Sweet memory, like a pleasing dream,
    Still lends a dull and feeble ray;
For ages with her vestige teems,
    When beauty's trace is worn away.

When pleasure, with her harps unstrung,
    Sits silent to be heard no more,
Or leaves them on the willows hung,
    And pass-time glee forever o'er;

Still back in smiles thy glory steals
    With ev'ning dew drops from thine eye;
The twilight bursting from thy wheels,
    Ascends and bids oblivion fly.

Memory, thy bush prevails to bloom,
    Design'd to fade, no, never, never,
Will stamp thy vestige on the tomb,
    And bid th' immortal live forever.

When youth's bright sun has once declined
    And bid his smiling day expire,
Mem'ry, thy torch steals up behind,
    And sets thy hidden stars on fire.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 24, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.