Memory – William Wordsworth

A pen–to register; a key– That winds through secret wards

Are well assigned to Memory

By allegoric Bards.
As aptly, also, might be given

A Pencil to her hand;

That, softening objects, sometimes even

Outstrips the heart’s demand;
That smooths foregone distress, the lines

Of lingering care subdues,

Long-vanished happiness refines,

And clothes in brighter hues;
Yet, like a tool of Fancy, works

Those Spectres to dilate

That startle Conscience, as she lurks

Within her lonely seat.
Oh! that our lives, which flee so fast,

In purity were such,

That not an image of the past

Should fear that pencil’s touch!
Retirement then might hourly look

Upon a soothing scene,

Age steal to his allotted nook

Contented and serene;
With heart as calm as lakes that sleep,

In frosty moonlight glistening;

Or mountain rivers, where they creep

Along a channel smooth and deep,

To their own far-off murmurs listening.
by William Wordsworth