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TALK not to me of Necromantic wights,
And dread magicians,
Who, by their potent spells, could conjure sprites,
And raise the dead from the forgotten past,
Each in the perfect mould of pre-existence cast.
I, though no conjuror, have far outdone
For, as I culled and ponder’d, one by one,
These scattered pages,
From the dark past, and memory's eclipse,
Up rose in vision clear my life's Apocalypse.
Mutely each re-creative lay outpour'd
Its own revealings;
Youth, manhood, age, were momently restored,
With all their feelings.
Friends long deceased were summoned from the tomb;
Forgotten scenes regain'd their vividness and bloom.
Again did I recline in copses green,
Gazing from under
Some oak’s thwart boughs upon the sky serene,
In reverent wonder;
Or starting from the sward with ear acute,
To hear the cuckoo sound its soft two-noted flute.
Association! thy transcendant power
What art can rival?
Muse-haunted strolls by river, field, or bower,
At thy revival,
Return once more, and in their second birth
Bring back each former scent and sound of air and earth. In social joys where song and music's zest
Made beauty fairer,
In festive scenes with all their mirth and jest,
Once more a sharer,
I see the smiles, and hear the laughter loud
Of many a friend, alas! now mouldering in his shroud.
So, when the hands are dust that now entwine
These prompting pages,
Some future reader, as a jest or line
His thought engages,
Feeling old memories from their grave arise,
May thus, in pensive mood, perchance soliloquise :
“I knew the bardling; 'twas his nature's bent,
His creed's chief feature,
To hold that a benign Creator meant
To bless the creature,
And giving man a boon denied to brute,
Loved him to exercise his laughing attribute.