To Mrs. Bl_h_d
by Thomas Moore
Written in her album.
They say that Love had once a book
(The urchin likes to copy you)
Where all who came the pencil took
And wrote, like us, a line or two.
'Twas Innocence, the maid divine,
Who kept this volume bright and fair,
And saw that no unhallow'd line
Or thought profane should enter there.
And sweetly did the pages fill
With fond device and loving lore,
And every leaf she turn'd was still
More bright than that she turn'd before!
Beneath the touch of Hope, how soft,
How light the magic pencil ran!
Till Fear would come, alas! as oft,
And trembling close what Hope began.
A tear or two had dropp'd from Grief,
And Jealousy would now and then
Ruffle in haste some snowy leaf,
Which Love had still to smooth again!
But, oh! there was a blooming boy,
Who often turn'd the pages o'er,
And wrote therein such words of joy,
As all who read still sigh'd for more!
And Pleasure was this spirit's name,
And though so soft his voice and look,
Yet Innocence, whene'er he came,
Would tremble for her spotless book!
And so it chanced, one luckless night
He let his nectar goblet fall
O'er the dear book, so pure, so white,
And sullied lines and marge and all!
And Fancy's emblems lost their glow,
And Hope's sweet lines were all defaced,
And Love himself could scarcely know
What Love himself had lately traced.
At length the urchin Pleasure fled
(For how, alas! could Pleasure stay?),
And Love, while many a tear he shed,
In blushes flung the book away!
The index now alone remains,
Of all the pages spoiled by Pleasure,
And though it bears some honey stains,
Yet Memory counts the leaf a treasure!
And oft, they say, she scans it o'er,
And oft, by this memorial aided,
Brings back the pages now no more,
And thinks of lines that long are faded!
I know not if this tale be true,
But thus the simple facts are stated;
And I refer their truth to you,
Since Love and you are near related!
Source:The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Copyright undated, very old
The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd.