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When life burns to ashes that hold but an ember--
A fast-fading spark of their olden-time glow--
The head may forget, but the heart will remember
The deeper delights of the days long ago.
A mother's devotion, unfailing, unbounded,
Her loving caresses, her smiles and her tears;
A sister's affection no plummet hath sounded,
No tempest hath ruffled in all the long years.


Another--a vision of beauty and splendor
That Time and his shadows can never eclipse--
Comes back in the gloaming, with eyes soft and tender,
And thrills you again with the touch of her lips.
The world is enchanted, a wonderful palace,
Dream-built and celestial, inviting repose;
You drink the rich draught of a nectar-brimmed chalice,
And life is as fragrant and sweet as the rose.


It may be that still in your memory lingers
A child's artless prattle, with love in its tone,
The sweet pressure felt of a baby's soft fingers--
White, clinging and dimpled--entwined with your own.
Nor darkness, nor slumber, effaces the token
That Sorrow, unbidden, once came as your guest;
That voice has been hushed into silence unbroken--
Those hands now are folded in infinite rest.


Your steps may be slow, and your locks may be hoary--
Approaching the end of your pilgrimage here;
And yet, the recital of one little story,
Like rain in the desert, will freshen and cheer.
No matter what treasures, from May to December--
What favors of fortune have come at your call--
The head may forget, but the heart will remember
That Love was the jewel outshining them all!