If Hope Is to Gild Future Days

Miss Richardson

Answer attempted to Anacreon Moore’s 2 beautiful lines in his Ballad of “When Time who steals our years away”. The lines replied to are:

“For Hope shall brighten days to come
And Memory gild the Past.”

If hope is to gild future days with delight,
Memory’s records must fade like the shadows of night;
For should reason awhile to bright vision give scope,
Then memory checks reason, and reason checks hope.

Sad memory will urge that the winter of pain
To the summer of pleasure succeeds still again,
That the blossoms of youth’s rosy springtime all fade,
And the circle of years rolls us into the shade.

But tho’ memory should sometimes with smiles greet the past
How seldom hope draws the next day like the last!
For the joy then possessed we still trembled to lose,
And from retrospect shrinking, bent forward our views.

When hope would indulge in the soul-cheering thought
That our lines may be spent with the friends our hearts fought
Then memory returns to lov’d friends now no more,
And the gloom of the past, future joys shadow o’er.

Yet memory in tracing the days that are gone
Confines not her pencil to our lot alone,
By mere self retrospection the future’s not shown
But in measuring friends’ sorrows, we measure our own.

Still, from dearest affections hope leads us to find
Some earnest of images framed in the mind;
But when reason would learn if these may be enjoyed
Memory holds up the past, and the vision’s destroyed.

Thus tracing things up to their source we may [???]
Reason bars that with memory, hope e’er shd [???]
Then if hope is to gild future days with delight
Memory’s records must fade like the shadows of night.