own
And, long e'er thy dull tale be told,
I bear him forth to worlds unknown.
Before the mind can trust to thee,
And slowly gain thy heavy store,
It travels far and wide with me,
My worlds and wonders to explore.

Thou lend'st him help, to read, to spell,
His progress slow, his efforts mean:
I take him in my realms to dwell,
To win a throne, to wed a queen.

How could he bear the pedant's frown,
That frights the sad bewilder'd boy,
Or hear such words as verb and noun,
But for my tales of love and joy?


True, to thy fairy world he goes,
And there his terms he idly keeps,
Till Truth breaks in on his repose,
And then for past neglect he weeps.
What, if we grant the heart is thine
Of rash and unreflecting youth,
How is it in his life's decline,
When truth is heard and only truth?

On me the quiet few rely,
For Memory's store is certain gain;
For aid to thee the wretched fly,
The poor resource of grief and pain.
My friends like lawful traders deal
With just accounts, with real views;
But thine as losing gamesters feel,
Who stake the more the more they lose.


And they are right, for thus employ'd
They fall not to disease a prey;
Thus every moment is enjoy'd,
And 'tis a cheerful game they play.
And tell me not they lose at last;
Such loss is light, such care is vain,
For if they hope till life be past,
What hours for care or grief remain.

You say the rash, the young, the bold,
Are mine, and mine they are, 'tis true;
But, sister, art thou sure the old
And grave are not my subjects too?

Struck by the palsy's powerful blow,
By the hir'd hands of servants led,
Cold, tottering, impotent, and slow,
Borne to the board, and to the bed,
Hear how the ancient trembler prays,
Smit with the love of lingering here!
'Hold yet my thread, flow on my days,
'Nor let the last sad morn appear!'

The sage physician feels my aid
Most when he knows not what to do:
I whisper then, 'Be not afraid,
'For I inspire thy patient too.'


Vain of thy victories, thus misled
Thy power I own; alas! I fear,
It is this syren song I dread
Which wretches long and die to hear.
No ears are stopt, no limbs are bound,
Impatient to thy coast they fly,
And soon as heard thy witching sound,
They rest, they sleep, they dream, they die.

A poet once-the tribe are thine,
But yet I would my counsel give,-
And said, ' 'Tis naught! the work decline:
'Thou once hast fail'd, this will not live.'
Deeply he sighed, and thou wert by,
To fan the half extinguish'd fire:
'Try once again,' thou saidst, 'oh! try,
'For now shall all the world admire.'


And how, I pray, can this be wrong?
The man has clear and certain gain;
For when the world condemns his song,
He can condemn the world again.
Inspir'd by me, in strains sublime
Shall many a gifted genius write,
For mine is that bewitching rhyme
That shall the wondering world delight.


Yes, thou hast numbers light and vain,
And mayst, I grant, a poet boast;
I cannot show so large a train,
But I have one, and he an host.


Still, I'm the nurse of young desire,
The fairy promiser of bliss:
I am the good that all require
In passing through a world like this.


Say, rather, thou'rt the glow-worm light,
That mocks us with a faint display
Of idle beams, that please the sight,
But never serve to show the way.


Alas! but this will never end,
'Tis like a grave old aunt's relation:
I would that reason might attend,
And terminate our disputation.


Obedient to your wish am I,
And thus my sentiments disclose:
Together you must live and die,
Together must be friends or foes.

For what is Hope, if Memory gives
No aid, nor points her course aright?
She then a useless trifler lives,
And spends her strength in idle flight.

And what from Memory's stores can rise
That will for care and study pay?
Unless upon that store relies
The Hope that heav'nward wings her way?

Be friends, and both to man be true;
O'er all their better views preside;
For Memory greatest good will do
As Hope's director, strength, and guide.

So shall ye both to mortals bring
An equal good in Reason's scale;
And Hope her sweetest song shall sing,
When Memory tells her noblest tale.

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Poems About Memory

  1. 1. Hope And Memory , Joanna Baillie
  2. 2. In Memory Of The Anzacs , T T
  3. 3. The First Grey Hair , Mary Eliza Perine Tucker Lam ..
  4. 4. Things We Want To Remember And There Are.. , Susie Sunshine
  5. 5. My Mother The Hero , Susie Sunshine
  6. 6. She Was Such An Amazing Person , Susie Sunshine
  7. 7. I Can Never Thank You Enough My Mother , Susie Sunshine
  8. 8. Oh Mommy Oh Mommy Can You See , Susie Sunshine
  9. 9. The Death Of Losing Your Mother The Pain.. , Susie Sunshine
  10. 10. Invite Me To Your Memory , Ricardo Flores
  11. 11. Goodbye Memories , Victoria Horn
  12. 12. A Memory Of Love , Steven Sabathie
  13. 13. A Suicide , Hunter James
  14. 14. Memories , chuck Hurley
  15. 15. Hope-My Greatest Memory , Yani Tan
  16. 16. Parting , Hoda Ablan
  17. 17. Memories , Orlando Belo
  18. 18. Damaged Love , Chukwuemeka Ogbu
  19. 19. Photograph , Sirius White
  20. 20. Photograph - Nickelback , orous glam
  21. 21. Gone, But Not Forgotte , Marilyn Ferguson
  22. 22. Shadows Vs. Light Pt.2 , Shelby Renee
  23. 23. The Memory Will Last , tawona chimbwanda
  24. 24. Into The Blue Memory , Adam M. Snow
  25. 25. A Poet's First Prose Paragraphs On Noeti.. , Bill Grace
  26. 26. Memories , Aubre Fuller
  27. 27. Confusion Within The Mind , Sarah Pesta
  28. 28. The Tally , Samuel Hall
  29. 29. Stranger , Camille Lansing
  30. 30. Betrayal , Rose McLaughlin
  31. 31. Memory , Jim Yerman
  32. 32. Just A Memory , Enternal Broken Rose
  33. 33. Field Of Joy , Joey Jones
  34. 34. What Has Been Forgotten , Morgan Siegel
  35. 35. If Love Only Knew , lena clift
  36. 36. Your Light Farewell , Roland Jr Jamito
  37. 37. Memorizing My Death , VUSI CHRIS VENUS MALALA
  38. 38. Searching , Marthe Claude
  39. 39. We Gathered At The River , Bernard Kennedy
  40. 40. Never Really Gone , Cheryl j Barclay
  41. 41. 21. The Reservoir Of Memory , Eugene Issaus
  42. 42. My Memory , Adam M. Snow
  43. 43. Wine's Hostage To The Prodigals , alexander opicho
  44. 44. Memory Forever , Sanjibsaha Aniketa
  45. 45. Haiku 13.9 , Leonardo Diaz
  46. 46. Why , sticker mykes
  47. 47. Kiss Face Of Lost Lover , Terence George Craddock (aft ..
  48. 48. The Ship Of Memory , van wood
  49. 49. Never Enough , stanley saintlouis
  50. 50. Benediction Line , Menachem Rephun
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