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SAMUEL ROGERS, one of the most elegant of the | a recent edition has been given to the world, accomBritish poets, was the son of a banker, and himself panied with numerous engravings. This poem is follows that business in London, where he was born, his last and greatest, but by no means his best, perabout 1760. He received a learned education, which formance; though an eminent writer in the New he completed by travelling through most of the Monthly Magazine calls it "perfect as a whole." countries of Europe, including France, Switzerland, There are certainly many very beautiful descriptive Italy, Germany, &c. He has been all his life master passages to be found in it; and it is totally free of an ample fortune, and not subject, therefore, to the from meretriciousness: but we think the author common reverses of an author, in which character has too often mistaken commonplace for simplicity, he first appeared in 1787, when he published a spirit- to render it of much value to his reputation, as a ed Ode to Superstition, with other poems. These whole. It is as the author of the Pleasures of Mewere succeeded, after an interval of five years, by mory, that he will be chiefly known to posterity, the Pleasures of Memory; a work which at once though, at the same time, some of his minor poems established his fame as a first-rate poet. In 1798, he are among the most pure and exquisite fragments published his Epistle to a Friend, with other poems; of verse, which the poets of this age have produced. and did not again come forward, as a poet, till 1814, In society, few men are said to be more agreeable when he added to a collected edition of his works, in manners and conversation than the venerable his somewhat irregular poem of the Vision of Co- subject of our memoir; and his benevolence is lumbus. In the same year came out his Jaqueline, said to be on a par with his taste and accoma tale, in company with Lord Byron's Lara; and, plishments. Lord Byron must have thought highly in 1819, his Human Life. In 1822, was published of his poetry, if he were sincere in saying, "We his first part of Italy, which has since been com- are all wrong, excepting Rogers, Crabbe, and pleted, in three volumes, duodecimo; and of which, | Campbell."
THE PLEASURES OF MEMORY.
IN TWO PARTS.
Vivere bis, vita posse priore frui.-Mart.
O COULD my mind, unfolded in my page,
THE poem begins with the description of an obscure village, and of the pleasing melancholy which it excites on being revisited after a long absence. This mixed sensation is an effect of the memory. From an effect we naturally ascend to the cause; and the subject proposed is then unfolded, with an investigation of the nature and leading principles of this faculty.
It is evident that our ideas flow in continual succession, and introduce each other with a certain degree of regularity. They are sometimes excited by sensible objects, and sometimes by an internal operation of the mind. Of and its many sources of pleasures to them, as well as to the former species is most probably the memory of brutes; us, are considered in the first part. The latter is the most perfect degree of memory, and forms the subject of the second.
When ideas have any relation whatever, they are attractive of each other in the mind; and the perception of any object naturally leads to the idea of another, which was connected with it either in time or place, or which can be compared or contrasted with it. Hence arises our
TWILIGHT'S Soft dews steal o'er the village-green, With magic tints to harmonize the scene. Still'd is the hum that through the hamlet broke, When round the ruins of their ancient oak The peasants flock'd to hear the minstrel play, And games and carols closed the busy day. Her wheel at rest, the matron thrills no more With treasured tales, and legendary lore. 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! What secret charms this silent spot endear!
Mark yon old mansion frowning through 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,
Once the calm scene of many a simple sport;
See, through the fractured pediment reveal'd,
As jars the hinge, what sullen echoes call! O haste, unfold the hospitable hall! That hall, where once, in antiquated state, The chair of justice held the grave debate. Now stain'd with dews, with cobwebs 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 laugh pursued the circling jest And all was sunshine in each little breast. 'Twas here we chased the slipper by the 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 each wondering ear; And orphan sorrows drew the ready tear. Oft with the babes we wander'd in the wood, Or view'd the forest feats of Robin Hood: Oft, fancy-led, at midnight's fearful hour, With startling step we scaled the lonely tower; O'er infant innocence to hang and weep, Murder'd by ruffian hands, when smiling in its sleep.
Ye household 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 pictured 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 promised pleasure near; And has its sober hand, its simple chime, Forgot to trace the feather'd feet of time? That massive beam, with curious carvings wrought, Whence the caged linnet soothed my pensive thought;
Those muskets, cased with venerable rust;
Still, from the frame in mould gigantic cast,
As through the garden's desert paths I rove,
Childhood's loved group revisits every scene The tangled wood-walk, and the tufted green! Indulgent Memory wakes, and lo, they live! Clothed with far softer hues than light can give. Thou first, best friend that Heaven assigns below, To soothe and sweeten all the cares we know ; Whose glad suggestions still each vain alarm, When nature fades, and life forgets to charm; Thee would the muse invoke !—to thee belong The sage's precept, and the poet's song.
What soften'd views thy magic glass reveals, When o'er the landscape time's meek twiligh
As when in ocean sinks the orb of day,
Just tells the pensive pilgrim where it lay.
Down by yon hazel copse, at evening, blazed
Imps in the barn with mousing owlet bred,
Whose dark eyes flash'd through locks of blackest As studious Prospero's mysterious spell
When in the breeze the distant watch-dog bay'd:-
To learn the colour of my future years!
Ah, then, what honest triumph flush'd my breast; This truth once known-To bless is to be blest! We led the bending beggar on his way, (Bare were his feet, his tresses silver gray,) Soothed the keen pangs his aged spirit felt, And on his tale with mute attention dwelt. As in his scrip we dropt our little store, And sigh'd to think that little was no more, He breath'd his prayer, "Long may such goodness live!"
"Twas all he gave, 'twas all he had to give.
But hark! through those old firs, with sullen swell, The church clock strikes! ye tender scenes, farewell!
It calls me hence, beneath their shade, to trace The few fond lines that time may soon efface.
On yon gray stone, that fronts the chancel door, Worn smooth by busy feet now seen no more, Each eve we shot the marble through the ring, When the heart danced, and life was in its spring; Alas! unconscious of the kindred earth, That faintly echo'd to the voice of mirth.
The glow-worm loves her emerald light to shed, Where now the sexton rests his hoary head. Oft, as he turn'd the greensward with his spade, He lectured every youth that round him play'd; And, calmly pointing where our fathers lay, Roused us to rival each, the hero of his day.
Hush, ye fond flutterings, hush! while here alone I search the records of each mouldering stone. Guides of my life! instructers of my youth! Who first unveil'd the hallow'd form of truth; Whose every word enlighten'd and endear'd; In age beloved, in poverty revered; In friendship's silent register ye live, Nor ask the vain memorial art can give.
-But when the sons of peace, of pleasure sleep,
Ethereal power! who at the noon of night
Lull'd in the countless chambers of the brain,
Brightens or fades; yet all, with magic art, Control the latent fibres of the heart.
Drew every subject spirit to his cell;
Survey the globe, each ruder realm explore;
Th' adventurous boy, that asks his little share, And hies from home with many a gossip's prayer, Turns on the neighbouring hill, once more to see The dear abode of peace and privacy; And as he turns, the thatch among the trees, The smoke's blue wreaths ascending with the breeze,
The village common spotted white with sheep,
So, when the mild Tupia dared explore
So Scotia's queen, as slowly dawn'd the day
And hence this spot gives back the joys of youth,
And hence the charm historic scenes impart : Hence Tiber awes, and Avon melts the heart. Aerial forms in Tempe's classic vale
Glance through the gloom, and whisper in the