To Louisa C—, For Her Album
Life is an Album; and my free
Imagination loves to look
And read, with happy augury,
Thy life's as yet scarce opened book.
And well begins that volume fair;
And ever, onward as it goes,
May Feeling write high lyrics there,
And Sense inscribe his sober prose.
And on the living vellum pure
Be gifts from Hope and Memory met;
From Memory, picture sweetly sure—
From Hope, her fanciful vignette.
The breathing book may many a friend
Flock round with love that needs no call;
But fondliest o'er its records bend
Sweet home-affections—best of all.
So if on Time's advancing tome—
Far be the day—some creeping grief
Must, like the treacherous book-worm come,
To spot, perchance, or pierce a leaf;
If such intruder there, as here,
Should threat some lines 'twixt youth and age,
Those household Loves shall still be near
To chase the spoiler from the page.
And thus, in kindly pleasures past,
With conscience that of nought repents,
Thy volumed years shall show at last,
A blessed table of contents.