Talk not of the banquet Remembrance provides
Till shadows with truth can be class’d:
One hour in the presence of new-born delights
O’ervalues an age of the past!
Talk not of the flight or the ravage of time —
We’ll chase the dull fugitive on:
When life is a desert and friendship a dream
We’ll sigh for the days that are gone!
Can Mem’ry dissolve the chill fetters of age?
Will pain from her magic depart?
Can Fancy’s pale pictures on Memory’s page
Restore the rich warmth of the heart?
Of long-buried friendship, of far-fled delight
The spectres pass mournfully on:
They speak — but their whispers no rapture excite
They speak of the days that are gone!
But is there a joy which for ever departs?
Can friendship to earth be consign’d?
The joy or the love that was worthy our hearts
Must leave a rich relic behind!
Have traitors deceived us with thorns among flow’rs?
Well! let us their folly look on:
The rosebud of Fancy awhile has been ours,
The thorn to their pillow is gone!
O! let us not gaze on the wreck of our joys —
But build the fair fabric anew!
The day which no hope or no friendship supplies
Is a day without sunshine or dew!
Believe it — the rose-tree will flourish again,
Tho’ the dead leaf is trampled upon;
Our souls, like the sun, shall their lustre retain
Undimm’d by the days that are gone!